The past year has created a shift for organizations to build a digital workplace, making it all the more imperative for employees to better work collaboratively while navigating the remote space. This starts with building a culture of teamwork, whether within a department or with the entire organization. So why does teamwork matter and how can you build towards creating a culture of teamwork and collaboration in your workplace?
What is Teamwork?
Teamwork is a sense of unity. A diverse group of people each brings a variety of skills, experiences, and viewpoints to any group or team. This variety of different skills and experiences come together in cooperation between those who are working together on a common task to achieve similar goals. Teamwork is possible when the work blends each individual’s strengths to complement each other, while also bringing about a sense of camaraderie and shared vision among a group of people. Teamwork relies on these individuals to cooperate, using their viewpoints and experiences while also providing constructive feedback to work towards a common goal.
Why Teamwork is Important in the Workplace
Teamwork Builds Unity Among Employees
A culture built upon teamwork promotes an atmosphere that encourages friendship and camaraderie among individuals. These types of close relationships among employees pushes everyone to work harder and cooperate and be supportive of one another. This unity results in group cohesion, which is very essential for a business to succeed. Without this unity, individuals will be more likely to apply their efforts for their own benefit rather than the benefit of the entire company. With everyone focused on their own slightly different purposes, individual projects and the overall business can suffer.
Teamwork Enables More Efficient Work
Being efficient in the workplace helps improve productivity, resulting in reduced costs and improvising a business’s overall competitiveness. Teamwork further facilitates teamwork in the workforce by being able to split difficult tasks between each individual then working together to complete them faster. Employee teamwork also takes advantage of each person’s individualized skills and experiences, so that the best person is working on a task suited for them so that each task is finished better and faster. Teams make finishing projects more efficient, resulting in better productivity, reduced costs, greater profitability, among many other benefits.
Teamwork Breeds Innovation
In this fast-paced competitive climate, businesses constantly need new, fresh ideas. Teamwork works to bring unique perspectives from each member to the table to benefit the overall business. Good teamwork, in general, is structured to provide a diversity of thought, creativity, perspectives, and problem-solving approaches. Building a proper team allows for individuals to brainstorm and innovate collectively, instead of individually. This increases their success to problem solve and arrive at new solutions effectively. Effective teams share differing opinions and experiences, which strengthen accountability and help make decisions faster, than when done alone.
Teamwork Provides Many Learning Opportunities
Working in a team allows employees to learn from one another. In the future, they are able to avoid errors and gain insight into different perspectives, all while learning new concepts from more experienced colleagues. Employees are also able to see the successes and failures of others in a supportive environment, resulting in productive growth of the overall employee base, as they learn from their mistakes. In addition, with an open mind, employees can expand their current skill set, discovering fresh ideas from new colleagues and resulting in more effective approaches and solutions to problems faced. This active engagement generates the encouragement and innovative capacity to problem solve and generate ideas more effectively and efficiently.
Building a Culture of Teamwork
Building a workplace that encourages and fosters teamwork among its employees requires planning and specific activities to support this open collaboration among colleagues. In order to foster teamwork successfully, it needs to be integral to the workplace culture, people, and processes. Once that occurs, a workplace built on teamwork becomes more productive, innovative, and open. Here are __ ways to cultivate teamwork in the workplace.
Form teams to provide opportunities to collaborate
A culture of teamwork can be systematically built by implementing changes within the workplace to facilitate this culture of collaboration. To achieve this, forming teams among colleagues works to solve work issues in a collaborative way and improves overall work processes. Outside of these assigned teams, collaboration is also made easier for employees to receive assistance and feedback from colleagues when they ask for it. Employees also spend more time and energy in creating relationships with each other while solving these problems presented to them. Outside of these assigned teams, collaboration is also made easier for employees to receive assistance and feedback from colleagues when they ask for it, making future collaboration more likely.
Facilitate Organizational Communication
Communication between team members is important, but it is also vital to remember that everyone in a company or organization is part of the same team. Efficient communication should be prioritized, not only among team members, but also between departments. This requires keeping the lines of communication open to prevent misunderstandings, reduce risk of duplicated work, and encourages open collaboration between departments. Internal communications software can help ensure everyone in the organization is kept on the same page. Holding interdepartmental meetings to review progress also works to facilitate communication and further collaboration among the different departmental teams.
Rally around Common Goals
Working toward a common goal is another successful characteristic of an efficient team. What is the grand goal you’re striving for? How does each milestone contribute to that goal? When a team decides on a common objective, they are able to work together as a group and succeed together. In order to build these shared goals, it is essential to make these goals visible and well-known. When other teams also understand the goals of a team, they’re more likely to contribute their own skills and ideas or cheer on the team to success.
One of the most important team-building characteristics is trust. When tasks are split between multiple team members, employees need to trust that their colleagues are able to get their share of the job done. Team members need to have faith within their own team as well as with the larger organization in order to carry out higher-level tasks. Trust also produces increased speed and improved efficiency between team members. Building trust into corporate culture requires much effort to develop and can be a relatively long process. In order to encourage trust, managers can first ask themselves:
- “Am I listening to my employees and seeking their ideas, suggestions, and opinions?”
- “Am I open to employee ideas and including those ideas in the decision making process?”
- “Am I setting and communicating consistent expectations regarding team and individual performance objectives”
Capitalize on a Diverse Team
One of the greatest advantages of working in a team occurs when employees with different skill sets and life experiences come together. Bringing in people who have different views on the same issues means you are more likely to have a melting pot of ideas, thus improving creativity and collaboration among the team. Team members from diverse backgrounds also bring diverse solutions to the table, which leads to more informed decisions and improved results. In all, when teams are better at problem solving and making innovative and creative solutions generates competitive advantage and makes more money for the organization.
Build Fun Occasions into the Organization’s Agenda
Sponsoring dinners at local restaurants, going on team hikes, creating a sports team, or volunteering together creates a space to build relationships among each other outside of work. This will benefit overall work within the organization by making it easier to collaborate in the future. Other ways to facilitate these bonds can be through small icebreakers to help employees develop a sense of comfort with each other. Creating these opportunities for workers to get to know each other will support their work together.
Celebrate Each Other’s Achievements
Appreciate the work of your teammates by taking the time to say “thanks” for contributions to the team effort. For achieving bigger milestones towards higher-level objectives, take the time to celebrate together with formal recognition.
Covid-19 has proved that teamwork while working remotely is more necessary. At Simpplr, we have made a digital workspace with features and integrations to support your journey in building a culture of teamwork. Our engaging intranet platform makes collaborating easy with features such as social collaboration and social following to stay updated on your coworker’s work. Each key integration we have designed to support your team to collaborate and to make your workplace better, which means, among other things, more engaged individuals working together.