Many businesses use small teams to maximize workflow and increase performance. When compared to individual employees, these teams are capable of performing higher quality work in a shorter period of time. However, this effectiveness and efficiency is only possible when team members know how to work together. Team members must focus on their role within the team instead of solely on their own personal ambitions.
Some teams are self-lead while others are supervised by coordinating managers. Regardless of the team structure, working with teams is a skill that can be learned through training and experience. Developing teamwork skills will increase your productivity and ability to work within teams.
1. Common Goal
The key to successful teamwork is striving for a common goal. This common goal must be team oriented and clearly defined. A goal that can be achieved by one employee negates the importance of teams. The goal must be a team goal that requires maximum participation by all team members to achieve. Think about a sports championship. The championship can only be won when all team players are focused on and working towards the same goal, winning the champion. Individual goals that do not support the team goal will hinder the team’s ability to perform.
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2. Defined Roles
Each team member should have a clearly defined role. Roles facilitate work assignments and increase workflow. Roles also eliminate redundancies by clearly assigning task responsibility to specific team members. While team members should be able to help each other, tasks within the team should be assigned to specific roles. Our sports team analogy can us help picture effective role definitions. Each player plays a specific position within the team. The team will fail if players try to usurp responsibility from other positions. Team members should focus on their contribution to the team instead of what other members are doing. Let management worry about non-performing team members. Take an online course to learn defined leadership and team roles.
3. Communication Skills
Strong team members have strong communication skills. The ability to articulate and convey information is important if the team is to succeed. Communication is a two-way process. It only works when both members of the conversation are engaged and able to communicate effectively. Leaders cannot rely on a few good communicators within the team. Every team member should have the ability to effectively communicate. Improving communication skills will also improve your ability to understand and process information.
4. Mutual Trust
Every employee has individual goals. These goals might include a promotion or a raise. While it is expected that every employee diligently strive for their own goals, they should not sacrifice the team or other team members to achieve those goals. For the team to function at maximum efficiency, team members must be able to trust the abilities and commitment of other team members. A popular phrase among strong work teams is, “I’ve got your back.” This phrase goes far beyond covering work assignments when deadlines are looming. It means actively looking out for the best interest of other team members. Mutual trust builds a strong bond between team members that facilitates high quality work and increased proficiency.
Building strong teams is not just management’s job. It is the responsibility of every team member. Learning teamwork skills not only helps leaders mold their teams, it helps team members work together to achieve higher quality, increased proficiency and improved productivity. Take an online course to learn to develop a high performing team.