Teamwork is defined in the dictionary as a combined action of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient. Teamwork can sometimes be minimized to being only for sports teams which is not true. Although sports is the place where teamwork is most discussed. How much more productive would companies be if they would embody the mindset of developing teamwork in their workplace?
The next question is how do you develop teamwork in general? This is an ever-changing answer because you must first understand that every team is different and there is no one process that works for everybody. The goal is to move your people to a state of unity and out of the state of self. This takes time and can be quicker for some than others.
Here are some simple steps to developing teamwork in the workplace:
- Awareness - You must first inform your employees that they have made a choice to join your company and every day they wake up and decide to come to work is the first step in showing their commitment to being apart of the team. So leave your selfish ambitions at home. When you walk through the door leave personal problems at home and realize you are about to walk into an environment where your actions effect everyone here, so act consciously.
- Choose - To make the freewill choice to commit to the vision of the company is a huge milestone for employees. So many people work because they think they need the pay or they think their family needs the benefits. This needs to be addressed right away that pay and benefits are bi-products of joining your company. The reason they decide to commit to your company needs to correlate with your mission and vision of the company's future. That's great that they want to get paid, but getting paid won't motivate them in high pressure situations. Getting paid won't be enough to make them pay attention to details and ensure quality work. Pay is not enough! People need to be committed to a purpose and as a manager or business owner you need to make it clear that employees are expected to make a decision to commit today!
- Commit - People commit to what they believe in. They give their time and invest in what they trust. So how do you build trust and get your people to invest? You must first have a clear vision that you communicate to them. Expectations should be thoroughly explained and the process to reach those expectations are crucial to your team's success. Once the map is laid out and the directions are given on how to get their - begin to guide and empower your people through this journey. Constructive criticism is necessary but it needs to be direct and private. Encouragement builds confidence in people and successful people drink it like water.
- Align - In sports, individuals can be so talented that they can win a game, but it takes a united team to win consistently. The same is true for business. A talented employee can win some battles or meet some deadlines. They will not be able to do it consistently because consistency derives from joining talents, gifts, skills and personalities together and getting them aligned. They must be aligned or on the same page as the leadership. That is so necessary! The best example of this is a car. If you buy new tires, you can't just put them on and go. You will mess up internal balance and other areas of your vehicle. After you get new tires, you must get them aligned. This is the necessary step that people cannot see from the outside but your vehicle will not function properly if you skip this step.