Strong teamwork is a hallmark of good business planning. However, strong teams do not just happen by accident. The manager who makes a constant effort to increase the efficiency of their teams is going to enjoy more success than the manager who takes an apathetic approach. If you learn specific techniques to improve teamwork, you can help your employees work better together and achieve better results. The first step to improve teamwork, is to realize the importance of teamwork and become proactive about having colleagues work together as an important element of your business.
Define the purpose of the team. It can be very hard to improve teamwork if it is not established team goals. Sometimes it is necessary to improve teamwork between departments, not just between members of a permanent team. When members from different backgrounds and disciplines come together, the environment can remain productive. Make sure the team has a clear definition of what it needs to accomplish. The more clear the goal is, the easier it will be to improve the teamwork required to achieve the goal. (See References 1)
Install a culture of teamwork in your work environment. Emphasis is almost always placed on individual awards and recognition. Shift the focus in your workplace to recognition of team effort, and a team will be more likely to come together as a group. (See References 2)
Undertake a gap analysis of the current state of your team members. Analyze previous and current behavior of team member. For example, provide information to people who need it without being asked and take responsibility quickly for any errors that are made. Then, you can create strategies that will take the team from the current behavior to the target behavior. (See References 3)
Train your employees to work better as part of a team. Implement teamwork oriented activities, create reward and recognition systems that place a value on teamwork.
Teamwork is ultimately about communication. Whether you're trying to improve inter-departmental teamwork or the way that members of a team work together, the important thing to emphasize is stronger lines of communication. If members of a team are communicating constantly, the team should function more effectively.
- team image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com