Teamwork – tips and benefits:
Everyone working in the modern business world surely knows the terms “teamwork” and “team spirit”. In almost every job ad, companies specify that they are very proud of their teamwork, so they particularly watch out for employees that are able to work in a team.
But what does that mean exactly? What are advantages of a good teamwork? And how can it succeed? That’s what today’s article is about!
What is good teamwork about?
In order to achieve good teamwork in a company, at first you have to figure out what good teamwork is about. It is obvious that you will need many employees that pursue common goals for good teamwork.
Everybody should focus on achieving the same goal. Though everybody should follow the same rules and team members ideally share equal values because this shows a greater sense of community.
How do employees become a team?
This may sound quite easy, but the basis of good teamwork first needs to be established. You will need to create a sense of community that has to be looked after in order to every team member willing to achieve one common goal.
Regarding that, the team leader’s and employer’s role are very important. They are responsible for uniting single employees into one team. Small and bigger team events where colleagues can communicate outside the office work well for that.
Some examples are meeting for dinner with the whole team, having a drink after work or even spending a weekend for team building. But even more essential is the way the superior communicates.
Superiors need to integrate the aspect of team spirit in their language, then it will matter for the employees as well. A success within the team should therefore explicitly represented as such and not as a success from individual employees.
Some preconditions within a team
If the team was cobbled together externally, it most likely won’t work as a team from the beginning on, even if goals, values, and team rules are matching. That is because the team is made of people not only representing goals and needs of the team but also their very own goals and needs.
At this point, every team member should understand that working in teams also brings personal benefits. A single player won’t come that far in today’s business world, so energy is better kept for joint projects. One obvious benefit of working in a team is that tasks can be distributed.
Every employee knows that the workload is often unsteady and not everybody has the same amount of to dos all the time. If working in a team, employees can complement each other better and exchange tasks. This assumes that everybody handles this benefit responsibly and no one delegates their own work to others. An organisational structure which brings all employees together can be quite helpful.
This means that tasks, as well as subtasks should be completed until a date that is definite for everybody. A good option is informing each other about the personal state of work again and again. Many companies provide tools like a recurring meeting for some set date. For this, everybody can talk about their workload and how things are going.
This shows who is behind schedule, still has time available and may help others, where problems appear or what has not been noticed while solving the problem. Holding meetings on Monday are quite appropriate. After that, everybody can schedule his or her week.
What about responsibility?
There is always one question arising when speaking of teamwork. Who is responsible when mistakes get made within the team? If striving for good vibes in your team, you should admit your own faults, even before you get asked – despite team membership.
While working mistakes get made for sure. But if blaming others for its own mistakes or hoping to not come to attention within the team, peace that signalises the team may break. Further, there is one obvious benefit of admitting mistakes: if working on your own you have to suffer the consequences on your own too.
If team members are convinced that the person responsible did not make the mistake on purpose, they might offer help in order to solve the problem together. The reason for that is that they might want to get help too if making a mistake themselves. Superiors should as well consider that and not severely criticise the person responsible for the mistake. Better would be working towards having the same goals furthermore and work for that.
Benefits of good teamwork
As made clear in the previous paragraphs, teamwork has many advantages. Some of them follow here:
- Studies have shown that teamwork improves working results.
- If team members harmonise, they are more productive.
- Furthermore, they complement one another due to different strengths and weaknesses. The team can therefore delegate specific tasks to their appropriate person.
- This also increases the personal satisfaction of all team members. Those who can also pass things on once in a while, and who have colleagues and also derive personal benefit from having supported others, are more satisfied with themselves and in the end also more motivated. This is also beneficial for the company. People who feel good at their workplace are more loyal to the company in general.
- If the teamwork works well, employees are less likely to leave.
- Teamwork also has advantages when it comes to solving problems. Employees don’t always come up with a good solution to their problem on their own. In a team, many people think about the same issue and contribute their suggestions. In this way, good solutions can be found quickly.
- Team members also learn from each other which means that more challenging tasks can be completed.
- Teams work more quicker and flexible than single players.
- If the work basis changes, teams need less time to adjust to new circumstances than individuals which in turn relieves the burden on supervisors. By that they have to intervene less in work processes.
Potential problems while working in teams
Problems in teams always arise when competencies are not defined clearly. This can result in two situations:
Either thing is left undone within the team for which no one feels responsible, or the team members work less with one another than against each other. The problem is that it has not been clearly specified who should carry out certain tasks, so several people are competing for them.
Experts also warn of the so-called Ringelmann effect, named after the French agricultural engineer Max Ringelmann. He noticed that many people in groups tend to hide behind others and participate less.
It’s quite clear: if you work alone, you have to do all the things that need to be done yourself. Those who still have co-workers will certainly not be held responsible for unfinished tasks alone. This creates a certain protective space.
It is also shown that often the same team members speak and contribute at team meetings while others are rarely active unless they are directly addressed. It is also criticised that there are tasks that are not suitable for team projects which are better and quicker done on one’s own.
It becomes clear that working in a team brings many advantages but cannot work out on its own. It remains to be said that every good team is run by a good leader who ultimately brings the team together and keeps it together.
More than distributing individual tasks, it should be up to the supervisor to take on the role of an observer who notices tendencies in the team and knows how to read the sensitivities of individual employees.
If, for example, it is recognised which employees tend to hide behind others, this can be counteracted by actively addressing them and asking for their opinion, e.g., on problems. By that, calmer minds gat integrated into the team.
Colleagues who are too bold can also be slowed down a little by verbal intervention. If superiors know about the strengths and weaknesses of their employees, they can guide the distribution of tasks in this sense without having to distribute everything themselves.
The most important thing is always to communicate with and within the team. Good teamwork can succeed when everyone can express their needs, doubts and suggestions for improvement without fear and at eye level.