Teamwork is a crucial part of any business’s success. It helps your employees collaborate more effectively, increases their job engagement, and motivates them to contribute more to your company’s growth. However, not all leaders know how to improve teamwork properly.
While a quick search on the Internet would give you thousands of ways to enhance teamwork, we’re about to provide 10 practical tips that you can apply to your business today.
Why is Teamwork Important?
Teamwork means working together to accomplish mutual goals. Teamwork not only develops the connection between team members but also fastens your business workflow, thus boosting your business performance and profit.
To read more about the proven benefits of teamwork in the workplace, check out our detailed post here.
10 Effective Ways to Improve Teamwork in the Workplace
Here are the 10 most useful tips that help improve your company’s teamwork culture no matter what industry you’re in.
1. Start by establishing two-way communication
Teamwork can only work when team members communicate effectively and share their opinions openly. Two-way communication means both parties understand and value the voice of each other.
Make sure that every member’s ideas are heard, not just yours, or certain employees’.
Two-way communication also comes into play when conflicts arise in a team. Poor and one-sided communication may harm your team spirit and your business performance. Problems and misunderstandings can only be cleared up with both sides’ efforts.
2. Manage by being role model
A well-performed team is partly a result of excellent leadership. By stepping up as a role model for the rest of the team, you will not only gain their respect, but also spread the spirit to your team.
Being a role model means you don’t go against what you’ve told your staff to do. It’d be funny if you were tardy or treated others badly.
3. Understand the diversity
Many businesses prefer fixed, standard work procedures. And everyone is treated the same way.
There’s no doubt about the effectiveness of standardized stuff, but it doesn’t mean you should overlook the diversity of each individual.
Each person is unique, from the way they observe a subject to the way they process it. Sometimes, this might cause conflicts, disagreements, and arguments in your team.
Learning to respect different viewpoints and approaches to the same issue is never a waste of time. Put yourself in others’ shoes, and encourage your team members to do that, too.
4. Preserve and promote team culture
When a team works together long enough, they might build a solid team culture. The team culture could be shown through occasional meals together, or just simply some team-building activities in the afternoon. All of these activities have one thing in common: they bring members closer together and create a sense of unity.
Not only business owners should preserve workplace culture, but also need to promote and organize more activities to enhance team culture. A quick coffee break during work could be a great idea!
5. Provide proper onboarding and training for newcomers
To maintain teamwork spirit in the long term, it’s important to provide proper onboarding and training for newbies so that they can blend in and connect to existing team members.
If you leave new hires on their own, they may not know what to do and affect the usual workflow of the team. This could create conflicts, degrade the new employee’s morale, and lower the productivity of the whole business.
6. Set clear goals
You should avoid setting unclear and hard-to-understand goals. Setting clear goals and getting your team’s opinions are effective ways to keep everyone on the same page.
If every team member has a say in the goal-setting process and understands what they’re supposed to do, they’ll be more willing to dedicate to their work.
7. Draw a rational line between professionalism and emotions
When working in a team, you may develop fondness and solid relationships with other team members. This can be a positive sign that you’re building a great team. But you should be careful not to confuse between emotions and professionalism.
Imagine this: A and B make the same mistake, but you only punish A. B gets away because he has a good relationship with you—the leader. Obviously, A would feel unfair, angry, and no longer want to work with you. This can lead to many worse situations regarding your business reputation if A is a difficult person.
Not drawing a line between being professional and being emotional may lead to bad decisions. You may decide to listen to irrational opinions, believe in biased ideas, and hurt both your employees and your business.
This doesn’t mean that you have to act strictly and rigidly in every situation. It’s more about finding the balance between flexibility and professionalism, and keeping the equality in the workplace.
8. Show gratitude and recognition toward your team members
Strong teamwork can only exist when your team knows how to appreciate each individual’s efforts.
A recent study of 2000 employees found out that people are less likely to show their gratitude at work than in any other place. 60% of them stated that they “either never express gratitude at work or do so perhaps once a year.”
It’s kind of funny because every human being loves compliments and recognition, but only a few of them feel the need to do that toward others, especially at work where they need it the most.
While 70% of the workers answered that they would feel more confident if their boss appreciated their efforts, a bigger majority, 81% of people even said that they would not hesitate to work harder. Gratitude has been proven as the key factor in optimizing teamwork at the workplace.
All you need to do now as a big leader is to show quality gratitude to your colleagues’ hard work and efforts. It’s not always about the money and materialistic rewards. The right recognition at the right time can be enough.
9. Conduct weekly meetings for thoughts, feedback and solutions
Weekly meetings allow each member to raise their voice and keep everyone on the same page, resulting in a smoother workflow.
These meetings could be formal discussions to review all the tasks from the previous week, or informal conversations in which each individual can share their perspectives and feedback with the whole team.
These are opportunities for the team to sit back, listen to others’ points of view, and find solutions together.
10. Organize activities to take a break from all the hard work
After a long crazy working period, it’s essential to take a break from all the hard work and to spend quality team time together.
Organizing occasional team activities is a great idea that many businesses are using. But not all the time spent together is quality time. You really need to put your effort into finding the activities that are interesting enough to engage your staff.
The activities don’t have to be complicated and expensive. They’re simply some relaxing moments for your employees to open their feelings and connect with each other.
You can try some of these ideas:
– Organize monthly team dinner
– Hold a small puzzle game in a weekly meeting
– Divide staff into teams for a scavenger hunt
– Create a secret confession game once a year for your employees to anonymously write down their feelings about their job
The most important part when trying to optimize the teamwork spirit in your business is ensuring that your employees are well prepared for any challenges either as an individual or part of the team.
Looking for some team activities that your staff doesn’t hate? Check out our list of the best team building activities for work here.