How Leaders Can Encourage Teamwork
Teamwork is an essential aspect to the success of any business. Whether you’re a small business or a major corporation, chances are you will need to bring a team together to accomplish a specific task or work on a product.
However, just because people must work together doesn’t mean they will necessarily foster a sense of team spirit and collaboration. As a leader, it is part of your job to ensure that your team works well together to avoid hostility or blockades in their workflow.
If you have a team that is struggling to collaborate, then read on for some tips on how to encourage teamwork.
Team Building Exercises
You don’t have to take everyone out on an expensive retreat to encourage teamwork. However, engaging in team-building activities not only brings the team closer but gives everyone a much-needed break from the task on hand.
These activities are fun and engaging but also allows the team to show their strengths and weaknesses in a less critical situation. Your team learns to work well together in a laid-back setting but can transfer that experience back to their project.
Meetings are also another way the team bond while learning to work together. These are not meetings where one person does most of the talking while the others just listen. Instead, these meetings must be collaborative, with everyone discussing problems, solutions, or pitching ideas off one another.
Give Everyone Clear Roles
When roles overlap too much, or there is no clear description of what each person is supposed to do, chaos can ensue. The team members whose roles overlap will not be sure exactly what they are supposed to do or what unique role they play in the team. This can lead to certain tasks being done twice or not being completed at all.
In worst cases, a team member may try to take more power and responsibility and act as though they are above the other members. This can easily create tension and hostility amongst the team.
Give your team clear, defined roles so that each person knows their tasks and what they contribute to the project. Though a little gray area can encourage collaboration, too much will create much confusion.
Set Team Objectives
However, although everyone should have clear roles, it also helps set objectives where team members can work together. Creating tasks that require a few members to accomplish can give these members a great sense of satisfaction and team spirit as well as improve their working relationship.
Furthermore, focusing only on individual objectives and performance can create further isolation amongst team members. After all, if they only have to worry about their job performance, why would they go out of their way for the team? Having team objects encourages collaboration and discourages an environment where employees only work for themselves.
Allow Your Team A Say In Decision Making
No one enjoys just being told to do without discussing their ideas. However, allowing your team to have a say in some big decisions can make them feel that they are an important asset to the team and the business. Furthermore, they can bounce solutions or ideas off each other, further cementing their bonds and team spirit.
To do this, you can set up meetings to discuss important aspects of the project and get ideas from the team. This works best if you have a small, manageable team that can easily fit into a conference room. However, another alternative is sending out a survey or having an email/messaging conversation to discuss the decision.
Obviously, there are limits to this. For example, if your team is large, with the members having varying schedules, then having a meeting about every decision will be time-consuming. Also, certain decisions should only be made by a leader or the executive team.
However, incorporating your team in at least some decision-making makes them feel valued and like they are making major contributions to the business. This encourages more productivity and makes them feel like they play an important role in the organization.
Reward Great Performance
Make sure to reward your team when they accomplish a task together. Maybe that reward is a bonus, or it can be as simple as buying the team pizza for lunch. Rewarding this behavior shows how important teamwork is to you and your organization and encourages your team to keep working together in the future.
For additional ideas on encouraging teamwork amongst your staff, head over to BetterHelp for more information and advice.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.
This article has been published in accordance with Socialnomics’ disclosure policy.