August 27, 2023

How to Better Facilitate Teamwork

Effective teamwork is crucial for high productivity and high-quality work. While many leaders know of the team, many of them do not step back to understand it fully and find ways to ensure and enhance it within their teams. Effective teamwork also ensures businesses do not struggle against competitors who might have teams of brilliant individuals but do not know how to make the most of their teams and employees. This article looks at a few things businesses can do to improve teamwork in the workplace.

Have a Clear Team Organization and Structure

Team organization and structure help leaders define relationships between team members, activities, and leadership. Although it might seem simple enough, creating an effective team structure can significantly impact team collaboration and how everyone works together on different projects.

Different types of team structures depend on how leaders want their teams to work. Examples include hierarchical, functional, matrix, process-based, and circular structures. Leaders can make an organizational chart to ensure the team structure is clear for new hires or at any time to ensure everyone understands their role.

Focus on Building Diverse and Inclusive Teams

It is understandable for a business to want only the most brilliant people in their teams. However, this approach can cause the business to hire like-minded individuals. The opposite is almost always better because people with diverse backgrounds will likely bring new, novel, brilliant ideas and perspectives.

They are also more likely to challenge and teach others new ways of thinking about things and solving problems. Instead of everyone working on something different on their own, team members will realize the value the other brings, which ensures they work together instead of individually.

One thing to remember when doing this is that the individuals must gel together so that their diversity becomes a strength and not a weakness. Hiring managers can do this by ensuring individuals are a good fit for teams before placing them in one.

Build Trust

Building trust is a concept that sounds easy enough, but many people do not think about it deeply enough. It is difficult, sometimes impossible, for a team to work together if the individuals do not trust each other. Successful teams are built on many principles, with trust being key among them.

There are many ways to build trust between team members, including team-building activities and encouraging team members to have lunch. Also, businesses can encourage team members to interact in other areas of their work, not just at the workplace.

Doing the above also has additional benefits, such as improving job satisfaction and increasing employee morale, which benefit the team and business.

Encourage Clear Communication and Collaboration

Once everyone understands their roles and responsibilities, they still have to work with others, share ideas, and work towards ensuring the successful completion of specific projects. All these are enabled by frequent and clear communication.

A typical challenge for modern businesses is that they have distributed teams to encourage remote work. Getting everyone to communicate can be difficult, especially if the individuals live and work in different time zones.

Fortunately, numerous communication tools encourage communication and collaboration regardless of the individual’s location. Teams can use these tools to ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal in the same project.

Team leaders should also ensure everyone understands how what they do fits into the overall project and how they can support other team members in different roles. They should also encourage team members to ask questions and ask for help.

They can also use these collaborative tools to pass updates and information to their team members and to encourage them to use their skills for better team and project outcomes.

Hold Everyone Accountable

Accountability is often one-sided, with team leaders and managers encouraging it in employees but not accepting for themselves. Teams work best when they know everyone is held to the same standards. Open and honest communication is crucial when team leaders pass feedback to individuals, but it should also be encouraged when team members do the same to leadership.

Holding everyone accountable is not about criticizing or attacking them personally; instead, it’s about identifying areas where they fall short and can improve. It also identifies whether team members can be more efficient or streamline their workflows for better outcomes.

Team leaders should monitor each individual’s performance and output to be ready to step in and address any issues in real time. They should also encourage team members to do the same for them.

Use Team Meetings Effectively

Many people hate team meetings because they feel they do not have value. This happens when the team leader does not plan team meetings to ensure they are useful, focused, and a tool for reporting, brainstorming, reflecting, sharing ideas, and providing feedback.

Regardless of how often they happen, the team leader should have an agenda and plan for each meeting. Doing so ensures meetings are productive and organized and drives team performance instead of being the unproductive and boring affairs many teams are used to.

Reorganize Teams Where Necessary

Teams work best when individuals are in roles that allow them to use all their skills, knowledge, and expertise to achieve team and business goals. It is common for some roles or responsibilities not to be a good fit for specific individuals.

Team leaders should be ready to reassign tasks and responsibilities and reorganize their teams so everyone is in a role that fits them best. If they do not do this, team members in the “wrong” roles will impact the whole team, crushing teamwork and tanking productivity.

Focusing on the basics is a great way to ensure successful teams and enhanced teamwork. These basics include building inclusive and diverse teams, providing communication and collaboration tools, building trust, and ensuring individuals fit their roles and responsibilities well. Team leaders should also routinely check whether the team is working efficiently and make necessary changes if something is wrong.

About the author 

Elle Gellrich

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