We all have experience working in a team in the workplace, on the sports field, or in a social environment. From these experiences, we all know the signs of poorly functioning teams – weak unity, poor communication, low trust, and missed milestones. Not to mention the lack of fun and celebration. On the other-side, there’s something to be said for a team operating in the “zone” – when work becomes effortless, supportive, constructive, and incredibly satisfying.
So exactly why does teamwork matter and what can be done to make it happen?
Why is teamwork important in the workplace?
Exactly why is teamwork important in the workplace? A healthy team provides benefits for the individual, the organization, and society as a whole:
When an individual is seen as a contributing member of a team he/she feels appreciated and derives intangible benefits such as feelings of self-worth, happiness, and contentment. This provides stimulation, a sense of achievement, and intellectual learning.
The organization benefits from the high productivity that teamwork delivers. Healthy teams mean engaged employees and a vibrant workplace culture.
Society gains a boost by having healthy people and corporations contributing their time to the good through volunteerism, community events, and building supportive infrastructure.
How to enable teamwork in the workplace?
Teamwork does not happen on its own. It needs to be catalyzed, becoming part of workplace culture and integral to people, processes and culture. Once that happens, workplaces become more fun, productive, and creative.
Here are 6 ways to enable teamwork in the workplace. Brainstorming is not one of them.
1. Divide up the work - Sort out who will do what, according to their expertise, interest, and availability
2. Ask for help - When you need inspiration, expertise or support, ask for it.
3. Work out loud - Overcome poor internal communications with a regular ‘standup’ meeting where everyone provides a quick informal update of where they are at can be a game changer here.
4. Share a prototype - Share a draft or sketch — a prototype or outline of where you are headed with your teammates for input.
5. Build in a review process - Doing this at the concept stage will bring the team into detailed alignment and often catch requirements that would otherwise get missed.
6. Celebrate together - Appreciate the work of your teammates. Take time to say ‘thanks’ for small, specific contributions to the team effort. And when you do achieve a milestone towards your goal, take time to celebrate together