Having a team that you can rely on and that you know will have your back can make all the difference.
No matter the industry or how large your business is, it’s vital that it has teams of people who work well together and are able to set their differences aside for the sake of the organization and the goals they’re looking to achieve for long term success.
For that, you need to instill teamwork.
What is teamwork?
There are many different ways that teamwork can be defined. In its simplest form, teamwork is a group of people working together towards a common goal. So, let’s say you’re on a soccer team. You’d work together with the other players to get the soccer ball through the hands of the goalie and into the net of the opposing team.
Outside of athletics, you’ll find teamwork in the workplace, too. As another example, perhaps you’re in the marketing department at your organization, and you and the other members of the team have the shared goal of hitting specific metrics before the end of your fiscal year. It’s the same concept!
And, if you were to say that someone is a “great team player” on your team, this would mean that they have the interests of the team at heart and are working hard for the good of the team to accomplish the shared goal.
“Your team’s culture is like its personality. It exists whether or not you think about it. If you’re not satisfied with how your team works together–maybe the vibe feels hostile instead of helpful, maybe it takes a long time to get things done, or maybe there’s constant drama–it’s worth examining why this might be and what you can do about it.”
– Julie Zhuo, The Making of a Manager
The importance of teamwork
We’ve all heard the phrase, “teamwork makes the dream work”… but what does that really mean? Why should teamwork be important to you at your organization?
At the end of the day, when you work on a team filled with others you know you can rely on, you’ll always feel less stressed because you know you can trust the others that you work with as you drive towards a common goal. Plus, when you’re able to share the workload with others who you can rely on, this is likely to ease burnout.
And when you work as a team, you’ll grow as an individual and improve your problem-solving skills. Since you’ll have the chance to collaborate with different people on your team, this makes it possible for you to learn from their points of view and understand where they may be coming from as you work together to solve problems and innovate to accomplish shared goals.
Top 8 benefits of teamwork (and reasons why you should encourage it!)
You know that teamwork is important in all different types of settings, organizations, and industries. No matter the type of team you’re on, when individuals are able to work together, it’s easy to reap the benefits.
Below are eight key benefits to teamwork in the workplace. As a manager, it’s important to always be thinking about ways to improve it.
1 Blends complementary strengths
One clear benefit of working as a team is that everyone brings something different to the table. Where one person may have exceptional organizational skills, the other may be great at public speaking or have an eye for design.
When working together, there’s a clear division of where each member can let their unique skill set shine. It’s important that each person on the team be given the freedom to decide on which element they’re most comfortable working on, so the division of tasks is divided equally. When the work is distributed based on everyone’s complementary strength, it’ll also decrease the stress level while increasing the likelihood of achieving the shared goal.
2 Fosters creativity and innovation
One surefire way to boost creativity and innovation is for your employees to feel like they can thrive with the other individuals they’re working with. Effective teamwork allows everyone to better brainstorm ideas as a group, coming up with innovating ideas and exciting plans to accomplish goals.
The workplace can feel like a competitive landscape, but it pays to rely on members of your team to be creative and think differently than you do, as it gives everyone a chance to think differently and come to various conclusions.
“Working together in teams is how the world moves forward. We can create things far grander and more ambitious than anything we could have done alone. This is how battles are won, how innovation moves forward, how organizations succeed. This is how any remarkable achievement happens.”
– Julie Zhuo, The Making of a Manager
3 Brings diverse perspectives to the table
Another advantage to working on a team you can count on is that it’ll allow everyone involved to gain a new perspective on how things are done or accomplished. Teamwork is all about having an effective discussion or a positive group interaction, where everyone has an opportunity to bring something new into the conversation.
With so much shared knowledge coming together, plus unique personalities and perspectives working as one, the creative juices are sure to flow as your team collaborates on various projects, assignments, and goals.
“A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.”
— Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google (Source: Quartz at Work)
4 Promotes a wider sense of ownership
Let’s go back to my example above of the soccer team. The goal of putting the soccer ball into the opposing team’s net isn’t just up to the team captain, or even the coach. It’s up to everyone to come together and share the sense of ownership in scoring a goal.
The same can be said in an office or workplace setting. Having a strong team creates an environment where there’s a wider sense of ownership towards the company’s goals and objectives. This results in each team member having their own personal responsibilities and tasks to accomplish, which makes everyone that much more excited about sharing the goals that they’ll come together to (hopefully!) accomplish.
Whether it’s a team project where everyone contributes, tackling an obstacle or solving a problem together, or yes… scoring the winning goal, the team will feel fulfilled when the objectives are achieved.
As Jack Appleby, Sr. Creative Strategist at Twitch, mentioned during our #ManagerChats on coaching:
“I’m a big believer in making sure everyone feels like they have ownership somewhere. Contributing is good, but let people have an area they can make decisions in. If you set goals early, it allows you to frame honest feedback within those goals – that way what you’re saying is always aligned with getting the team member the best shot at where they want to go.”
5 Brings faster resolutions
Two heads aren’t just better than one, they’re faster, too.
When you’re able to work as a team, you’ll be able to brainstorm better and more solutions in a shorter amount of time. Not only that, but when the team works together to come up with more ideas, faster, the team will have a stronger sense of accomplishment when they reach their ultimate goal.
If you’re looking for inspiration to improve your brainstorming sessions, we created a template for you! 👇
6 Better customer service
Another benefit of working as a team is it’ll result in better customer service. This is because the entire group is working on specific items that pertain to their best skills, which can come in handy when needing to deliver exceptional customer service.
Having such a positive attitude and strong work ethic will also make a good impression on your customers, as they’re sure to notice that they’re working with someone who they can trust and knows what they’re doing.
“Just think of the consequences if most employees and executives of an organization were greedy, self-centered and apathetic about the larger mission. Sharp elbows would lead to a lack of coordination and demoralization, as well as people protecting their silos.
Employees say stress and anxiety impact their work performance (56 percent), relationship with coworkers (51 percent) and quality of work (50 percent), according to Anxiety Disorder Association of America (ADAA). So there’s a tremendous incentive for managers to establish a culture of teamwork and emotional support at the office.”
– Lucas Miller, Founder of Echelon Copy LLC (Source: Entrepreneur)
7 Encourages risk-taking and conflict resolution
Employees are less likely to take a risk if they feel like they don’t have a strong support system behind them.
But, if your employees feel like they belong to an effective team, they’re likely to take calculated risks that can pay off in the long run. Because they’ll feel supported and reassured by their team to think outside the box and come up with ideas on a larger scale, they will not only be more creative, but encouraging risks could be exactly what’s needed to accomplish the end-goal.
Not only does teamwork encourage risk-taking, but conflict resolution, too. No matter how great a team is, and no matter how strong a bond between team members, at some point there’s going to be a disagreement or conflict. But, when this happens in a team environment, they’ll need to resolve the conflict and come to a solution themselves, instead of running to management or to the head of the department.
8 Greater motivation and morale
Last but certainly not least, working on an effective team is fun and can instill motivation and build morale for the entire organization. The businesses with teams of people who always have each other’s back and know how to work well together have the strongest company culture, too.
There’s no i in team
Building a team that can work together isn’t just great for those involved, but for the company in the long run. It’s all about coming together as one, recognizing each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and of course, treating your teammates with respect.
In order to make sure everyone on your team can effectively work together, make sure you’re using the right software to stay organized. For that, it’s best to utilize a tool like Fellow, which can be your team’s go-to place for action items, meeting agendas, and more.