Tips for Building Teamwork in Your Organization Building teamwork is one of the many responsibilities of any leader. From the CEO to the department manager, every employee in an organization plays an important role in its success or failure. Great leaders possess the ability to hire and develop the best talent, but their vision for the business can go unrealized if they are unable to assemble a group of people who can successfully work together. Creating a congenial work environment where all employees feel valued and heard is a key aspect of building teamwork. Employees need to understand how their skills and roles fit into the bigger picture of the team as a whole, how their individual productivity affects team performance, and how the group’s collaborative team effort can achieve departmental and organizational goals. Let’s take a closer look at what building teamwork means in the context of one-on-one interaction and group dynamics: Understand goals: The mission, vision, purpose, and objectives must be crystal clear and the team must be committed to achieving them. Team clarity depends on adhering to goals, outcomes, and accountability. Take risks: Taking risks is an important part of building teamwork and developing innovative solutions. Each member needs to feel comfortable within the team environment to communicate, advocate, and take action on positions that may be outside the status quo but can move the team closer to achieving its goals. Honestly communicate: Communication must be authentic, open, and respectful where team members can freely and confidently express their opinions and potential solutions to problems, without feeling as if professional disagreements are personal attacks. Team members ask sincere questions and are invested in each other’s thoughts and actions because they will ultimately reflect on their own performance. Promote inclusion: A strong sense of belonging to something larger than themselves is another key aspect of building teamwork. As they work closely together, employees are passionately committed to the group’s decisions and actions. Belonging is reinforced by team members taking the time to develop team norms together. Recognize value: Team members are seen as unique people with important ideas, experiences, points of view, opinions, and knowledge to contribute to the success of the team. Differences are embraced as team members realize that performance improves when diverse points of view can be openly presented, supported, and acted upon. 1
Constantly examine: The team must continually examine itself to ensure the steady improvement of its practices, processes, and the interaction between team members. This focus enables team norms to be discussed and molded, and explores the best ways to move forward. Resolve conflicts: Building teamwork also involves the team agreeing upon processes and procedures for diagnosing, analyzing, and resolving conflicts as they arise. Team cohesiveness does not support personality conflicts or petty disagreements that divert from the teamâ€™s purpose and goals. Make smart decisions: A highly functioning team is able to quickly make intelligent, impactful decisions that benefit the team, the department, and the entire organization. Each member of the team has the support and commitment of the group to effectively act on the decisions that are made. Whether youâ€™re leading a small group or a large organization, successfully building teamwork requires the vision to set team members on the right path and then trusting in their abilities to work together to accomplish your goals. If you want to learn more about leadership and building teamwork, visit www.ThinkBlueThinking.com or call 619.550.8052.