Improving teamwork at your business: the basics

Improving teamwork at your business: the basics

Teamwork is the work done by several individuals where even though all workers play a part, everyone works for a common cause. It’s one of the working conditions that brings more positive influences in workers. It produces very good results as they usually generates excitement and satisfaction, and, in consequence, creates an atmosphere of harmony among workers.

In this post, you will learn some basic tips to improve teamwork in your business. I hope they are useful for you.

Identify the roles in the group

There will always be a predominant activity in which each team member will bring the greatest added value. While it is important that all workers can adapt to changing circumstances and working on different fronts, we must not forget that each person has talents and abilities that may be identified and exploited in more activities. The greatest growth opportunities of a person will always be in the areas of his/her greatest strength.

Recognize the well-accomplished work

It is important to recognize and reward members when they have worked hard and well. It is not necessary to give a physical incentive, just recognize it. This is of great importance to your employees since they will feel useful and needed.

Since all people have problems when working in a group, how to solve those issues is the factor that makes the difference. Successful teams depend on rapport, communication and commitment, but when workers know that they are doing things well (and that you care about it), the productivity of your team will certainly increase.

Related: What can workforce analytics do for your organization’s human resources, by Jason Hanold

Establish a joint mission and clear goals

It is said that “teamwork” involves putting over individual interests and pursuing collective interests instead. But what can you do if a member of your team just has no idea about the collective interest? Sharing information about the mission and the basic objectives that the team should pursue it helps each individual to do what is expected from him/her. In addition, collective well-established and communicated goals are a good resource to help a team member to resume its course when diverted. Remember that the most part of inner conflicts in a team are communication issues (I’ll come back to this later.)

Create a compact team

A compact group works as a unit. Communication flows easily between its members and activities are carried out smoothly, almost without the need for the intervention of the boss. The cohesion of a group allows members to communicate effectively among themselves and contribute equitably for producing something greater than what the individual parts could add. So, to the extent that a group is as compact as possible, you can take greater advantage of the individual potential of its members towards the common goals.

 

Image courtesy of Lars Plougmann at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of Lars Plougmann at Flickr.com

Define the rules

In teams, rules must be respected by all members. These rules give each individual a basis for predicting the behavior of others and then preparing an appropriate response. They include the procedures used to interact with others. Rules keep teams alive.

Every group needs their standards: work schedules, methodology, communications, a contingency for certain situations, etc. What if you motivate your team to determine these rules altogether? Some of them will be set by you as a leader, but each individual will feel included if he/she is able to contribute to the creation of the rules that everyone will follow. After all, the team is responsible for achieving results, not just the leader. So it’s a good idea that the whole team works together for establishing its own rules.

Correct the team

If there is teamwork, there will be mistakes for sure. That’s not the problem, but what happens if the team members start blaming each other. Corrections should be made generally to all team members without mentioning names or making accusations.

Public accusations on one member damages his/her self-esteem and, subsequently, his/her confidence. If the mistake is a big no-no, you can meet your worker in private and discuss the issue peacefully, without their companions being aware of what happened.

Communicate

Organize different communication channels. Make them available daily (e-mail, telephone, memos). Similarly, develop an effective process of communication that enables the transmission of messages in time and make sure that the whole team gets your messages. Similarly, create a fast communication system for updates and feedback. Maintain permanent contact with them: it’s a crucial factor for strengthening the relations of the team.

Contingency plans

On a team, you will always find differences among its members. Although most people can always settle their disagreements, there are disputes in which each side simply has “a reason.” It is therefore extremely important to have a contingency plan that clearly marks the steps if such a situation arises. To that extent, team members should understand that there are clear rules and fair play conditions, and personal differences should not transcend significantly. You will see that the team will remain compact, focused and motivated.

Recommended: Differences between Group Work & Team Work

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