Building Teamwork

In sports, teamwork wins championships; stars win awards. Raw talent alone will not sustain a team to championship level. But a cohesive, harmonious, united team will. This is true in competitive sports and even more so in business. What championship teams and successful businesses each posess is an organization built on talented players, working as a single unit while executing a well designed plan. As in sports, every business, regardless of size, needs a plan of attack to achieve its goals.

Create a Culture of Teamwork Among the Employees

Building teamwork is an integral process of developing a business. Employers must identify and clearly define why their business exists and what their goals are. Having a cohesive plan for success entails developing goals, including creating sound business strategies, objectives, and tactics. Determining and setting specific goals, that is, specifying desired end points, gives a business manager the opportunity to create the necessary course of actions that the company takes to achieve these goals.

Objectives Make a Plan Accountable

Objectives are the measurable element of a strategy. Objectives indicate, specifically, what outcomes are desired. While goals set a broad direction (i.e. ‘increase market share’), objectives provide the accountability, which ensures that the team knows when it has achieved success. An example of an objective related to ‘increase market share’ might be to grow revenues in XYZ product line to equal 25 percent of corporate revenues by the end of the year. That’s an objective that the entire team can agree upon.

The ‘How’ and ‘What’ of a Plan

Strategies and tactics indicate how and what a company will do to achieve its goals and objectives. Strategies provide general guidance, such as engage in social media activities, while tactics outline specific tasks that will be done, such as set up a Facebook business page or set up Twitter account. Ultimately, all of the strategies and tactics work together for planning success.

Employees must comprehend and acknowledge their role in pursuing these goals and how their responsibilities interact with those of other employees or departments.

Businesses need teamwork to survive. Businesses have found that the key to successfully completing and accomplishing projects is often through the development of teams. Whereas in the past, teamwork was used only for special projects, now it is often the norm. Teamwork has become an essential element for the success and survival of a business.

Reward Collaboration to Build Effective Teams

True collaboration, however, is a problem that plagues companies when trying to develop a teamwork friendly environment. It becomes a problem because individuality is too often rewarded more often than team participation. Managers must be able to develop ways for associates to grow and develop as a team. Team building is not always the easiest task to accomplish, but effective teams can be built.

To make teamwork happen, these powerful actions must occur:

  • Management leaders communicate the clear expectation that teamwork and collaboration are expected. Provide training in systematic methods, so that the team expends its energy on the project. No one completely owns a work area or process all by himself. People who do own work processes and positions are encouraged to be open and receptive to ideas and input from others on the team.
  • Key managers model teamwork in their interaction with each other and the rest of the organization. They maintain teamwork even when things are going wrong and the temptation is to slip back into former team unfriendly behavior.
  • Rewarded and recognized teamwork. Compensation, bonuses, and rewards depend on collaborative practices as much as individual contribution and achievement.
  • Form teams to solve real work issues and to improve real work processes. Provide training in systematic methods so the team expends its energy on the project, not on figuring out how to work together as a team. Employees will learn and appreciate the importance and value of other employees’ jobs.
  • Hold department meetings to review projects and progress, to obtain broad input, and to coordinate shared work processes. Team members must agree upon how they will deliver a product or a service or the steps required to get something done.
  • Build fun and shared occasions into the organization’s agenda.
  • Celebrate team successes publicly. A job well done, the successful achievement of a major goal, the passing a crucial milestone are all reasons to celebrate. To publicly acknowledge each individual who contributed to that success will help enlist these same people for all other goals.

In addition to building a stronger company, building teamwork also:

  • Improves employee communication skills
  • Increases motivation
  • Makes workplace more enjoyable
  • Gets everyone on the same page
  • Recognizes good work
  • Helps participants learn about themselves