We’ve all heard the idiom, ‘Teamwork makes the dream work’ before, whether it was in the primary school playground or the recent stand-up meeting, it consistently rings true.
The phrase can be first attributed to John Maxwell, an American Clergyman. Although Maxwell’s version was a little longer - the original quote is “Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team”.
This phrase has been hammered into employees worldwide as working from home took off and the challenges of remote teamwork were discovered. If you reflect on teams that you are part of, did the pandemic make them stronger? Did you learn more about how you work in teams? And, did you discover how your leaders excel at what they do?
If you answered yes to any of the above, then it is clear that you understand the benefits of teamwork and how it can boost workplace relations. Below is an outline of how teamwork can benefit an individual as well as your colleagues.
Benefits of Teamwork
1. Working with other people promotes creativity and critical thinking
The more people there are in your team, the larger the shared pool of intelligence and experience is going to be. When drafting up new ideas for work, or analysing existing processes and decisions, the more perspectives on the issue, the more variations or suggestions will arise. Perhaps one of these suggestions is the solution that the team is looking for.
Team members are far more likely to critically think about an idea than the creator of the idea themselves. Essentially, the constructive criticism and critical thinking that comes with a team critiquing an idea will inevitably lead to better ideas and solutions being shared.
2. Teamwork inspires people to work harder
Nobody wants to get a bad reputation around the office, especially for being a poor and unmotivated worker. A person’s fear of negative judgement and the need to present well to other people will drive them to work harder and produce an output that others can be satisfied with.
Encouraging team members to share their work is a great way to discreetly identify those who are producing the least output - their human desire to have a positive image will intrinsically motivate them to achieve more.
3. Teamwork improves employee morale
As people, we love to talk and gossip with our colleagues about the plethora of events in our personal and professional lives. When people work in a team, they are often collaborating to achieve a common goal - when this team consists of friends and those who trust each other, it is more likely that employees will come to work excited to collaborate with those they like.
The sense of belonging that comes along with working in a team is also essential to boosting morale in your workplace. When people feel that they belong they are more likely to share ideas and provide their honest thoughts on certain topics - honesty that is needed in order for the business to operate as best it can.
When rostering for business, friction can be generated as others are seen to get more favourable treatment. Squares Team Management and rostering software are open and transparent, allowing employees to efficiently see when they are working and for how long. Avoid miscommunication with Squares innovative and beautifully designed rostering software.
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4. Working together, learning together
As previously mentioned, when we work in a team, each member has a collection of intelligence and personal experiences they can bring to the table when brainstorming. This wealth of knowledge is often shared when collaborating as members of the team learn together - the excitement that comes along with learning new skills is yet another way in which morale can be boosted, and in turn, productivity. If team members are learning together then their work is destined to improve as their skills grow stronger in their respective roles.
Qualities of a great team
1. Honest communication
When working in a team, it is critical that all members are open and honest with each other. When honesty takes the back seat, the productivity of the team decreases as ideas aren’t critiqued enough and a sense of distrust may brew between members. Teams with honest communication will talk through ideas, share valuable opinions and are more productive.
The very nature of a team is that all members are there to support one another. In a work setting this is the same - colleagues should be there to support you and do what it takes to help you become a productive member of the team. If a team consists of supportive members, no matter how many people fall ill, they will never become unproductive - this is because others will offer to help out and manage the work of those who are being supported.
Although teams don’t need a leader in the traditional sense, it is important to have an individual who has oversight over all the work and the progress the team is making. An excellent leader will use their oversight, not to criticise employees, but to motivate them to achieve more. Efficient leaders should not see themselves as superior but as an equal with other team members - leaders have an increased responsibility to ensure that everyone is supported. A person who recognises this is a great asset to any team.
6. Have Fun
Teamwork isn’t always about work - you can have fun whilst being in a team too. Many businesses encourage teams to get out of the office and engage in team-building activities. Perhaps this is a camp away or a trip to the local trampoline park - no matter the location, the purpose of having fun in a team remains the same - boost morale and increase productivity. Team members who have fun together will bond faster and become more trusting of one another in the workplace.
How to build a great team
Building a great team is a challenge, it takes hard work, communication and a drive to succeed. The world’s greatest teams have taken years to develop and work at their prime. Here are some tips on how to build a great team in your workplace.
1. Establish Expectations
When working as a team it is important that everyone has the same understanding of what is expected from them and others. If expectations and requirements are not outlined at the start a team can become unproductive if a member falters. Expectations also set a level of accountability throughout the team - if everyone understands what is required of them then members are more likely to remain accountable to their commitments.
Whether you’re a leader or a team member, it is critical that you have respect for everyone. Teams that work with respect and integrity have high morale and a strong drive to succeed - recognising people for their achievements and awarding them with respect will establish a strong work ethic amongst the members.
3. Be positive
Your team may have missed a deadline, or someone may have fallen through with their work. instead of using negativity to motivate, use positivity. If all team members are there to pick up the one that’s fallen behind, it is almost certain that the team will move past it and prosper on the other side. Engaging with other team members will establish a positive motivation to work.
There is no point in having a team of people who are all experts on one issue. Diversifying your team with experts from different sectors of the business, or from different cultures will provide a balanced approach to ideas that are suggested. The more people who critically analyse and apply their knowledge to an idea, the more thorough and thought out it will be.
Teams are essential
Throughout your life, you will encounter teams at almost every turn. Learning how to be a team player will motivate you for future success whilst also improving your interpersonal skills. If the past two years have taught us anything, it is that those who work well in a team are much more likely to succeed with drive and vigour. Implement some of the suggestions in this article to increase productivity and morale in your office.