- Elon Musk, Investor & Entrepreneur
With any job, whether it be at a small restaurant or even large corporate office, teamwork is essential to keep productivity and morale high. Humans at their core are social creatures. They crave validation from others and to hear that the work they’re contributing is worthwhile.
Working at a place where you don’t feel valued can add to resentment towards both the business and your colleagues. In this article, we’ll explain why teamwork in the workplace is so important and how to make it effective.
WHAT IS TEAMWORK?
Teamwork is working with your co-workers or teammates to best achieve an overall goal that will benefit everyone. In some workplaces, there are team-building exercises and even workshops to increase these skills. How have you experienced teamwork in your workplace? Especially for small business, teamwork is essential to making everyone happy.
It’s most important when someone is just hired on and they feel awkward around their colleagues. Easily integrating them into the group won’t just help them but you as well. Every person has their own set of skills and there’s a reason they were hired in the first place.
TRUSTING YOUR TEAM MEMBERS
In order to feel like your teamwork is effective, you need to be able to trust your colleagues. If you’re feeling rushed for time on your project, you need to be able to trust that your co-workers can do their part of the project.
It doesn’t feel fair when you spend hours on your part and they’re either running late into the meeting or say they’re not prepared. Most workplaces have colleagues working together constantly five days a week. If you’re spending so much time with someone, you need to feel like you can trust them, and that they can trust you.
While boundaries are important to separate work from your home life, it’s also important to establish clear areas of communication. Whether that be via email or even on your personal smartphone, being able to communicate your needs and even what you need from them is important.
Understanding how they communicate is also essential. Maybe a co-worker isn’t good at promptly replying, but they still get the job done. Asking them how best they can communicate with you would only improve their efficiency in a team.
Teams that don’t understand each other’s different communication styles (or can’t come to an agreement on which communication style makes everyone most efficient) can lead to disaster at work.
Alongside that, if you feel that one colleague isn’t trying to understand what you need to say, it’s important to communicate that. Sometimes there’s drama inside the team, but people are quite different. If one person’s personality isn’t compatible with the other, a team might fall apart.
DIFFERENCE IN SKILLS
As well as not always having similar communication styles, different people also have different skills and experience. One person might have been in the business for almost 40 years while another is really trying to set themselves apart because of lack of experience. Some people are more tech-savvy than others while some excel at public speaking and leadership.
It’s important to really understand which team member excels at what. There are some situations that might prove to be a big obstacle. In the cases of diversity in skills, some obstacles can be easily overcome if you are at the point of really understanding who can add what to the table and succeed.
This is where team-building exercises can come in handy. Take the time to really get to know your colleagues and come to a mutual understanding what each person’s role is in the group. This also adds to trust amongst your colleagues.
CONFIDENCE IN YOUR TEAM
Not only does having trust and a sense of understanding add to the overall efficiency of your team, but it can add more confidence and high self-worth in the workplace. Knowing how much you added to a group in one place will give you the confidence to do something similar in another.
Being confident in one another will allow everyone to even take risks that sometimes pay off and even put you in a good standing with your boss. Although you really shouldn’t consider your co-workers your closest friends, it’s definitely okay to be friendly and polite.
RESPECTING EACH OTHER’S IDEAS
Teammates should also allow for a space that creates openness when sharing ideas. If there’s a big project coming up, you want to hear what everyone has to say. Even if something someone offers isn’t something you would personally want to do, there’s a good chance someone else will like the idea. Being respectful of each other’s ideas and feeling is very essential.
At the same time though, colleagues need to also be able to offer constructive criticism and take it themselves as well. Not just within a team but taking criticism is an essential skill.
If everyone in your group doesn’t really think an idea of yours will work, ask them for feedback as to why. It’ll help you really hone your ideas for next time. If you feel hurt by ideas being rejected, remind yourself that sometimes your ideas aren’t always without flaws. Having different perspectives can really perfect any project you find yourself working on.
SUPPORTING YOUR TEAM
Support is also something that we need to talk about. If you find yourself getting frustrated or burnt out, you need to be able to confide in your teammates so that they aren’t surprised if your attention isn’t completely focused on the task at hand.
No one will be able to always be efficient and it’s definitely okay to ask for help. Most of the time, colleagues will be more than happy to offer you help if you’re struggling in your personal life or even on the project.
In conclusion, making a team excel is harder than it looks. Having a good team is like a well-oiled machine. If everyone doesn’t do their fair share, then the machine might start to break down. It still works, but not as efficiently as it could. With these tips and tricks, however, you can really add to the overall sense of trust and teamwork when it comes to your own workplace.
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Thought leaders & celebrities share their tactics for success on the Lisnic podcast by Lisa Teh & Nick Bell