What is the Definition of Teamwork?

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Any business other than a sole proprietorship without employees or contractors works much like a team. Each person in the organization handles one or several roles on the team, collaborating to meet the company's goals. With everyone handling the tasks best suited to their skills, teamwork helps a business succeed.

Teamwork in Sports

Teamwork is most obvious in sports, where players work together on teams to accomplish the goals at hand. Scoring points, blocking opponents, running or dribbling the ball down the field or court are all accomplished thanks to teamwork. Each play in football requires cooperation and attention from all the team players on the field. Some players prevent the opposing team from reaching the quarterback as he prepares to launch the ball to a running back. The running back takes the ball as far as he can, again with protection from teammates. The kicker comes on the field only when it's time to punt or kick a field goal, performing his role when it's needed and not during other portions of the game. Each person plays a role that utilizes his skills to best suit the team, much like in business.

Business Teamwork Explained

Everyone within a company or department has a specific job or work to do. It requires an entire team of people to accomplish a goal for a special project or the day-to-day operations of a company. Each person performs set tasks and cooperates with co-workers to hand things off in a reasonable time to accomplish company goals.

This is true even in a business such as a diner, where a host seats the customer. The server must accurately and legibly write down the guest's order or enter it into a computer, and then hand it off to the kitchen staff. The cooks prepare the food in a timely fashion so the servers can deliver it as soon as possible to the customer. After the customer finishes, the busser will come and clean the table, so the process can start all over again.

Teamwork Skills

A successful team is one that works well together and understands the goal at hand. A good leader explains the project clearly, so everyone understands the desired result. Cooperation is a necessity when working as a team; withholding information or otherwise preventing team members from performing their part of the project can result in project failure.

An optimistic approach to the team and defined individual roles on the team and on the project as a whole will benefit the company. A positive attitude encourages others when difficulties arise and keeps team members on track.