Is Your Team Working Together?

21 February 2017

We have all experienced working as part of a team whether it be a social team, sports team or a work based team. From these experiences, we understand the consequences of poorly functioning teams – weak cohesion, poor communication, low trust, and missed milestones. Not to mention the lack of fun and celebration. Team members in this situation can feel rather gloomy and it is very easy to become de-motivated.
So rather than have this problem in the workplace, what can we do as managers to ensure we have a good team work?

First, we need to ask why is teamwork so important in the workplace?
If we are seen as a contributing member of a team, then we feel appreciated which makes us feel more happiness and self-worth. Also, a sense of achievement makes us more likely to learn and to engage with workplace activities.
Because of this, the organisation benefits from higher productivity and motivated employees.

Can any of us afford not to develop good teamwork in our business?
Teamwork does not happen accidentally. It needs to be introduced as part of the workplace culture. When done successfully, workplaces become more fun, productive, and creative.

6 tips for creating a teamwork culture

Make sure your team understands the common goal

I can’t stress this enough. I see many businesses with team members completing even routine tasks and sadly they don’t understand why they are doing so. The owners or managers of the business understands the bigger picture but haven’t taken the time to explain it to their team.
If you want to have a team, you need to share a common goal. What is the grand goal you’re striving for? How does achieving the next milestone contribute to that? Where does each team members’ contribution fit in? Knowing that their work matters takes teams to a higher level.

Divide up the work
Managers need to get organised and understand what needs to be done. Then they can break down the workload into its constituent parts and sort out who has the right skill set to carry out each task. Teamwork does not mean everyone doing everything together. Set clear individual goals with a clear understanding of how they fit into the full plan.

Allow your employee time to focus and try not to pull them in a different direction

There’s nothing more frustrating than been given a task to complete in a time-scale, to then be pulled in a different direction. A good manager should allocate enough time for the employee to focus on the task and have chance to successfully complete it.

Asking for help

Whilst focusing on the individual task there should always be an option to draw on others when needed. That’s teamwork. So, encourage your team to support, inspire and share expertise when a team member requires it.

Communicate throughout the day

Keep the team informed throughout the day, communicate regularly on progress.
Holding regular ‘standup’ meeting, where everyone provides a quick, informal update on progress can work very well.

Celebrate together
Appreciate the work of your team. Take time to say ‘thanks’ for small, specific contributions to the team effort. And, when you do achieve a milestone towards your goal, take time to celebrate together. This can be as simple as “let’s all have some cream cakes today” or “let’s have a night out bowling.”

Teamwork does not happen by chance. Good teamwork is carefully created, encouraged and lived daily from the leader of an organisation.

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