Why Teamwork is Important in the Workplace
Teamwork is an activity that many people try to avoid in the workplace, but why are we so against it? The truth is that there are so many benefits of working in teams, both for each of the team members individually personally and for the organisation as a whole.
While working from home has created some obstacles to encouraging effective teamwork, it also highlights – perhaps more than ever – why teamwork in the workplace is important. Without seeing colleagues, it is very easy to become complacent and not invest as much into building relationships between co-workers.
But not only is teamwork 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.
Why is teamwork important in the workplace?
Also read: Fostering Teamwork: How Four Leading Companies Get It Right
When working in a team, everyone is working together towards a common goal or set of objectives. The whole process of your work becomes more efficient there are generally more “hands on deck” to help complete tasks and solve issues along the way.
Similarly, having multiple team members on board allows you to get the work done faster with shared responsibilities. When people work in silos, their work usually involves some tasks they excel at and complete quickly and those tasks that take them longer. Collaborating as a team allows staff members more opportunity to share those tasks that they find challenging, but that other team members may be able to complete much more quickly.
From a management perspective, encouraging effective 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.
Teamwork boosts innovation and creativity
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 and supportive 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.
An added benefit is the exposure that team members get to different perspectives. Being able to see things from different points of view – or to experience new ways of doing things – will improve each team member’s individual approach to work as well.
A learning experience
One reason teamwork is important in the workplace is because brings together people from different backgrounds and levels of experience. As a result, projects that 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 listening to others.
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 and employees alike.
Communication is key to the success of many projects – so why not engage in an activity that can help enhance your communication skills? Effective communication in business should be a key focus for all managers and senior leaders.
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 to 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 and responsibilities
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.
Teamwork fosters support networks
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.
Creates growth opportunities
Encouraging staff members with different skillsets, knowledge, levels of experience and seniority to collaborate as teams provides them all with opportunities for professional and personal growth. Team members at all levels can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of other roles, departments and functions and add to their core skill sets.
Additionally, team members with less seniority or experience in the workplace may gain opportunities for mentorship and to learn from more senior team members.
The growth opportunities extend beyond the individuals who make up the teams as well. When staff are part of a supportive team they feel safer to take calculated, strategic risks. Well thought-out risk-taking, in the right environment, can pay dividends for organisations.
Also read: 4 Ways to Build Better Relationships at Work
The importance of teamwork in the workplace can’t be overstated
Effective teamwork is a vital workplace skill with benefits that cascade from individuals to teams, departments and the business as a whole..
If you are seeking to develop your top-level teamwork, communication and business skills, check out AIB’s Online MBA. This globally-recognised program is a world-class Master of Business Administration degree built for busy professionals who want to accelerate their career.
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.