You’ve probably heard the saying, “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know.” In a similar way, employee satisfaction in a workplace tends to rely less on the actual job and more on the company culture. This is why, as a leader, it pays to know how to improve teamwork skills.
Teamwork skills are important for more than just work. The essence of teamwork exists when you’re in school. It also is a part of all your meaningful relationships in life.
Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash
Importance Of Teamwork And Collaboration
Teamwork brings people together to work towards a common goal. The importance of teamwork and collaboration does not go unnoticed.
When people work together, they can feel more satisfied and part of something bigger.
Working together entails all of the following, plus more:
- Leaders: Leaders emerge in teams. They help to motivate team members and keep everyone aligned on the path to success.
- Communicate: When working together, you open up lines of communication. In this way, you can share your ideas and express your concerns.
- Benefit Of Different Skill Sets: People can definitely work alone. But when you bring people from diverse backgrounds together, you get the added value of mixed skill sets. This can create better outcomes.
- New And Creative Skills: Through communication, team members can come up with new and creative ideas.
- Problem-Solving Is Maximized: Since everyone approaches a problem with a different perspective, working together makes problem-solving easier. Your teammate may see a solution that you otherwise wouldn’t think of!
How To Improve Teamwork Skills
Teamwork takes work. People have different points of views, skills, and histories. So, when bringing groups together, there is bound to be some tension at times.
However, there are ways to improve teamwork skills. Here are 9 ideas for how to improve teamwork:
1. Know Your Goal
People in teams are working towards a common goal. At the same time, every individual may have their own smaller goals to reach. Everyone should know their goals and what they are responsible for. This way, nothing falls through the cracks. Also, everyone understands how their contribution adds to the bigger picture and value.
2. Clarify Your Roles
Within a team, everyone should also understand their responsibilities. By understanding, you can help to avoid anyone overstepping boundaries.
3. Positive Mindset
Everything you do comes down to your mindset. If you can help to foster a caring and supportive environment, you can help promote positive mindsets. When problems arise, people should feel empowered to solve them. A positive mindset also means that people feel able to address anything that comes their way.
4. Manage Time Efficiently
In teams, one person’s work may rely on another’s. So, it’s important to practice proper time management and communicate deadlines.
5. Share Enthusiasm
Everyone feels better when they receive positive feedback. It’s really important to celebrate one another and share enthusiasm.
6. Exercise Together
Another way to build teamwork outside of the boardroom or classroom is outside activities. Exercising is just one idea to help strengthen teamwork. Exercising helps train a positive mindset and also requires motivation, just like work.
7. Establish Team Rules And Purpose
People should feel free to share their opinions and speak candidly with one another in a team. Yet, there still needs to be some guiding rules. As a manager or leader, it’s up to you to build these and share them with the team.
8. Do Not Complain
Complaining is wasted energy. More often than not, a complaint is just a problem that has a solution. Rather than complaining about it, you can work together to solve the issue.
9. Do Not Fight Over Credit
Give credit where credit is due and celebrate all wins, even if they feel small.
Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash
There are many different ideas and tips to support teamwork skills in the workplace.
1. Resource Management
To know how to keep things moving forward and properly allocated both employees and technological tools, resource management is crucial to optimizing teamwork.
2. Collaboration Tools
You can utilize collaborative tools to support teams working together, even when they operate remotely. For example, Google Docs is a good word-processing tool that allows for easy collaboration through comments and suggested editing.
Reminding everyone to be aware of their attitude and contributions can help propel everyone in the right direction.
4. Encourage Innovation
Going hand in hand with forgiving mistakes is the ability to encourage innovation. You should remain open to trying new things and updating processes for the benefit of the work.
5. Focus On Purpose
It is a useful practice to remind everyone of goals regularly and focus on purpose.
6. Reward And Recognize
Be sure to take notice of good work and wins, no matter the size.
7. Take A Break
To avoid burnout, take breaks together while working in teams. Even if you work alone, but with a team in the bigger picture, it’s a good idea to step away from your computer or task to reset.
8. Accept Differences
With teams, people are bound to have different opinions and ideas. Be respectful and accept everyone for what they bring to the table.
9. Mediate Conflict Quickly
In both teams large and small, conflict and disagreement is bound to arrive. You can overcome these by hearing both sides and practicing conflict resolution. In the end, this will just make the team stronger.
10. Allow Contributions
Everyone in the team should feel like their opinions are worthy. It helps when everyone has a say in decision-making, no matter what role they play.
11. Don’t Micromanage
When people have a sense of responsibility and agency, it removes the need to micromanage them. Micromanagement is counterproductive for everyone as it is time-consuming and questions one’s ability.
12. Start Team Traditions
Teams are like little families. Consider implementing team traditions that everyone can take part in for bonding.
13. Make Hiring A Team Responsibility
Often, managers take on the role of hiring new employees. But the new employee will work alongside the team, so get a feel for how your team feels about those interviewing. After all, company culture is a huge priority.
14. Give Frequent Feedback
Feedback can come in the form of both positive and negative notes. Regardless of what it is, it’s a good idea to regularly provide feedback and be constructive. That way, team members can grow.
Useful Personal Skills
Coming together successfully in a team requires individual and personal skills. These are some of the most important traits and mindsets to have when working in a team:
- Practice overcommunication always; too much communication is always better than too little
- Be open to new ideas
- Give support and be open to receiving help
- Believe in yourself and trust your teammates
- Respect everyone and their opinions
- Be humble
- Be excited
- Celebrate small wins
The Bottom Line
Whether you are working in a team setting in school, online college, or a workplace, there are many skills that can help make the process seamless.
Teamwork doesn’t happen overnight. It often takes time to bond with one another and understand how people work differently. No matter your role in a team, when you practice humility, are supportive and open-minded, you can reap success together.