Around 15,000 years ago, humans began working in teams, and our species has survived to the present day partly because of that advancement. Additionally, teamwork tends to be most effective when teams work toward a common goal. In the workplace, each individual's actions can affect the whole company, so it is imperative that employees are good team members.
Fortunately, there are a few tips that can help ensure that your team is working effectively:
Make Sure Your Employees Are Engaged:
Invite your employees to listen and share information actively with each other. Encourage them to contribute their ideas and solutions rather than waiting for someone else to come up with the idea.
Remind your direct reports that it's okay to ask questions. If they don't understand what's going on, they can't effectively contribute. Remember that if you have one employee who doesn't understand something, there are likely others on the team who don't.
Everyone must be there for the good of the team as a whole and their team members as individuals. Employees collaborate better when they actually know their teammates, so take time to set up opportunities for employees to connect beyond the deliverables.
Create a Culture of Collaboration:
It's important employees consider each other's points of view. It is okay to let employees know that you will be looking for them to pay attention to and respect others' opinions, feelings, and personal beliefs.
Create an environment where employees feel comfortable utilizing constructive feedback as a tool. Giving and receiving suggestions for improvement respectfully is hugely influential in creating a positive environment, and that should be encouraged.
Don't forget to show respect for your employees. Remember you are part of this team too, and everyone on the team needs to be working collaboratively toward a common productive objective.
Set Clear Goals:
Make sure your employees know what the end goals are and how they are expected to be part of getting there.
Be concise with tasks and follow through. If you have given an employee a task within the team, ensure they understand why it's important to do it. They are responsible for their duties just as other team members are responsible for theirs, and they should be encouraged to make an effort out of respect for the team.
Proactively try to prevent problems before they occur. Clear goals can lead the way to see and sidestep potential conflicts before they arise.
Encourage Tolerance and Acceptance of Individual Differences:
It's proven that diverse teams outperform those that are more homogenous. Recognize, respect, and celebrate the differences in others. Emphasize that the team should hear from everyone, and the ideas and contributions of everyone are valued.
Be a good role model by adapting what you say and how you say it to suit different people and situations. Not only will your employees notice, but they will start to pick up on how others like to be treated based on your example.
Remember and remind everyone that teams are made up of a diverse group of people to ensure all possibilities, angles, and approaches are considered. Diversity of experiences breeds diversity of thought, which is never a negative. Make sure that your team members understand and embrace this.
Cultivate a Creative Environment:
Remember that something you want to do is usually done better. Where possible, try to create a fun and energetic environment that can boost team effectiveness, collaboration, and creativity.
Encourage individuals to use their complete range of skills and knowledge in their everyday work, which will increase energy, creativity, and efficiency.
Working together is an essential aspect of all successful organizations, so it makes sense to spend time considering ways to cultivate collaboration as a leader in your organization. Not only does cooperative work create an environment with a shared purpose, but that environment also results in higher levels of commitment to the company, morale, job satisfaction, trust, and overall performance, as well as lower rates of tardiness and absenteeism.