What Is Teamwork? The Best Practices for Excellent Teamwork
Everyone has their own definition of what effective teamwork looks like. Every team leader knows how important good teamwork is to business success, but not everyone knows how to create a work environment that facilitates successful teamwork.
January 6, 2019

Everyone has their own definition of what effective teamwork looks like. Every team leader knows how important good teamwork is to business success, but not everyone knows how to create a work environment that facilitates successful teamwork.

Team members each bring a variety of skills, experiences and viewpoints to any group. The benefits of teamwork are broad, and today we will review the key elements of a great team and outline strategies for fostering team building and developing a productive team environment that will propel you towards accomplishing your goals.

Commitment Towards a Common Goal

The best teams are always on the same page. They know what the shared goal is and they work together to fulfill it. Successful teams communicate well and leverage one another's diverse skills to work effectively.

A good team is a group of people that aren't looking out only for themselves. Each individual is tied together by the same vision and mission that guides their work. They view the success of the group as just as important as their individual success.

Effective teamwork means owning your responsibilities, staying accountable and doing what you say you are going to do. Team members rely on one another, so if one person drops the ball, an entire project can fail. Members of the team must trust one another and have a strong rapport.

Robust, Open Communication

Effective teamwork involves robust, transparent communication. Team members don't leave things to chance. They communicate with one another clearly so there's no room for confusion. When there's conflict, good teams know how to handle it.

Conflict doesn't always have to be negative. If all team members have a mindset of assuming positive intent, conflict can even be positive or constructive.

For example, let's imagine one member of the team is frustrated because they can't move forward on their part of a project until another team member provides feedback. They don't say anything because they are worried about looking foolish or interrupting their coworker. They might gossip about them to another member of the group.

Instead, the team member should go directly to the person they need feedback from and ask them if they can provide the feedback so the project can move forward. This also gives them the opportunity to establish ground rules and clear expectations surrounding what needs to be done, and in what time frame it should be expected.

An Organised Workflow

Successful teams equip themselves with the tools and resources that help them collaborate effectively. Teams often use a project management system that helps everyone track progress towards goals and objectives in one place. Many project management systems also offer features like chat streams and video calling to help team members communicate without having to have a lot of long, unproductive meetings.

There's an endless supply of team organisational tools for small and large businesses. Find what works for your organisation and make sure everyone adopts the same tool so the entire team can maximise collaboration and productivity.

Intentional Team Development

Smart teams that know the importance of teamwork are intentional about creating opportunities for team development and growth. When team members expand their skill sets, they learn new ways to work more efficiently together.

Good examples of team development activities include attending conferences together, having a team summit, taking online courses, and going to teamwork seminars. Having a robust calendar of team development events also builds trust and rapport within the group.

Excellent Leadership

Team success happens when the team is led by a great leader. Team leaders should be well-versed in conflict management, delegating work and listening to the rest of the team with an open mind. They must be creative and find ways to improve the work process, understand each member's strengths and weaknesses and provide opportunities for career development.

Great leaders are also humble. They are viewed as a member of the team rather than a dictator or babysitter. They encourage group decision-making to make sure every team member is equally involved and feels valued.

When people don't feel valued, they tune out and stop working as hard. When they feel their work is meaningful, they are much more likely to go the extra mile because they have a greater sense of accomplishment. If each member of the group doesn't feel like their individual contributions are valuable, the team leader needs to make intentional changes to make sure they do.

Appoint team leaders that have the right skills for the job. Even some great employees aren't cut out for leadership roles. They have to have the ability to mesh a team together effectively and optimise their work on a daily basis, all while still having time to manage their individual workload.

Optimise Your Team Performance Today

Creating a great team doesn't happen overnight and it takes a lot of effort. The best teams are unstoppable when it comes to producing excellent work. Develop your teams with shared team goals and a company culture centered around good communication skills and transparency. Use a project management system that helps team members communicate easily, encourages accountability and organises work tasks and progress towards goals in one place.

Finally, designate team leadership that guides the entire group to team success. Find leaders who humble and eager to provide professional development opportunities for each team member that drive the team forward. Use these tips to start developing the most productive and collaborative teams that exceed expectations and help you reach your business goals faster.

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