If you’re reading this article, you’re probably already well aware of the power teamwork can have to transform your business. However, fostering a teamwork mentality and motivating collaboration, especially as we shift towards a more hybrid workspace, can be a challenge.
Many employers fail to follow through on essential elements in the team environment. Employees mainly cite a lack of effective communication and alignment with organizational goals as the reasons why teams fall short:
86% of employees surveyed by Salesforce felt that a lack of collaboration and ineffective communication were responsible for workplace failures.
Transforming your teamwork requires top-level commitment and a dedicated effort. However, with the right strategy and with a little help from tools like our social intranet software, you can connect and build teams to become the driving force of your organization.
What is teamwork?
In the workplace, teamwork is defined as a group of people coming together to combine their strengths and knowledge to achieve a common goal. Individuals cooperate and work together while sharing feedback and learning from one anothers’ skills and experience. Great teams don’t just get along, they share the same commitment to performance and strive towards the same desired outcome. This creates an environment built on mutual understanding and respect, helping team members trust and rely on one another.
What does teamwork do?
Promoting effective teamwork does more than just boost employee morale, it helps your business run better. According to ClearCompany, companies with high levels of employee engagement report 20% more productivity. That’s because engaged employees understand the importance of their role and align with organizational values. This can be nurtured by laying this foundation at the team level.
You’ll recognize teamwork in action when you see employees not only communicating, but collaborating together. Individuals learn from others’ mistakes and experiences and support one another to get the job done. Fostering a team-centric environment will also help you attract and retain top talent. 37% of employees highlight ‘working with a great team’ as their primary reason for staying at their job.
Aside from more productive and loyal employees, perhaps the most exciting byproduct of great teamwork is the increased ability to come up with new solutions. According to a study run by PGI, a sense of workplace collaboration can increase successful innovation by 15%. Creating an environment that supports open and honest communication encourages employees to share their ideas and put their heads together to solve problems.
How to improve teamwork
Improving teamwork is something that many managers strive for, but few see it through. Why? Well for one thing, fostering great teams takes time. Teamwork is built on trust and mutual respect, as well as shared experience. This can take time to foster, especially in remote teams or teams that collaborate in a hybrid model.
However, improving your teamwork can, and should, start today. By following these tips for successful teamwork, you can create an environment in which teams can thrive.
We defined teamwork as a group of people driven by a common objective. This shared goal is what unites teams and motivates them to find new ways to work together. However, many organizations fail to communicate their mission clearly on the team level. A study conducted by ClearCompany found that only 14% of companies have employees that understand the organization’s strategy, goals, and objectives. For individuals and teams to be effective, clear goals must be set from the beginning and communicated on a regular basis to keep teams heading down the path towards success.
Play to individual strengths
Understanding individual strengths and the role they play in the team mission will help teams excel. According to a study conducted by Gallup, companies that incorporated strengths-based management (e.g. performing a strengths test and placing employees in roles that they can excel in) increased profits by 14%-29%. People like doing what they’re good at and will be more motivated if they feel that they are contributing their best work to achieve the overall goal.
Diversity is an advantage
Diverse teams that include people from different backgrounds and skill sets tend to be more efficient at problem solving. A study conducted by Cloverpop found that diverse teams make better decisions 87% of the time. The size of the team is also important. Think 4 to 9 people. It needs to be big enough to get the job done but small enough that it doesn’t become unwieldy and succumb to groupthink.
As the saying goes, communication is a two way street. In order to promote a healthy flow of knowledge and ideas, it’s essential that your teams feel heard. Listening to your teams will not only help them feel their ideas are worth sharing, but can boost their own personal connection with the organization and their role. A study conducted by Atlassian found that when honest feedback, mutual respect, and personal openness were encouraged, team members were 80% more likely to report higher emotional well-being.
Get to know each other
It’s no secret that teams who connect on a personal level can unlock their collaborative potential. 50% of the positive changes in communication patterns within the workplace can be accredited to social interaction outside of the workplace. Team building exercises and activities can help build trust between members and give them an opportunity to collaborate more successfully. Encourage individuals to take coffee breaks and host happy hours. Plan periodic icebreakers and activities that give your teams a chance to get to know each other on a deeper level.
Use collaboration tools
Digital collaboration tools, like an intranet solution are an essential component of teamwork both in and out of the office. As we adapt to a more hybrid way of working, collaboration tools have become the common thread keeping teams connected and opening up new possibilities for more flexible ways of working. Happeo's intranet solution offers a dynamic solution and user friendly design that can boost productivity and make collaboration at work easy company wide.
When taking steps to improve your teamwork, it’s important that you approach these changes in a way that works for you and your organization. Teams can be wildly diverse in their communication and collaboration styles, so it’s important to recognize what works best for your culture. Given the right framework, teamwork will begin to flourish and over time teams will become more driven and effective.
Especially in 2021, selecting the right digital collaboration tool is key to creating an optimal team environment. Providing a single shared source of truth for everything from your knowledge base to collaborative and social channels can help your employees better connect to get the job done. Check out our intranet comparison guide to find the tools that suit you best.