Teamwork is a vital part of any company. Today this is even more necessary, as the work environment and culture require everyone to work closely together all the time.
Without teamwork the company can suffer, because it is basically about cooperation and communication. So if you are looking to improve teamwork in your organization, we have some tips to help you take your team to the next level.
What strategies can you apply to improve teamwork?
Lead by example
If you want your team to communicate with each other, work hard, produce strong results, and keep the business moving forward, you need to lead by example and do the same. Treat your own roles, responsibilities, and relationships with your co-workers in the same way that you want others to do so.
Build trust and respect
If there is no mutual trust and respect between employees and management, it is very difficult to get good teamwork done. Team members must trust each other to do their part, as well as trust their leaders to guide them in the right direction.
Make time for team members to get to know each other on a more personal level. This will build trust, respect, and mutual understanding. You can easily do this with a relaxed office party, it is all about getting people talking and interacting.
Encourage open communication
Encourage team members to speak openly, share ideas, make suggestions, and express their opinions. Communication is a two-way street. Therefore, employees must feel that they can contribute to the conversation with both their superiors and their peers.
Clearly describe roles and responsibilities
All members of a team must clearly know what their roles and responsibilities are within the group. This will help avoid confusion and wasted time organizing and delegating work. So people can simply focus on the task at hand.
Organize team processes
In addition to establishing clear roles, team processes must be established to work on a project. Decrease setbacks, communicate with each other, and provide feedback. These guidelines will help employees spend less time on logistics and more time on their job.
Set definite goals
Each team must know exactly what they are working towards, including what goals they need to achieve and when. Set goals within a specific time frame by which group members can measure themselves both individually and as a team.
Mediate conflicts quickly and efficiently
It is normal for conflicts to arise in a team environment. There may be a breakdown in communication at some point or people may have personal problems.
How conflict is managed should be clear in team processes. If a team member has a problem, how should they handle it? Who should they talk to first?
Make these practices and expectations clear up front, and then handle situations quickly in order to help the team move forward and maintain a good work environment.
Let team members participate in decision making
Having a sense of personal involvement in the decision-making process will solidify people’s connection and investment in the team, making them feel like they are an integral part of something and not just a piece of the puzzle.
Maintain work balance
Of course, different team members will work on different tasks, but try to make sure they all have similar workloads. There should not be a single person bearing the brunt of the job.
The point of being on a team is to work together to share the burden and create something that one could not do alone.
Meetings could be seen as a waste of time or an obstacle to productivity in the office. But this should not be the case, teams must meet regularly. This will serve to get in touch, check progress and goals, share ideas and raise awareness of what each member is working on.
Plan regular meetings to reconnect, but make sure that time is used efficiently and effectively.
Consider turning things up by trying a walking meeting or meeting in a different location, like a coffee shop. Taking things away from the workplace has been shown to increase productivity and allow communication to flow more naturally.
Create an efficient space
Give your team the physical and mental space to create and work in peace. This may mean setting specific hours when group members work alone or are not allowed to send or check email.
Things can be done faster as a team, however, people still need their personal time to focus on their part of the project.
Start some team traditions
This applies to teams and to the company as a whole. Creating traditions helps bring people together and establish a sense of unified culture and solidarity.
They can be simple traditions, even silly as an inside joke. They could also be more serious and elaborate. You can offer a great incentive when a team has reached its goals. The important thing is to find a way in which the team connects on another level, which is not just related to work.
Make frequent comments
Teams should receive frequent feedback from their leaders and from each other. This can mean feedback on completed work, but it can also include sharing questions, ideas, compliments, or problems the team may have.
Take the time to celebrate team victories
Celebrating is not just fun. But it also helps reinforce a team’s willingness to work together and work hard for the company when their effort is clearly appreciated and celebrated.
On the other hand, praise and acknowledge a well done job. This will boost confidence and morale by encouraging teams and individuals to keep up the good work.