Teamwork makes the dream work, they say. But how important is teamwork in the workplace? Does it make or break success? Does teamwork matter more than talent and hard work? The answer, as you might have guessed, lies somewhere in between. Talent and hard work are necessary ingredients to succeed in any environment, but they won’t necessarily make you successful on their own unless they’re paired with excellent teamwork. In this article, we’ll take a look at exactly what makes good teamwork in the workplace so important to your business’s bottom line, as well as your own career prospects.
There's no 'I' in team
If you've never worked in a team environment, you might be surprised to learn how different team members' working styles can be. The success of any team relies on understanding these individual differences and finding ways to work together and making sure all voices are heard.
Collaboration leads to better results
If you’re part of a team, remember that collaboration leads to better results. Communication styles vary from person to person, but it’s important for everyone on your team to understand how their work affects others and vice versa. Before you complete your next project, make sure everyone on your team understands his or her role and has all of the information necessary to do an excellent job.
Individually we are stronger together
Communication is an art that requires focus, dedication and discipline. One way to make sure you are focusing your communication style on people is to understand their communication styles. Research has shown there are four distinct workplace communication styles: Commanding, Supporting, Friendly and Analytical. Each style has its place in building a productive work team; it’s just a matter of understanding which style works best with yours.
Trust is built over time
Creating trust is a process that takes time. In order to develop stronger bonds and create better teamwork in your office, employees need to communicate with each other. Establishing a workplace communication style can be easy if you know what type of employee you’re dealing with. To help build trust between teammates, find out about their communication styles and preferences.
Communication is key
How your team communicates with one another is key to your company’s productivity. While it may be normal to make a lot of hand gestures when you’re describing something, try typing everything out beforehand. Speaking isn’t always necessary, and sometimes too much talking can take up time that could be spent actually getting work done.
Isolation can lead to depression
Feeling isolated at work? Depression can be sneaky. It doesn’t always announce itself with pounding headaches or teary eyes. For many people, depression manifests as a feeling of isolation and loneliness. If you find yourself longing for more social interaction, more contact with co-workers or simply something different to do during your breaks, it may be a sign that you need an interpersonal pick-me-up.
Learn and practice Empathy
Empathy is vital for productive teamwork, but it can be a tough skill to learn. Empathy means understanding and sharing another person’s feelings, emotions, and perspective. Start practicing empathy with your colleagues.
Recognize you don't know everything
You know you don’t know everything. Admit it to yourself and acknowledge it to your team, too. If you’re in a position of authority, recognize that you can still learn from your employees and vice versa. If a young or newer employee has new ideas or asks an unusual question, try not to brush them off; maybe they’ve noticed something you haven’t.
Together, you'll achieve more
Even if it's not a sport, teamwork is key to success at work. Without cooperation and collaboration, you'll likely have a harder time getting things done, working together to solve problems, or completing tasks no matter how big or small they are. Plus, when you work with others who bring their own skills to a project, everyone's abilities shine through instead of being swallowed up by larger egos and more experience.
Working with a team to reach a common goal is one of life’s greatest joys. While it can be difficult to work with others, such as when there are conflicting views or different opinions, when teams work together well they can achieve a lot. This is because teamwork allows us to use our individual strengths and build on them to reach something that we could not have achieved alone.