Top Tips for Effective Teamwork
Effective teamwork is the key to a successful business, as it increases productivity levels and produces better solutions to problems. Companies that foster a friendly and collaborative work environment will be the ones to succeed in the business world.
For a team to work effectively, the team should look at the group climate and the process in which they will complete their tasks. Here are some of our top tips for effective teamwork:
1. Make teamwork a priority and reward teamwork
Assess how a new employee contributes to teamwork as part of the business’s annual performance review. Let them know that their performance in a team will be assessed and that they’re expected to work well with others. Acknowledging workers for their efforts in working as a team can provide the proper motivation for being better team players. A Team Player of the Month Award can see someone rewarded with a dinner, cash or a gift certificate.
2. Clarify roles, responsibilities and accountabilities
For the team to succeed, each member should know what their role and responsibility is in the team, and what the roles/responsibilities of others are. Team members should also make an agreement on what needs to be done and who it should be performed by, and each member must be responsible and accountable for completing their own tasks. However, sharing duties or helping others is also important when a member is away, unable to complete their task on time, or doesn’t have the aptitude or necessary training for the job.
3. Set clear goals
A team that has specific goals and completion deadlines for tasks will work together more effectively than a team without goals. A team that also has an agreed mission and purpose with clear expectations for how the team should work together to achieve the desired outcomes is important for effective teamwork.
4. Communicate with each other
Team members need to be able to communicate their thoughts, opinions, ideas and feelings clearly and openly in a positive and respectful manner. Everyone should also listen to each other and ask questions for clarification purposes. This will lead to a healthy group climate and an effective work process.
5. Make decisions together
Making decisions should be based on open dialogue with all members offering their ideas and solutions to problems. Members should have the team’s support and commitment not only when making decisions, but also when carrying them out.
6. Build trust and get to know each other better
Trust can be gained through each team member demonstrating their accountability for work that’s assigned to them. With trust, members can feel comfortable taking risks to communicate, advocate positions and take action. Team members that trust each other can also share their ideas and feelings while being respectful of others. A great way to build trust is to hang out with your co-workers outside of the office and use this time to get to know each other better. Talk about your strengths and interests, and this way you’ll both know how you can play to each other’s strengths and interests in the workplace.
7. Celebrate differences/diversity
A team should celebrate and accept member differences and their diverse backgrounds, as well as the value each one brings to the team. It’s also important to view team members as unique individuals and to concentrate on the positive attributes of each member. Everyone is different, be it their experiences, viewpoints, knowledge and opinions, and sharing these to the team can make for better teamwork.
8. Examine and improve teamwork processes and practices
The team should be able to discuss team norms and what is stopping them from moving forward and progressing as a business. The team’s progress should be reviewed regularly, possibly on a weekly basis, and issues and conflicts dealt with in a productive manner. If a resolution can’t be made, then ask your supervisor for advice and help. Constructive feedback should be given, and should be focused on ideas and behaviours, being positive, and providing suggestions for improving work processes. Everyone should also help each other in developing and using strategies to achieve their goals.
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