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Teamwork in the Workplace: How Important Is It?

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Summary: While being able to work alone to produce a finished product is an important ability, being able to work as part of a team to produce a product is important as well.

A workplace lacking in teamwork will find that its goals come secondary to those of their employees, resulting in very little success for the company

Independence is a trait that many strive for and what a lot of companies look for in potential employees. While being able to work alone to produce a finished product is an important ability, being able to work as part of a team to produce a product is important as well. Leslie Palich of Pepperdine University suggests that teams are more productive and their work leads to the making of valuable new products.
 
Good recruiters and workplace managers understand that teamwork does not magically happen or come together because of one person. All members of the team have to be willing and prepared to work as a cohesive unit. When teamwork is not encouraged, being able to achieve goals and objectives as a company may become difficult because everyone has their own agenda. Ensuring that everyone works towards one goal instead of their own personal goal will improve efficiency and a healthy workplace.
 
No one can get through their entire career without having to work in a team at some point. The more practice your workforce has toward teamwork, the easier it will be for them to work and communicate as a team. Your employees will pick up valuable tricks and skills that can be used in future teams so that they are more effective with this team than previous ones where they had to learn through mistakes concerning what works and what doesn’t work.
 
Teamwork makes everyone want to be unified. A team that is able to maintain a level of friendship and loyalty will be able to utilize a close-knit relationship that translates into more efficient work. Team members who trust their coworkers will work harder, cooperate more, and be supportive of others. Every member of a team brings to the table different talents, strengths, habits, skills, and weaknesses. By blending these different abilities, they can mesh and form one stronger unit.
 
More opportunities for brainstorming and collaborating ideas occurs within a team. Being able to use the diversity of thought, perspectives, creativity, problem solving approaches, and opportunities from a team will produce more innovative results. Gathering a team together to bounce ideas off each other and build upon those ideas will enable projects to reach greater heights than if just one person was doing all the work. Also, when someone is working alone on a problem, they often will take the safer route to a solution whereas a team will find more creative ways through shared confidence to effectively solve the problem.
 
Teamwork improves efficiency and productivity. Teamwork strategies allow for employees to share the workload, ensuring each task is completed on time. When employees are sharing the workload, pressure is taken off of just one individual to get everything done so that goals can be reached together. This increases job satisfactions and performance. Having happy workers makes a company successful and more profitable than if stressed-out employees were carrying the load.
 
Teamwork provides more learning opportunities. The world is filled with people with different ideas, cultures, backgrounds, and experience. Being able to work alongside others will allow for individuals to learn from the mistakes that another makes without having to also make the same mistake. If future errors can be avoided, everyone benefits. Newer members of the team are also able to learn from more experienced members so that new concepts can be picked up easier and faster. More skills can be developed with fresh ideas from fellow coworkers towards effective approaches and solutions to common problems. Teamwork encourages others from these different walks of life to find a way of communicating and learning from each other, even if the learning is not directly realized. Often, we find ourselves learning about another team member just by being around them and seeing how they interact with others.
 
Teamwork builds a workplace synergy. Everyone has shared goals and mutual support for their team members. This results in a greater sense of accomplishment for everyone involved. In an effective team, everyone will know their role and responsibilities, leaving no doubt about what is expected of them by their team.
 
Teamwork serves as a support network. Everyone can use a sounding board at certain stages of their job. Not having a safe place to go bounce off ideas and express concerns may leave an employee alone and isolated within the company. A workplace lacking teamwork will be filled with individuals who have their own way of thinking. There will be no unity in how to help the company succeed. Employees will be concerned with their own goals and success instead of the company’s. A company with employees engaged in teamwork will help each other meet deadlines.
 
As a manager, you should know that for an employee to be a team player they must be committed to not leaving anyone out, to going the extra mile, to listening and asking questions, to growing their knowledge base, and to solving problems in a professional manner. Every company will have different levels of teamwork established and expected from their employees. Some may have very relaxed teams that only require heavy collaboration during deadlines or special projects. Other companies may rely on close teamwork at all times. It is paramount that your employees find a style of team that works toward what they want to achieve during their careers.
 
As a manager, you can improve teamwork practices by providing guidelines to help eliminate the struggles many face with teamwork. These include implementing recognition programs, encouraging social activities, outlining clear roles, identifying existing problems, mediating disputes. Rewarding groups that have good performance and encouraging them to attend even simple social activities will go a long way in getting teams to find ways to get along and work harmoniously. You can also do your part to allow teams to have places to meet and the proper tools to get their work done.
 
Photo: pixabay.com
 
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