We all know how important teamwork is for a thriving organisation. Without some degree of cooperation between your staff, literally nothing would ever get done. You might think that right now your team is working rather effectively together and that they understand the concept of ‘teamwork’ – however, improving on and refining the way your staff work together can have massive implications for your bottom line.
The thing is, in society today, often winning, being the best and coming first place are given the most emphasis, so it’s unlikely that members of your team were raised in a setting where true teamwork (the whole is greater than the sum of its parts) was what was rewarded with praise/attention.
Hence, it’s commonly the case that employers need to ‘teach’ their team, teamwork – in the truest sense of the term. When you demonstrate to your employees that your business is an environment where planning, thinking, decision making and the resulting actions are all best undertaken as a cooperative, rather than an individual, they will begin to recognise and assimilate the concept of teamwork in their daily tasks.
Create Your Own Culture of Teamwork
1. Firstly you must clearly articulate your expectations that teamwork is an intrinsic part of your culture. For example, you can explain that just because a staff member is solely responsible for one process or area, doesn’t mean that they refuse to be open to ideas and input for the rest of the team. To grow, everyone must recognise they are not a solo operator, but part of a group.
2. From the top down, teamwork must be demonstrated – even during tough times. Managers should model teamwork in their behaviour with each other and with the staff they supervise, at all times.
3. Reward and recognise. Teams, rather than individuals should be rewarded and recognized for their contribution to the company’s bottom line. While there will be times when a person might need to be singled out for a truly exceptional level or production or contribution, make it clear with the majority of your rewards that group effort is valued most highly.
4. Write it down. Commit to paper the values of your own culture of teamwork. When you make it formal and share it with your team, they’ll see it as a symbol of your commitment to creating a stronger team.
5. Form teams to solve problems or issues that arise.
6. Hold departmental meetings. This allows you to obtain broad input and coordinate between sub teams the work processes. This also helps you to identify where and why people aren’t getting along and take steps to resolve this.
7. Have fun together! Make sure group, rapport building exercises/days are scheduled in regularly. Perhaps go to a sporting event together, or take a day together at an amusement park, have a group lunch once a week – there’s nothing to beat a bond built in an outside of work environment. When your staff are ‘friends’ as opposed to ‘colleagues’ they’ll be more likely to want to collaborate and help one another out in a work setting.