Many business owners, executives, and managers find themselves wondering how they can build teamwork within their organization. They know that a cohesive team working together to accomplish the company’s mission can bring forth huge gains. Each team member’s background, education, and experience, combined with others on the team, can bring forth productivity and ideas that allow the team to accomplish significantly more than any of the members alone could achieve. But how exactly does somebody go about building teamwork in their organization?
Foster a Team-Focused Environment
There are numerous things a manager can do to build teamwork within their organization, but they all link back to the type of work environment that exists. If the work environment focuses on rewarding individuals and competitive spirit, the environment just might be stifling the organization’s team building potential.
One way to build teamwork is to hire employees who have shown a solid history of being team players. A lot of individual awards or personal achievements on their resume should be a red flag. It should not immediately knock them off of the candidate list, but it would be worthwhile to ask them specific questions about how they work on teams and if they are good at promoting teamwork. This is especially important when hiring a manager or supervisor.
Another way to build teamwork and foster a team-focused environment is to limit competition and competitive activities. Employees should be encouraged to help one another on projects or assignments, with evaluations focusing on how well they work with their co-workers and how helpful they are to others.
Most importantly, a manager should focus on encouraging team work and rewarding team accomplishments. They should often remind employees that team success is much more important than individual success.
Set Challenging Group Goals
When everyone on a team is working toward a common goal, it brings out the best in all of them. Not only will the individuals work hard to achieve the group’s goals, but they will also assist and motivate their teammates in the process.
If every person on the team has an important role in accomplishing a goal, they will feel more inclined to complete their task on time, to encourage others to meet the deadline, and to even help their teammates accomplish their assigned tasks. Even if each member of the team has a separate and un-related task, just the thought of letting the team down will inspire them to work harder and faster.
Incentives should focus on group accomplishments rather than individual performance. Individual awards can make the award winner feel good, but it will leave everyone else with a sense of resentment.
Awards are important for boosting morale, but the central theme of any awards program should always be team accomplishment. If, for example, the engineering section in a production facility beat an important deadline, every person who contributed to that accomplishment should receive an award.
Profit sharing is also a great incentive for group performance. It tells employees that their jobs do contribute to the overall performance of the company and that they will benefit financially from the company’s success.