Teamwork is everywhere. Whether you work on a team of individuals to accomplish a project or you simply have coworkers in different departments, there is always an aspect of teamwork that comes through in every professional setting. The dynamics within any team feed into company culture, and since company culture is the backbone of your work environment this impacts every employee directly. If you find your team struggling with productivity and commitment, check out our five ways you can improve your team starting today!
1. Believe in Your Team
This may seem like a no brainer, but often times we view teams as an obligation: there’s a reason so many of us rolled our eyes at group projects in school. Teams are usually driven by shared deadlines or specific projects, so it can be easy to see group work as a means to an end for most employees. However, when you have a belief in the success and greatness of your team you stop worrying about the time crunch or checking off a list of requirements. Instead, you can allow others to focus on their strengths while collaborating to complete the task or project in the best way possible for all team members.
2. Be a Friend
While work-life balance is important, it’s a fact that we spend more time on average with our coworkers than any of our friends outside of work. With this amount of time spent together, it’s natural that we get familiar with one another: coworkers get to hear about everything from our last employer to our families and our pets. Rather than compartmentalize your work relationships, consider everyone’s personal responsibilities and how you can create a support network for everyone on your team. We don’t suggest prying if someone is private about their personal life, but being willing to listen and offer some work related advice can be just what a struggling coworker needs in order to meet a deadline or complete a project.
3. Focus on Communication
While certain tasks come easier to some than to others, effort is required from every teammate in order to complete group projects or responsibilities. A common concern in group tasks is that workload can be disproportionate between team members: are we pulling our weight or are we pulling the weight of others as well? Rather than getting distracted by exactly what everyone is contributing, instead focus on your own efforts and communication. The most obvious indicator of someone neglecting their responsibilities is a breakdown in communication: if they start ignoring emails or calls, chances are they are avoiding something. Keep communication open and honest by sharing and reiterating information often. This keeps everyone on the same page with a consistent timeline and removes the uncertainty that can arise when everyone has their own unique responsibilities to complete.
4. Respect Differences
One of the main reasons we tend to initially face group work with apprehension is due to the different work styles that collide as a result of shared goals. Some individuals may do their best work in time blocks, while others prefer to split up tasks throughout the day to maintain a variety of work. When negotiating between these different approaches, it’s important to respect how collaboration can create fresh results that exceed what each person brings to the table on their own. You are likely working with others for some specific reason: consider why they are successful in their role or what their skill set can contribute to a project. For example, a computer technician is going to provide different talents compared to a marketing representative or creative consultant. By respecting differences, your team can overcome any challenges that come with differing approaches and instead focus on how these individual contributions can create exceptional shared results.
5. Be Optimistic
Whether your project is a success or failure, how you progress from it is based on your perception. Optimism and being positive is not only key to group synergy and successful teamwork, it is also necessary when it comes to building professional relationships and the performance of future projects. Even if your team doesn’t get strong results the first time, it is important to not get burdened by discouragement. By remaining a positive force for your team, assessing shortcomings becomes less personal towards individual team members and more about making the collective team better. By figuring out how to improve on these potential weaknesses, your team is better equipped for future projects.
Interested in keeping up on all the latest market trends and tips on company culture? Subscribe to the Zimmer Communications blog below!