The best work teams are those that are well-structured, know how to communicate and interact with each other. Motivation, participation, organization, commitment, trust, common objectives and problem solving are the seven fundamental characteristics of teamwork.
Do you know the advantages of teamwork, what its characteristics are, what group dynamics are the most useful? We’ll tell you.
The importance of teamwork
Teamwork is very important for the company to succeed and reach business objectives. Why? Because all employees play specific roles – depending on their strengths – contribute to the overall results. Therefore, good teamwork improves productivity. A bad one, however, can generate the opposite.
In fact, it is not only important how the different members of the group work with each other, how they complement each other, but also the atmosphere in the team – the work climate. A good one will foster motivation and a feeling of belonging to the entity.
Unfortunately, many organizations still rely on individual talents, but do not take into account the possible integration of these members in the team they will be part of. Business projects in which a group of people with different knowledge, experience and ideas cooperate and share them, are the ones that achieve success.
Advantages of Teamwork
The advantages of teamwork are obtained when new and different ideas are brought together to provide better solutions. When the employee feels fulfilled and an important part of that team, everything flows. The main benefits of teamwork are:
Personal and Collective Growth
The team, being made up of people with very different knowledge and attitudes, generates a high level of personal enrichment. When everyone shares their perspectives and skills they strengthen the group. They turn the work into something productive and rewarding that makes the rest progress.
Listening to different points of view stimulates the creativity of all team members and provides more effective solutions to any setbacks that may arise.
Team made decisions are not imposed by one person. This makes the workers feel like an important part of the company and that they are taken into account. The atmosphere improves and the work motivation grows.
The Synergy Grows
With teamwork, tasks are divided, employee stress is reduced and productivity increases. Synergy grows because working together produces better results than individual work.
In companies where teamwork is encouraged, communication is more fluid and direct because different opinions can be conveyed without anyone taking it negatively. As a result, the working environment and problem solving is improved.
Seven Characteristics of Teamwork
Common and Defined Objectives
If the team members know the objectives and the deadline for achieving them perfectly, it will be easier for them to work together in an optimal way.
Only by having clear objectives and joining forces in the same direction, the group succeeds.
Sometimes you can’t solve a problem on the first try. In that case, it is essential for the group to be cohesive and works to solve the problems in the best possible way. Searching for culprits will only generate a bad work climate and slow down all the processes.
It is very important to evaluate the situation, detect the mistakes and put in common the ideas of all the members of the group, to correct them as soon as possible in the most effective way.
Good Communication and Motivation
Involving everyone in the project, counting on their ideas and informing all the members of the group with the maximum transparency is essential. If there is good communication and people feel valued, motivation and commitment to the organization will increase.
In short, creating a common identity and generating a sense of belonging to the company, for each of the employees, is decisive for teamwork to work.
Decisions must be made in consensus with all team members. Discussing the different ideas and integrating people will bring better results than if the actions are taken unilaterally by the team leaders.
Feeling involved in the whole project also contributes to a higher degree of commitment and sense of belonging.
The work team has to be perfectly defined and organized. The tasks of each employee must be planned. This requires:
- a project that reflects the objectives,
- the means available or necessary to achieve them,
- the periods for achieving each of them and contemplating possible risks.
Although it is the team leader who usually makes the final planning, it is important to reflect the ideas of the employees and they agree with everything before imposing anything.
Only when team members are committed to the project, it can achieve success. People commit when they trust and believe in what they are doing. The commitment of a team member will result in a pattern of imitation that can be extended to the rest of the group.
Trust in the Team
Trust in others is necessary and essential in teamwork. This trust is earned by what you say but, above all, by what you do.
Collaboration between team members is very necessary. This is the only way to achieve your goals. No matter how well a person works, teamwork will not work if they do not act in harmony and trust each other.
Five Activities to Encourage Teamwork
Working as a team increases the effectiveness of the results, but it is not always easy for very different people to fit together. That is why it is advisable in companies to carry out activities to encourage teamwork:
One of them makes a drawing that the rest cannot see. They will have to draw what they think it is, with the instructions given by the person who made the drawing. At the end, the original will be compared with what each of the team members have painted.
With the same guidelines, the drawings are usually so varied that reflection on the importance of listening, speaking and interpreting the words of others is encouraged.
This group dynamic serves to analyze the skills of each person and, thus, to distribute the tasks correctly.
What does it consist in? The team members are divided into several groups. All the teams will have the task of creating the same number of paper cubes, but they will have different materials.
For example, one group will have one pair of scissors and another group will have three, and so on. Once the test is over, the quality and quantity of the cubes made will be checked. The process, results and problem solving will be analysed.
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In this teamwork activity the team is divided in two. They will compete to finish a challenge, such as a puzzle, in a given time.
With this exercise we will see the difficulties that arise in the organization of work, the conflicts for leadership, how they negotiate with each other and how they dialogue. By seeing all these situations, it will be possible to solve the deficiencies better.
This group activity serves to improve collaboration between workers, encourage communication and teach how to make decisions in an equitable manner.
Different people play roles of a young man, an old man, a child, a middle-aged woman, a priest, etc. – the rest of the members will have to come to an agreement to save just one. They will have to decide which decision would be the most correct one not to end the human species. This is one of the most fun team-building activities.
In this case, one person will act as a dissatisfied customer and another as a dependent who must resolve the situation. The attitude, words and, in short, the way in which the emotional intelligence is used to transform a dissatisfied client into a happy one, will be valued.
The rest of the team members will go through each of the roles and the cases will be varied so that the latter do not have more time to think than the former.
Just Get Started
Establishing positive teamwork and collaboration is a time consuming and painstaking process, but it worths it. Once you get started your employees would act like a united unstoppable working power.