Working as a team – how do we work together?
The ability to work effectively in a team is a key trait that employers look for when recruiting employees. Working together in a team requires not only technical skills, but also the ability to communicate, empathise and resolve conflicts. Teamwork – how do you work together in a team? What are the advantages and disadvantages of working in a team? How to organise teamwork? How do you select people to work in a team?
What is teamwork?
Teamwork is the combination of the skills, experience and knowledge of several people to achieve a common goal or solve a problem. It is a form of work organisation in which individuals in a team share responsibility with each other, support each other and work together to complete tasks. It should produce better results than working individually, as described by the saying: “Every two heads is not one”.
Teamwork is the joint work of people who have to communicate well, work together and act in unison. Everyone has their own tasks and ideas to help solve problems. With different points of view, better decisions can be made.
Most employers expect teamwork skills, which is why it is important to have them. By working well together, the team is efficient and more productive and therefore success comes more easily. Effective teamwork is based on collaboration and communication, which should strive for team synergy.
What influences teamwork?
Effective teamwork leads to high performance and success for companies. What influences satisfactory teamwork?
- management style
- conflict resolution
- common goal and vision
- sharing of responsibilities
- trust and respect
- work organisation
- team leader
What distinguishes a collaborative team?
Team collaboration is about a group of people coming together to achieve a goal. It is important to realise that in order to achieve success and good results, the whole group should be equally involved. There cannot be a situation where one person puts a lot into a project and another does things superficially. The effectiveness of a team can be judged by the results it achieves. If a team works quickly and efficiently, it means that it is a good fit with each other. What are the characteristics of teamwork?
- collective responsibility for the activities performed
- cooperation and support
- ability to accept criticism
- a common system of values and norms
- effective communication
- synergy effect
- ability to combine different specialities, skills
- common goal
What are the advantages of working in a team?
Effective teams can take a company to the next level. By acting in accordance with tasks, supporting each other and using a diversity of skills, they can generate new ideas, spot potential mistakes more quickly and make strategic decisions. Each employee has a different personality and therefore boasts different skills. Such diversity is needed to create cohesive teams. What are the advantages of teamwork?
- Team effectiveness – working in a team helps to solve tasks faster and more efficiently. Often, one person cannot complete a task with the same effect as a team.
- Faster flow of information – working in a team flows better and enables more efficient communication.
- Greater knowledge, experience and skills – combining the skills of each team member produces better results.
- Saving time and effort – well-organised teamwork saves money on projects.
- Increased competence – by actively exchanging views, knowledge and experience, team members have the opportunity to develop their skills by learning from each other.
- Motivation – working together as a team helps to motivate each other.
- Integration – by working in a team, you get to know your colleagues better. You are then more willing to acquire common goals.
Difficulties in teamwork
Teamwork does not always have its own advantages. It all depends on the personality selection of the team. What are the disadvantages of teamwork?
- Conflicts in a team – they are inevitable, even in the most harmonious team. It is a good co-operative skill to deal with these conflicts.
- Rivalry – some team members may want to compete with others, they want to feel individual success rather than team success. This can lead to disagreements within the group.
- Uneven level of commitment – some team members may be less committed or less cooperative, which can negatively affect team effectiveness.
- Lack of proper motivation – a misaligned team that does not have good communication with each other can result in less willingness to work together. A good atmosphere and proper communication is key to a cohesive team.
- Conformism – this is the phenomenon where one person submits to the rest for fear of rejection. This can be bad for team functioning, lack of innovation, diversity of perspectives and groupthink.
- Dominance by an individual – it is common for one person in a group to feel like a leader. This can cause many disagreements between team members. The key to effective collaboration is to find a middle ground and share responsibilities equally.
How do we select people for teamwork?
Matching people to a team can be a challenge as we are never 100% sure we will succeed. It is a good idea to start by selecting groups with fewer people. In teams of more than 20 people, it is difficult to work well together. Some members may feel eliminated, others will find it difficult to have clout. It is best to form teams consisting of several smaller groups. Then we have a better chance of coming together and being effective.
In a team, people should not be selected at random, as they may find it difficult to work as a group. It is worth thinking about such a group and trying to match people who will complement each other.
Effective teamwork – how do you take care of it?
Effective teamwork helps to achieve the desired results and move towards the goal. It requires conscious effort and proper management. Effective teamwork requires several key elements. How to take care of it?
- Clear goals – it is useful to set specific goals for the team that the group can work towards together. It is important that they are realistic, achievable within a certain timeframe. If they are difficult to achieve, the team may feel too much pressure and act inefficiently.
- Clear division of responsibilities – it is very important that each team member is responsible for something and knows what they are supposed to do. A lack of division can lead to chaos and communication problems.
- Open and clear communication – is key to a cohesive team. All individuals should speak to each other with respect. They should not criticise each other’s opinions, but focus on gentle feedback.
- Collaboration and mutual support – it is worth encouraging team members to work together and support each other. Sharing knowledge, skills and experience helps to solve problems and achieve better results
- Managing conflict – these are inevitable in any team. It is important to learn how to resolve them. Focus on honest communication, without criticism or attacking the other person. It is worth betting on an open discussion in which everyone presents his or her opinion and a compromise is found.
- Attentive listening – it is very important to listen to what the other person has to say. Without this, there is no effective communication.
- Documenting the work of the team – this is good practice to improve the effectiveness of the team. Recording changes will help to see the results of the work, which can be a good motivation for the team.
Working in a team can be a challenge, but when well organised can bring many benefits to the company. It is important to get the right mix of people who know how to work together.
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