Building A Teamwork Culture

Belonging to a team has a lot to do with your understanding of the mission or objectives of the organisation and how best to contribute your quota.

Too often, teams are formed merely by gathering some people together and then hoping that those people somehow find a way to work together. Conversely, teams are most effective when carefully selected. A Swahili proverb says “It is amazing how much people get done if they do not worry about who gets the credit.”

Team-based organisation structures are best design for involving all employees in creating business success. In a team-oriented environment, you contribute to the overall success of the organisation. You work with fellow members of the organisation to produce results. Even though you have a specific job function and you belong to a specific department, you are unified with other members of the organisation to accomplish the overall objectives.

In a teamwork environment, people understand and believe that thinking, planning, decisions and actions are better when done cooperatively.

Successful Teamwork
With commitment, an overall sense of teamwork can be created in an organisation by doing just a few things right. According to Susan Heathfield, a management and organisation development consultant, a successful teamwork that creates effective result requires attention to:

Clear Expectations: Executive leadership must clearly communicate expectations for the team's performance and expected outcomes. Executives should also model teamwork in their interaction with each other and the rest of the organisation.

Creative Innovation: Team members must really be interested in change and understand how the strategy of using teams will help the organisation attain its communicated business goals.

Commitment: Team members must be committed to accomplishing the team mission and expected outcomes and also expect their skills to grow and develop on the team.

Consequences: Members of the team must be responsible and accountable for team achievements or failures. Also, organisation should plan to use failures for learning and support reasonable risk.

Other Tips On Teamwork

  • Form teams to solve real work issues and improve work processes
  • Provide training in systematic methods so the team expends its energy on the project
  • Hold department meetings to review projects and progress, to obtain broad input, and to coordinate shared work processes
  • Build fun and shared occasions into the organisation’s agenda –take the team to a sporting event; sponsor dinners at a local restaurant
  • Celebrate team successes publicly
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