How To Improve Teamwork & Collaboration In The Workplace
Productivity

How To Improve Teamwork & Collaboration In The Workplace

By
Derek Abram
|
CEO of Prio
|
6 min read

Henry Ford once famously said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” He was talking about teamwork, and this could not be more true.

As challenges and goals in workplaces get more complex and challenging, achieving these goals is all but impossible for a single person, no matter how intelligent and talented that person may be. It takes a combination of different skills and effective collaboration to do so, something that can only be achieved by a team.

However, you, as a team manager or SMB owner, will often need to teach teams how to make the best of their diverse talents, give them a sense of working towards something bigger than themselves, and inspire them to grow and achieve success through collaboration. 

Done the right way, teamwork and collaboration will help the individuals in a team improve their individual skills as well.

Here’s why teamwork is crucial to a smooth business along with great tips on how to improve teamwork in the workplace and encourage collaboration.

Importance of teamwork

While teamwork may make the dream work, not everyone feels they fit into team dynamics, or that they even need to be a part of a team. This makes it necessary for managers and team leaders to impress the importance of teamwork upon them.

Here’s why your employees need to know why teamwork is important. When people realize their strengths and recognize the strengths of their colleagues while working as a team, they create stronger teams and stronger teams achieve success more easily.

There is also the fact that any obstacle is easier to overcome when the effort is shared as opposed to having to deal with it alone.

Simply put, a strong and dynamic team is guaranteed to help your business achieve more success. 

Here are some of the top reasons why teamwork is important.

Integrate new ideas

Business environments are more competitive than ever, and innovation is key to achieving success in today’s marketplace. This means your team needs to be able to brainstorm and come up with new approaches to finding solutions.

This also means you will need to encourage your team to voice out their opinions, because if you do not, you may leave hidden brilliance untapped. 

Improved problem solving

With rapid advances in technology and stiff competition, problem-solving is one of the key functions of any team. For example, how do you add more value to your existing customer experience?

While in the past, managers were tasked with finding these solutions, it is now clear that by leveraging the different skills and strengths in a team, encouraging discussions as a team, and working on those ideas in real-time, businesses will be able to find more effective and efficient solutions. 

However, you as facilitators and managers need to remember that brainstorming and discussing ideas is not limited to picking each other’s brains until you find one great idea. 

It is more about finding that one great idea as a beginning block and encouraging your team to build on that idea until it is an effective solution. 

Build morale

Job satisfaction and employee morale go hand in hand, and you can improve both by encouraging positive teamwork in your organization.

When you recognize the strengths of your teams (both as individuals and as a group), listen to their feedback, and give them a safe environment to voice opinions in the workplace, your employees will feel a sense of camaraderie towards each other and ownership towards their responsibilities. 

Implement self-monitoring

Teamwork brings individual strengths and weaknesses to the forefront. As a result, it becomes obvious who the ones lagging behind are and which employees are ahead of the curve. 

By encouraging self-monitoring exercises, you will find that your employees will have a better sense of their responsibilities in the larger scheme of things. Teamwork activities also help build a sense of ownership among employees.

Create workplace synergy

Teamwork encourages employees to depend on each other and promotes peer-to-peer learning. This often helps individuals upskill and build expertise faster and more effectively. 

This is why it is a good idea to host collaborative events to create workplace synergy, where you can promote teamwork while enabling employees to pick up new skills. 

How to improve teamwork in the workplace

Now that we’ve established why teamwork and collaboration are crucial to the well-being of any business, let’s take a look at how to improve teamwork in the workplace.

Build diverse teams

While building a team, it may seem easier to hire people with similar skills, similar educational backgrounds, from the same geographical area, and similar cultures. However, by doing so, you are building a team where everyone thinks alike, and that, in most cases, stifles creativity.

A team of similar people is likely to be limited in the way they approach situations in that all of them are likely to come up with similar solutions.

When you build a team of people from diverse backgrounds, what you get is different and unique perspectives, which means more skills, different perspectives while looking at problems, varied approaches to finding solutions, more ideas to discuss, and overall, more efficient and thorough decision making.

Set clear goals

It is always essential that you set clear goals and benchmarks for your team to achieve. Knowing exactly what they need to work towards can instill a sense of purpose and energy to achieve that purpose in them.

Define excellence 

Set benchmarks for your team so that they know what excellence looks like, and what they ought to strive towards. 

Be sure to define excellence for each role, and not only for the end goal. That way, all your team members will feel enthused to deliver better-quality results. 

Define roles and responsibilities

Clearly defining roles and responsibilities is essential to make sure there is no redundancy within the team, and that everyone knows what they are individually accountable for. 

If these aspects are not defined, you may find that a lot of time and effort is being wasted because multiple people may be working on the same tasks.

Encourage transparent communication

While we all know that communication is of paramount importance to keep your team functioning smoothly, it often gets overlooked in the hustle and bustle of daily operations. 

Transparent and frequent communication ensures that everyone on the team is on the same page at every point of the project they are working on. This is especially important when you need to deal with remote teams who cannot interact with the same frequency as an in-house team.

Give teams autonomy

It is hard to deliver results and work productively when you always have someone looking over your shoulder, nitpicking your every decision. 

Your team would have a lot more ownership and be more productive if you allowed team members autonomy to make decisions related to their roles.

By doing so, not only do you empower individuals in the team, but it also helps promote trust within the team itself. 

Create learning opportunities

Working as part of a team does not always come naturally to everyone. This means you need to facilitate this for them through learning opportunities. 

Team building workshops and talks by qualified professionals from outside your organization will not only teach your team how to work together more cohesively, but you will also find that employee engagement and satisfaction are greatly enhanced. 

Help teams self measure

Another great way to empower your team is to have them self-measure their productivity and performance. There are a host of great productivity tools that you could choose from, such as Prio’s time tracker.

Prio’s time tracker is an easy-to-use tool that you could send even your own remote teams easily as a link through emails. The tracker will enable your team to track not only their productivity but also their breaks. 

This will enable them to see where their time could be used more efficiently and make changes if needed.

Conclusion

Strong teams don’t just help get the job done more efficiently. They also go a long way in helping employees build camaraderie, reduce absenteeism, and control attrition to a great extent. All of these things contribute to making the organization more profitable. 

Building a strong team, however, is anything but easy. It takes patience, nurturing, and a fair amount of trial and error until you have that perfect team. The tips we’ve mentioned above are sure to help you build an inclusive, focused, and goal-oriented team. 

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