Having a team that works like a well-oiled machine will affect the outcomes in your company. Encourage team collaboration, hire people who are passionate about their job and love to work with each other and you can expect increase in sales, higher satisfaction and loyalty.
While developing teamwork skills is something companies rarely prioritize as it doesn’t show immediate results on the charts, there are some great ways in which you can have the entire team on the same page—and it’s more than organizing one team building event every three months.
Why is Team Collaboration Important?
Without effective teamwork, your employee satisfaction will drop significantly, which will result in the lack of productivity and the quality of work.
Not being satisfied with the company culture and the relationships within the team are one of the main reasons for quiet quitting—a trend that’s become prominent in the last few years among corporate employees.
A Stanford study showed that people who are working in a team are more likely to preserve longer on difficult tasks, show more interest in their work and simply have a better time doing the tasks than people who are working alone.
Having a supportive team member by your side is a keystone for achieving team goals and company goals at the same time.
So, let’s check out some of the best ways to encourage team members to help each other and build genuine relationships with their colleagues without it feeling forced.
1. Leadership Team is Critical
If you’re struggling with teamwork and you’ve tried organizing team meetings and workshops but don’t see the improvements that you’ve expected, you should take a look at your leadership. It all starts there. Do you have a chief heart officer? Who’s responsible to get the best out of each employee?
If company leaders treat everyone with respect and ensure people work effectively, they’ll enhance teamwork through an example.
Having an open communication and doing everything to help your employees reach team’s goals will allow them to take the same approach when you’re not there.
Great teams are great only because their leaders set that example.
2. Team Building Activities Create Strong Teams
Let’s just get it out there. Organizing a team building activity will help your team members bond. The better relationships they create outside the office, the more productive they will be inside the office and they’ll approach work with better understanding of each other’s problems.
There will be people who don’t like team building exercises, but that’s common, especially with larger companies. Therefore, try to keep your team building exercises consistent, but don’t overdo it for them to become a burden.
Come Up With Creative Activities
Some great examples could be taking your team to lunch and cocktails, organizing a field trip or some activities such as softball, paintball, cruises, etc.
The team performance after a fun day outside the office will certainly jump, especially if you know that people have had a stressful period.
3. Keep An Open Communication
Successful teams are talking a lot. They talk to each other to their superiors and managers and even leaders. But they never talk behind each other’s back.
If you’re wondering how to improve teamwork, ask yourself: “Is my team talking? Can we do anything to motivate them to share?”
While there need to be some communication guidelines in the office, set clear expectations about when you organize meetings with each team member or a group meeting with the entire team to go over some problems and solutions.
1:1 and Group Meetings
For instance, having monthly 1:1 meetings with everyone is a great way to learn more about some challengers specific members face during work. They should be free to share everything that they feel matters to them and you need to be prepared to offer them some solutions.
Perhaps someone’s not participating in teamwork activities and aren’t productive as they’ve shown they can be because they have personal issues.
Those one-on-one meetings should be a way for every team member to share whatever they feel comfortable with leaders and make suggestions about improving workflow.
How many times do team members suggest something and are shut down or not taken into consideration?
While it is impossible to accept every single suggestion, being constantly rejected can demotivate them from contributing. Eventually, they’ll start looking for a job elsewhere, while all they need is to be recognized even if their ideas are rejected.
4. Set A Set of Clear Rules
Setting clear rules are a key to have a successful team. The rules don’t have to be super-strict for the productivity to increase, but they can come in handy especially with a team project. For example, you can set the following rules:
- Team meetings are always with cameras on
- In the first 10 minutes of our daily meeting, we’ll catch up
- There won’t be any communication after office hours
- We’ll be open about the problems we face and how to solve them
You get the point. Having the clear set of rules, no matter how big or small they may seem will set your team up for success.
Once you establish team rules, team members will respect each other’s time, share ideas when it’s time for it and have a clear perspective of what’s expected out of each team member.
5. Have Clear Goals and Purpose
As you go down the hierarchy, the alignment with the main goals is more difficult to achieve. Some person can be doing repetitive tasks without know what that contributes to. They can find that demotivating, which means that they won’t care about great teamwork.
To have successful collaboration, all team members need to understand why they work on something. So, we touch back upon leadership.
It’s their job to keep team members engaged, by talking to them and showing that they have some other plans despite this period may be unmotivating.
Once they present clear deadlines and future goals for each individual person and how they envision their growth, they will make it much more likely for people to foster collaboration and teamwork.
They’ll be willing to help their team members as this would also help them move up the ladder. This way, you’ll have an entire team moving in the same direction.
6. Reward Team Members When They Deserve It
To have a satisfied team, your employees need to be recognized for their efforts and the work they put in daily. It’s no secret that the employee satisfaction affects the team’s productivity and success.
If you want to have a happier and stronger team, you need to recognize their efforts and reward team members for the goals they reach.
This doesn’t have to be every time something good gets done. However, there are different ways in which you can stimulate your employees.
- Bonuses – short-term bonuses are a great way to award your employees or team work displayed on a project. These can be individual or team based, depending on the tasks and the structure of your organization.
- Pay Increases – After a continuous effort, you want to award your employees with pay increases. This will motivate them to further work on their skill sets and be even more productive.
- Promotions – Promoting team members to fill out positions in the company should always be the first option before going out to hire. Most of the times, you’ll find someone competent enough to take the position of a leader but also more responsibilities.
- Extra days off – Give your top employees a few extra days off and let them have some more time to devote to their families and friends.
- Education Opportunities – offer employees paid courses or special education opportunities that will help them complete more difficult tasks in the future but also work on their skills.
- Other awards – Some other awards may include gear, clothing, presents or any other creative ideas you might have for a way to brighten someone’s day.
7. Work Life Balance Matters
The only way to have a successful team is if each member has a good work life balance. Not having to be pressured by work responsibilities will allow your employees to wind down after each day and spend some time home, resting.
This is important as over time tension can build up and team members feel stressed which can affect the teamwork.
Respecting each other’s time off is crucial for team development and improving teamwork. Not to mention that everyone will be more focused to solve their tasks if they know that they won’t have to work on those after hours.
8. Take Breaks Together
Working eight-hour shifts can be difficult, but effective teams have shown one characteristic – they take breaks together.
From time to time, gather your team and go for a quick bite or a cup of coffee in a nearby cafe. This will allow team members to catch up with each other, especially if they haven’t had the chance to talk much outside work.
Also, this is a great way to unwind and forget about tasks for a while and at the same time it is a nice social activity.
You can turn this into one of your team traditions – once a week, or biweekly, set some time to grab a snack or a coffee or even just for a quick walk.
9. Accept Differences
Diverse teams are more common nowadays and accepting these differences is what brings the teams together. Not everyone loves the same activities or even gets along well with different types of personalities.
If you have some people disagreeing with each other, that’s a normal situation in the workplace. To strengthen teamwork in these situations, you need to address such differences and keep it professional.
If you’ve built a company culture where team members can have honest conversations and speak openly about what they would love to change and what it would work best for such relationships to progress.
All team members understand that they don’t have to be best friends as long as nothing interferes with their work and their productivity.
Disagree respectfully, but be clear about team goals and what needs to be done to achieve them without making it worse for the other team members.
10. Showing Gratitude Is Important
Encourage team members to show gratitude to others. Usually, people regard their work as something they have to do and treat others nonchalantly without even realizing that they’re affecting the teamwork in the workplace.
Again, this is something that starts from the leaders and it shows within team members. Show gratitude to the whole team but also individual employees for a job well done and their effort.
This will encourage teamwork across the board and people will be more aware of these small things, making the overall place better and more desirable to work in.
11. Create an Office Space To Foster Teamwork
One of the great ways to improve teamwork is to create an office space that motivates people to work together and spend more time together. Open spaces have been popular in recent years for companies that didn’t switch to remote work.
While they have disadvantages, open spaces make it easier for people to communicate and develop a good teamwork. You can have multiple teams in the same space where they get a sense of each others’ work and responsibilities.
Areas Set for Entertainment
Including areas for entertainment can help you improve workplace teamwork! Add the gaming area with a pool and table tennis tables and include some cards and short-format board games. This will encourage collaboration as teams can play against each other and people will spend more time working together.
Having such an area in the company can help people create meaningful relationships, bond over their interest rather just work and collaborate effectively once they need to get back to it.
Having some down time is also great for them to share ideas, especially if you have creative teams working on tasks that require thinking outside of the box. And not to mention job satisfaction…
12. Organize Workshop to Develop Teamwork Skills
In order to have successful teamwork, your team needs to be on the same page and willing to work actively on such skills. However, you need to encourage team members to participate in such activities.
Unlike team buildings, you can organize workshops specifically aimed to improve teamwork in your organization. These can be held online or in your office and are easy to set up.
Plan the activities with your HR and things you can do to help create a more effective team. This can be aimed at solving problems together, or working in pairs or in a group setting, depending on what you want to achieve.
13. Play to Team Members Strengths
Every team is different and every company is different. What may work for some to create the right teamwork environment may not work for others, so when you’re thinking about the strategies to create more effective teams, take their strengths into consideration.
If you have a highly competitive sales team, you can offer bonuses to top performers, but also some rewards for second and third place.
Improving teamwork can be done by setting the minimum goal each member needs to achieve so that they unlock some team awards. This way, teams will be working together and develop a system to foster collaboration besides competition.
Check the strengths of your team and create tasks and environment in such a way for them to use this to work together.
14. Use Collaboration Tools
To improve teamwork, you can use various tools available for companies. Some of the basic ones include:
- Google Docs
There are various software available for companies who want to improve teamwork, easily organize team meetings and simply work together on various tasks. They can be extremely useful for remote companies that have a lot of employees.
Here are some of the best tools at your disposal if you want to create a strong team and have better business outcomes.
15. Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Company Culture
As your company grows and you bring new people to your team, your company culture may change. This is something you shouldn’t be afraid of even though your team members feel the change as it happens.
New people simply means new personalities and collaborative teamwork is something you have to work on constantly. Of course, they will need to adjust to your team’s practices but they same way they adjust to your team, your team needs to find a way to slightly modify for the new member to fit in.
Improving Teamwork in the Workplace is Difficult
Teams work differently and it takes a great effort to make a great team. While we’ve provided you with 15 ways on how to improve teamwork, applying these is often secondary for organizations.
While it’s important to complete tasks and be productive, mental health is also what matters for a team to be successful.
This is why it’s best not to make drastic changes to your company in your attempt to improve teamwork in the workplace. Suddenly changing the way you work can cause concern with your employees, which is why the best approach is to introduce slow changes gradually.
Your team members understand that creating the perfect environment is impossible, but they will recognize your efforts to provide each team member with a comfortable and supportive environment.
Make sure you communicate the intentions of your company about improving teamwork in the workplace and have all of your employees on the same page with the management. Only then you will create an effective team.
Find A Successful Team By Outsourcing Work
If you’re struggling to create good teamwork in the workplace, you have to address that. However, having some teams in-house can be difficult to manage, especially for smaller businesses with limited budgets. Most of the activities that we’ve mention require some budgeting.
Whether you want to organize an event or buy some of the online tools to help you create effective teamwork in the workplace, it costs money.
An alternative to investing in your workplace teamwork is to hire an outsourcing company that already has successful teams working for them.
In this case, you can focus on your core business and not worry as much about how to enhance teamwork.
Keep in mind that you still need to have high job satisfaction and strong teams in your organization, but it is much easier to work with smaller groups than large departments.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can team leaders foster a culture of collaboration and open communication within their teams?
Team leaders can encourage teamwork in the workplace by motivating team members to work together on projects, collaborate and ask each other questions. More importantly, they can show team members through practice.
How can teams effectively manage conflicts and disagreements to maintain a positive working atmosphere?
It is important to accept conflicts as a part of your work. Once you understand that disagreements happen, you must solve them in a civil manner. Improve teamwork by encouraging team members to talk to each other when they have issues and openly address the issue and find the solution.
Effective communication is the essence of a good team work and the team that knows how to handle conflicts will be successful.
What are the key elements of successful cross-functional collaboration, and how can organizations encourage it?
Successful cross-functional collaboration requires clear communication channels, shared goals, mutual respect, and a collaborative mindset.
Organizations can encourage it by creating cross-functional teams, fostering a culture that values interdepartmental cooperation, and implementing tools that facilitate seamless information sharing.
How to improve teamwork and productivity in a virtual or remote work environment with the use of technology?
There are great tools at our disposal that we can all use whether we work remotely or in an office. It is up to the team to decide which tool to use, but as long as it makes it easier for the employees, it has the effect.
Good teamwork still requires people to be active and participate in the activities. Tools are only here to make it easy for everyone to be in the loop.
Now That You Know How to Improve Teamwork…
There isn’t one right way to improve teamwork.
The combination of all of these is what you need to find and implement – celebrating successes, sharing information with the team, understanding each other’s positions, working but also taking break together and participating in activities outside of work will all bring your team joy to work.
It’s up to you to decide what exactly to implement to improve teamwork in the workplace.
…It’s Time To Get In Touch With Morph
At Morph, we’ve always loved these activities and our employees love spending time in our office with our fancy group of people. And if you’re looking for a successful team to help you with sales, customer satisfaction and other aspects of your business, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Let us demonstrate the tangible results that a well-organized and collaborative team can bring to your organization.
Your success is our priority, and we look forward to the opportunity to contribute to the growth and prosperity of your business. Contact us today, and let’s build a path to success together.