When working alone, software engineers have a difficult time getting early feedback on the project, making it more likely that they’ll waste time going down the wrong path, according to engineer and leadership coach Edmond Lau in Forbes. The momentum of the project can suffer as well. A single stall can bring a single-person project to a halt, but some forward motion can typically be retained with at least another person on the project.
These lessons aren’t limited to engineering. Other workplaces can improve their efficiency and morale by utilizing teams that work well together. Businesses should recognize the importance of teamwork and focus on improving teamwork in the workplace.
Teamwork in the Workplace
Importance of Teamwork
Here are some reasons why teamwork is essential to a functioning workplace.
Increases Accountability: “Peer pressure is a powerful force,” Lau says. “Particularly if you’re working with people whom you respect and don’t want to let down, the motivation to help your team succeed can override the dips in motivation that you encounter on days when you’re not at your best.”
Combines Strengths and Skill Sets: Teams can feature individual talents in a cohesive team. For instance, one employee may be strong in creative thinking while another can be talented with organization and planning. Combining skills like these together can form a stronger and more effective team.
A single stall can bring a single-person
project to a halt
Enhances Morale: Individuals who are seen as contributors to a team can feel appreciated. As a result, team members increase their morale and engagement.
Increases Learning Opportunities: Team members have the ability to learn from other people’s strengths. There are also learning opportunities found in communication and conflict resolution. Employees receive valuable practice with these skills that can benefit their efficiency and ability to work with others.
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How to Improve Teamwork in the Workplace
Teamwork in the workplace can lead to benefits for the organization and its employees. However, teamwork doesn’t simply happen on its own. “It needs to be catalyzed, becoming part of workplace culture and integral to people, processes and culture,” Bev Attfield of technology company Jostle explains. “Once that happens, workplaces become more fun, productive, and creative.”
The following strategies can help improve teamwork in the workplace.
Separate Work and Clearly Assign Roles: Each team member should understand what his or her role is. Otherwise, confusion can result and lead to additional time required for organizing and delegating work.
Have a Mediation System in Place: A team process should be in place to respond to any conflict that arises in a team setting, as well as any personal issues that surface. The process should establish how a team member can handle any issues and who that person should speak to first.
If you want to be a team,
you need to share a common goal
Have a Review and Feedback System in Place: Teams should consider review meetings or some system of providing regular feedback. Being able to review others’ work is a strength of teams, but not establishing a system can ignore this element.
Reward and Celebrate Team Successes: Leaders should acknowledge what the team is doing, along with each individual’s accomplishments. Celebrating team successes can improve morale and establish a true sense of being on a team.
Establish Well-Defined Team Goals: A team needs to know its objectives to be successful. “If you want to be a team, you need to share a common goal,” Attfield says. “What is the grand goal you’re striving for? How does achieving the next milestone contribute to that? Where does each teammate’s contribution fit in? Knowing your work matters takes teamwork to the next level.”
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