5 Easy Ways To Improve Workplace Teamwork
How often have you heard your manager or colleague say “Teamwork makes the dream work”?
It’s a cheesy saying with a ring of truth to it, but there’s still a tendency for people to work in isolated silos rather than as teams.
The fact is that many workforces are riddled with poor communication, low morale, or general apathy – all factors that slowly erode any inkling of teamwork and company performance.
When it comes to improving teamwork, you can’t simply improve ways of working for the sake of it; instead you and your team should establish what it is you can achieve by working as a more close-knit and supportive team.
Be it hitting sales targets, generating greater employee performance, coming up with new products or creating new innovative methods of serving your customer base, once you’ve established the ‘what’, then you can focus on ‘how’ best to work towards those goals.
If creating a healthy team ethic is something that you value in your workplace, here are 5 easy steps that will give your team the right conditions to develop and grow together.
Communication, Communication, Communication
Good communication is the key to anything good human beings do, and at the heart of any great workforce.
That’s why it’s important to have a healthy work environment that promotes discussion and collaboration.
People may not always agree with one another, but sometimes difference can be the catalyst for bigger and better ideas.
So, how do you enable good communication?
Be clear to your colleagues; set the tone early.
Are you all clear on what you’re trying to achieve? Is the way forward easy to explain? Will there be plenty of opportunities for open discussions as a team? Get everyone on the same page!
Pay attention to what the people around you have to say; and consider their thoughts before offering your own.
The modern, technology-enabled world gives us so many means of communication, but it’s important to use ones that everyone feels comfortable using.
Email? Possibly old hat.
Skype (or similar messaging) that encourages open and honest discussion? Could be just the ticket, so long as your teams are happy using it and actions are extracted and taken forward on a more suitable platform, like your project management software.
Whichever methods of communication you favour, just make sure that your team is happy and comfortable with them too.
Regular Team Exercises
We’re not talking about a group outing to the gym here (although some companies have certainly seen the well-being benefits of doing regular physical exercise together as a team) but team building exercises.
Not the day-long forced groan fests habitually lambasted on TV comedy shows – rather, productivity-boosting exercises that might take as little as five or 10 minutes.
Before you decide upon the exercise, think about what your team needs to improve upon.
Do they need to become more familiar and comfortable with each other? Do they need conflict resolution?
Team building exercises don’t always have to be centred around trust falls and meditation – there are plenty of fun and interesting exercises that cater to your specific needs.
Recognise And Reward Team Members For Great Work
Well-rewarded employees are happier employees.
So don’t hold back: let your colleagues know that they are valued and show gratitude for their work when the opportunity arises.
This will create a more trustworthy environment, and also increase the feelings of self-worth that people need in order to perform at their best.
If you’re a team leader, it’s vital that you reward people where you can.
This doesn’t just have to be monetary. It could be a company-wide email highlighting an individual’s impressive work, a promotion or gift token, or simply an in-person expression of thanks for their hard work.
Smashed your sales target? Hit a major milestone? Organisation looking in good shape at the end of a tough year?
Turn on a bit of Kool and the Gang because it’s time to celebrate!
Celebrating your success as a team produces an amazingly positive effect, because it promotes a sense of togetherness and boosts happiness that can pervade the whole workforce.
It could be as simple as a casual Friday morning meeting where you discuss the small successes of the week, or it could be a huge gathering that celebrates everyone’s hard work over the year.
No matter how big or small they might be, just make sure your celebrations are frequent.
Within no time whatsoever, you’ll see how much your organisation’s culture productivity and, yes, profitability will improve.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is this: teamwork is invaluable, and could be the difference between a company’s success or failure.
Improving teamwork doesn’t just happen overnight. Like many things, it’s a process. So, all you can do is create an environment conducive to the development and maintenance of great collaboration and togetherness.
After all, coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is a success.