Unlike individualism, working with others offers innumerable benefits -- for companies and workers, too.
“Teamwork” is a popular buzzword, especially in the context of the workforce. Early on, teamwork was simply a strategy to motivate employees and encourage them to problem-solve together. Today, the concept has diversified. Teams do much more than just solve problems; they make crucial decisions, plan, and execute their own projects and initiatives — often with minimal feedback or involvement from the higher-ups.
It’s easy to take teamwork for granted, so here are some of the reasons it makes the world of work — and life — spin more smoothly:
It fosters creativity
Two minds are better than one, and consequently, brainstorming sessions make it possible to develop ideas as a group, with each team member contributing his or her best. Brainstorming doesn’t just benefit the group’s final decision, though; it helps individuals to break out of egocentric perspectives and to grow in creativity through exposure to other people’s points of view. Sharing knowledge with each other fosters learning as individuals and as a team.
It incorporates different skills
It’s normal for projects to involve different areas of competence. Teamwork allows each individual team member’s skills and talents to complement those of the others, to create a final result that none of the individuals could have achieved alone.
It makes it easier to assign roles
Through teamwork, it’s easier to detect the strengths and weaknesses of each team member and reorganize roles based on this knowledge.
It facilitates better decision-making
Being made in the light of various points of view, team decisions will tend to be more comprehensive and better thought through than those that are the result of just one person’s reflections.
It reduces the stress of team members
With teamwork, the amount of work that individuals have to do won’t always decrease (although it may), but the feeling of stress is reduced as both the work and the responsibility is shared with all the team members.
It intensifies a feeling of belonging
When people feel like they are part of a group or organization, their motivation and commitment increase, and consequently, so also does their work productivity. Teamwork aims to create a small, tighter-knit community within the wider organization, and often makes it easier for team members to achieve that connection.
It increases efficiency and productivity
Each individual has his or her own specialization. When team members collaborate, it allows each of them to maximize their potential in their area of expertise. On every team, the sum of the members actually multiplies their abilities. This helps them give more and better results.
How do we create good teamwork?
Before teamwork can start to produce results, team members need a period of time to establish interpersonal relationships, so that members can learn to work in a coordinated way, with shared goals and principles. To this end, it’s necessary to:
- Build confidence among team members
- Establish common objectives
- Create a sense of belonging
- Get team members involved in decision-making
- Seek mutual understanding
- Foster communication
- Use diversity to your advantage
- Celebrate the group’s successes
- Foster mutual commitment and shared responsibility
In short, teamwork creates greater motivation, commitment, and creativity, as well as more ideas, better communication, improved results, and greater quality of life. Unlike the individualism that dominates our culture, teamwork offers innumerable benefits, both for organizations and for employees.