Encouraging teamwork is creating a work culture that values collaboration. Individual brilliance is great but bringing heads together will deliver even greater results.
Companies strive to illustrate teamwork, but the reality is that this is still in need of a boost. Workers are barely raised in an environment that highlights true teamwork and collaboration. Companies are working on valuing diverse people, ideas, backgrounds, and experiences. We have miles to go before valuing teams and teamwork will be the norm.
To make teamwork happen, these powerful actions must take place.
- Executive leaders communicate clearly the expectation from teamwork and collaboration. No one completely owns a work area or process all by himself. People who own work processes and positions are open and receptive to ideas and input from others on the team.
- Executives model teamwork in their interaction with each other and the rest of the organization. They maintain teamwork even when things are going wrong and the temptation is to slip back into former team unfriendly behaviors.
- Teamwork is rewarded and recognized. The isolated person, even if he/she is an excellent producer, is valued less than the person who achieves results with others in teamwork. Compensation, bonuses, and rewards depend on collaborative practices as much as individual contribution and achievements.
You will not build teamwork by retreating as a group for a couple of days each year. Think of team building as something you have to do every single day.
As a starting point form teams to solve real work issues and to improve real work developments. Provide training in efficient methods so the team expends its energy on the project, not on figuring out how to work together as a team to approach it.
Seize branch meetings to review projects and progress, to get broad inputs, and to coordinate shared work processes. If team members are not getting along, check the work processes they equally own, the problem is not usually the personalities of the team members. It's the fact that the team members often haven't agreed on.
Build fun and shared occasions into the organization's agenda. Have a boerewors roll braai on a Friday afternoon; take the team to a sporting event, go hiking or to an amusement park and have monthly company meetings. This will help the individuals get to know each other better and this will improve on how they will get along in the work place.
Use ice breakers and teamwork exercises at meetings. Allow participants to bring fun ice breaker to meetings. Have a limited ten minutes to do this, this will help participants to laugh together and get to know each other - a small and free investment in a "big time" sense of team.
Celebrate team successes publicly. Buy everyone the same t-shirt or hat with their names on it. You are limited in teamwork only by your imagination.
If you want your individual employees to contribute to a teamwork culture together, then use the list of activities above. You will be astonished what the end product will be.
The sky is the limit when you have the right team on your side. So let us help you!
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