Effective teamwork is the key to a successful business, as it increases productivity levels and produces better solutions to problems. Companies that foster a friendly and collaborative work environment will be the ones to succeed in the business world.

For a team to work effectively, the team should look at the group climate and the process in which they will complete their tasks. Here are some of our top tips for effective teamwork:

1. Make teamwork a priority and reward teamwork

Assess how a new employee contributes to teamwork as part of the business’s annual performance review. Let them know that their performance in a team will be assessed and that they’re expected to work well with others. Acknowledging workers for their efforts in working as a team can provide the proper motivation for being better team players. A Team Player of the Month Award can see someone rewarded with a dinner, cash or a gift certificate.

2. Clarify roles, responsibilities and accountabilities

For the team to succeed, each member should know what their role and responsibility is in the team, and what the roles/responsibilities of others are. Team members should also make an agreement on what needs to be done and who it should be performed by, and each member must be responsible and accountable for completing their own tasks. However, sharing duties or helping others is also important when a member is away, unable to complete their task on time, or doesn’t have the aptitude or necessary training for the job.

3. Set clear goals

A team that has specific goals and completion deadlines for tasks will work together more effectively than a team without goals. A team that also has an agreed mission and purpose with clear expectations for how the team should work together to achieve the desired outcomes is important for effective teamwork.

4. Communicate with each other

Team members need to be able to communicate their thoughts, opinions, ideas and feelings clearly and openly in a positive and respectful manner. Everyone should also listen to each other and ask questions for clarification purposes. This will lead to a healthy group climate and an effective work process.

5. Make decisions together

Making decisions should be based on open dialogue with all members offering their ideas and solutions to problems. Members should have the team’s support and commitment not only when making decisions, but also when carrying them out.

6. Build trust and get to know each other better

Trust can be gained through each team member demonstrating their accountability for work that’s assigned to them. With trust, members can feel comfortable taking risks to communicate, advocate positions and take action. Team members that trust each other can also share their ideas and feelings while being respectful of others. A great way to build trust is to hang out with your co-workers outside of the office and use this time to get to know each other better. Talk about your strengths and interests, and this way you’ll both know how you can play to each other’s strengths and interests in the workplace.

7. Celebrate differences/diversity

A team should celebrate and accept member differences and their diverse backgrounds, as well as the value each one brings to the team. It’s also important to view team members as unique individuals and to concentrate on the positive attributes of each member. Everyone is different, be it their experiences, viewpoints, knowledge and opinions, and sharing these to the team can make for better teamwork.

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Ayasha Roberson started Urban SociaLites, LLC in June of 2010, she holds a bachelor degree in Sociology from Richard Stockton College and Masters Degree in Administrative Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Every 3rd and 5th Saturday check out her blog Social Media Saturday as Ayasha provides you with helpful tips of how to make your brand cool, hip, and colorful.

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