Part of creating an inclusive work culture is encouraging collaboration and teamwork. Recent statistics show that teamwork helps to encourage workplace productivity, job satisfaction and even increased profitability for businesses. While it can be tempting to divide tasks among staff, it can be gratifying for the team to work on projects together.
In this blog, we will discuss the importance of teamwork in a workplace and some ways employers can introduce it without creating a whole new dynamic or employee structure.
Why is Teamwork So Essential in an Office?
Skill Sharing and Building
Teamwork enables staff members to share skills and learn from each other’s strengths. This is something which doesn’t happen to the same extent when everyone is in charge of their own work.
You could even introduce small workshops where staff members share their knowledge more formally. Everyone on the team will have something different to share based on their own experiences over the course of their working lives.
This is something that has been embraced by many business retreats. They call it an “expert session”, where someone on the team shares a particular aspect of their knowledge about the business, for the benefit of the others present. This can take the form of a lecture, presentation or question and answer session, geared around exploring one particular aspect of what they do that they are an expert at. It can allow employees to really appreciate their own skill set, as well as the skills and experience of colleagues.
Working with others helps develop people’s confidence in themselves and their abilities. You can try out new ideas and voice opinions that you may feel afraid to do when working alone. Having other people acknowledge your abilities in front of a team can do wonders for self-confidence. Working alone doesn’t tend to allow for this to the same extent.
Developing Equality and Promoting Respect
Teamwork develops a sense of equality within a workplace and removes the sometimes toxic structures of hierarchy. It can help to reduce discrimination and prejudice between staff members based on their relative positions in the company.
Breaking down barriers and promoting greater communication between different hierarchies can make a lot of difference. It means that people won’t be afraid to raise an issue with a senior member of staff if they have already been involved in the teamwork they have been a part of.
Collaborating with your co-workers is a great way to build relationships. It can help colleagues relax in their working relationships and feel comfortable with each other, which can help build work satisfaction in the long run and lead to increased happiness at work.
How Can I Introduce Teamwork Into My Business?
If you are convinced by the importance of teamwork and want to know some easy ways to introduce it into your business, have a look at some of our tips below:
Hold Regular Meetings
Hold regular group meetings where staff can share and discuss ideas and projects. This can be done virtually or in person. As long as people feel that they have a cohesive purpose, they will get a boost from either of these types of meetings.
Remember that teamwork doesn’t have to mean everybody working on the same thing simultaneously; it can simply mean sharing the progress of your work and offering advice. It can be an opportunity for people to highlight any difficulties that they may be experiencing and to ask for help and guidance where necessary.
Involve the Correct People
Think about which projects could benefit from a variety of different skill sets. For example, if you are creating a big presentation at work, you may want to involve somebody who has strong public speaking skills and somebody who knows graphic design.
Asking people to work together on things that are outwith the range of the skills they possess can either be counter-productive or positively test their problem-solving skills. This is a judgement call and it may be better to play it safe if you are unsure.
Consider the Office Layout
If you do work in a physical space, consider how your office’s layout either helps or hinders teamwork. If everyone’s desks are facing outwards, people will have their backs to each other and struggle to communicate verbally without having to make physical adjustments.
It is much better to have a team facing each other as the simple act of seeing each other’s faces every day will also breed familiarity and will make it exponentially easier and more natural to communicate well with each other.
Reward healthy team behaviour, as well as the quality of the work. If your staff know how much they appreciate their collaborative effort, they are more likely to be up for working in a team again.
Praise is a good way to react to collaborative work, many people really have the capacity to be buoyed by praise, and never underestimate how much difference this can make to someone’s day, to know that the efforts they are making aren’t going unnoticed and unappreciated.
Hold Team Building Events
If you want teamwork to occur more naturally in your workplace, you could consider organising some social events so that your staff get to know each other better and feel more comfortable working with each other. Team building days are a great way to boost morale and highlight the varied skills of the team.
Choose something that is very different from the normal work environment. Paintball, laser tag and escape rooms are some ideas that can be fun. Be sure to schedule these in work time if at all possible though, as team members may be less keen if a work event is being scheduled outside of office hours, even if it is likely to be something fun. It is important to respect the personal time of your employees and try not to encroach upon it.
If you are an employer interested in improving the atmosphere and culture of your workplace, visit our website Aspiring to Include for more advice and tips.