Teamwork is an activity that many people try to avoid in the workplace, but why are we so against it? I’m here to tell you that there are a number of benefits of working in teams for both you personally and for your organisation. Not only is it a great opportunity for professional development, it is also a means of making your work easier. Read below to learn why teamwork is important in the workplace, and the benefits it can have for you.
When working in a team, you are working towards a common goal or set of objectives. The whole process of your work becomes more efficient, for example if there is a problem faced along the way there are more ‘hands on deck’ to help solve the issue. Similarly, having multiple team members on board allows you to get the work done faster with shared responsibilities. From a management perspective, encouraging teamwork in the workplace will allow your company or department to take on additional work, and in turn generate extra revenue without having to hire more staff.
One of the greatest benefits of working in a team is the inspiration and ideas that can result from team discussions. When running ideas by one and other, there is a lot more scope for creativity in comparison to working on a project alone. In an effective team environment, staff members feel confident in suggesting their ideas. When working autonomously and having a direct responsibility for ideas, people tend to present the safer option to their managers. However, when in a team brainstorming environment the notion of suggesting creative and unique ideas is welcomed. Teams also bring people together from different backgrounds and levels of experience which can help in creating optimal solutions.
A learning experience
As mentioned above, teamwork is important in the workplace as it brings people together from different backgrounds and levels of experience. Consequently, projects which involve teamwork serve also as an opportunity for professional development and learning. This may be conscious learning during a meeting, or learning which occurs without you even realising whilst listing to others. It is quite possible that you can learn from someone else’s knowledge which allows your own skills and capabilities to grow. Billie Nordmeyer adds that ‘Individual team members serve as educational resources to other employees in a team environment’. It is also important to note that as employees become more knowledgeable, their confidence increases. This can help improve their attitude as well as increase their job satisfaction which is a win-win situation for employers.
Communication is key to the success of many projects – so why not engage in an activity that can help enhance your communication skills? Teamwork activities such as meeting together to discuss ideas or collaborating information to contribute to a project require both verbal and written communication skills. Working regularly in this capacity will allow you develop both your own skills as well as those who are in your team. Teamwork also facilitates an open discussion which allows each team member to be adequately informed about the project. In this respect, when everyone is on the same page this ensures that the project is completed as efficiently as possible.
Share the workload
When working in a team towards a common goal, the workload is shared among all team members. In a perfect scenario, this work should be shared equally and be distributed according to the strengths of each member. Teamwork also allows for helping another team member when you have finished your workload. It is important to remember that you are all working towards the same goal – if you finish your work before others you should offer your assistance in order to help complete the project. From a management perspective, when it comes to delegation this should be conducted with the strengths of your employees in mind. Assigning tasks to the correct people will ensure maximum efficiency and a high quality output.
It is important to remember that support and a sense of belonging in a workplace can contribute greatly to job satisfaction. A strong team environment can act as a great support mechanism for staff members. Group members will help each other, rely on each other and build trust within the group. During challenging times, support is crucial for the success of the project; when members are able to look to one and other for guidance or support, focus can remain on the overall goal. If a challenge is handled individually you are at risk of becoming overwhelmed and making irrational decisions.
What do you think?
Do you believe that teamwork is important in the workplace? Alternatively, do you have any examples that you can share where teamwork either helped or hindered your efforts? I am interested to hear of your experiences. Please feel free to comment your opinion below and join in the discussion.
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources have been used to prepare this article: Buzzle; Small Business; and Global Post.