If it takes one hour for a person to complete a task, how long would it take two? The mathematical answer would be: “30 minutes.” But when working as a team, the efforts of the members are enhanced, reducing the time of action and increasing the effectiveness of the results.
This way of working, in which all participants are responsible for the goals, is the most assertive for any type of organization. This is not only because it is easier to meet the objectives, but also because it is the best way to retain talent and foster an enviable work environment. For example, Richard Branson, creator of the Virgin empire, always talks about “us” in his posts and communications. As a great leader, he knows that two heads are better than one.
No matter the type of business or the size of your company, you can implement this strategy successfully. Here are some tips to stop operating in groups or by individuals and start creating teams that work like an orchestra:
1. Build confidence. Trust is the main element of teamwork. Promote an environment where all participants know each other’s skills, understand their roles, and know how to help each other
2. Set common goals. For your employees to work as a team, they must pursue the same goals. Therefore, it is important that you communicate the mission of the company in a uniform way and that you define how each member and department can contribute to fulfilling it.
3. Create a sense of belonging. Human beings need to feel part of something; therefore, the most powerful factor in team building is the development of a common identity. Define what identifies your teams, set values, and make each member aware of their impact on the team
4. Involve your people in decisions. Nothing affects teamwork more than the fact that decisions are made by an autocratic leader. To avoid this, promote the generation of ideas, open your mind and motivate each employee to share their opinion. If you have this feedback, it will be easier to implement any changes or strategies.
5. Make there is an understanding between the parties. It is very easy to criticize or underestimate the work of others when you do not know it or have not executed it. To create empathy among your workers, perform rotation exercises between areas. This way, each member will know what the other’s work consists of and how they can contribute to doing it better.
6. Motivates responsibility and mutual commitment. When a person is part of a team, he knows that the achievements or failures are the responsibility of each and every one of the members. Don’t encourage the “this is not my problem” mentality; make the problems and successes shared
7. Boost communication. The only way for all members to work as an orchestra is if there are proper communication channels. Real teams listen to each other and give each other feedback. They are willing to change their minds and strategize together.
8. Take advantage of diversity. A homogeneous work team can operate efficiently but without much innovation. When creating your teams, try to ensure that there are different personalities and interests, but that values and a commitment to the company are shared
9. Celebrate group successes. Although it is also important to recognize individual work, it is key that rewards are given for team results. When something goes well, bring everyone involved together and thank them for their work. Try to highlight the role of each one, but celebrate the group result
10. Be a leader. Every work team needs a leader to guide and bring together individual efforts. Don’t “wash your hands” and be part of the team. As a leader you will have to reach consensus and make decisions, based on the ideas and opinions of your team.
They Work as a Team if …
- They make group decisions. Although not everyone agrees at first, they have the ability to reach consensus and come up with ways to get on the boat.
- They hold productive meetings. After each meeting, the attendees know well what steps to take and feel that their presence was essential. During the meetings, new ideas and strategies are generated to grow the company.
- Creativity and innovation are encouraged. When all members know what to do and know its impact on the company, new ideas and innovations are produced that enable growth.
- They are heard. They are all on the same page and when a problem arises they are ready to support. In addition, they actively listen to the opinions of others and help offer solutions.
They Do Not Work as a Team if …
- You make all the decisions.
- Each area cares about its own goals and blames others for not reaching them.
- They do not know or communicate continuously with each other.
- There is competition (not “healthy”) between areas or individuals.
- They do not trust the other members or there is a lack of respect towards their work.
- You speak as “me” and not as “us.”