Essential Tips To Ease The Process Of Working In Teams
Whether we are working in groups for our class projects or collaborating in the workplace, all of us at some point would have needed to work together with others.
Effective teamwork will influence the outcome of a project, as well as the relationships between teammates. If there is no team spirit and the team becomes fragmented, it may lead to a higher chance of conflict and it may also affect the productivity of the group. Members forming their own cliques or sub-groups will also reduce cohesion within the group.
How do we use our strengths and work better together as a team? Here are some tips we can keep in mind when we are working with others:
1. Having clearly defined goals/framework
When a team has mapped out a clear goal, it becomes easier to tackle the task. Having a plan helps to prioritize what is urgent, the time spent working on the project or idea, and the best way to utilize the resources available.
Additionally, having defined goals and a game plan will also guide each team member in understanding their job in the team and how they can contribute to the overall development of the project. Teamwork starts from the top: if the team leader has a structured plan and is collaborative with their members, the team will be motivated to work towards their goal.
2. Defining the responsibilities of each team member
When each team member understands their role in the team or the project, they will be able to focus on their part to make the project a success.
If the responsibilities are set out clearly from the start of the project, this will prevent any overlapping in tasks or a team member’s skills from being under-utilized. Setting out each person’s role should be done before starting work on the project so that everyone is on the same page.
Another important step that is needed while working in teams is knowing how to delegate tasks. This point touches more on the importance of leadership. One of the most common dislikes of working in teams is the fear that one or two members of the team will end up carrying most of the burden, instead of the whole team.
The delegation of tasks will ensure that the leader or a specific team member/members will not carry an unequal amount of the workload. This will also boost the morale of the team as they will be able to enjoy their work better when they are treated right.
Let’s take the example of job hunting. When we are searching for jobs, it is important that the job scope is defined clearly. This is because that applicants will know what is expected of them if they do get the job. Additionally, having a clear scope will prevent employees from having overlapping tasks or misunderstandings from happening.
3. Participative leadership
Speaking of leadership, the practice of participative leadership comes to mind. Participative leadership is practiced in leading meetings, assigning tasks, recording decisions and commitments. Moreover, assessing progress, holding team members accountable, and providing direction.
This is when members of the team are encouraged to give their input in the decision-making process and it’s usually done by the leader of the team. This means that the team will have a group discussion and every participant on the team will actively be sharing their ideas. Also, their input will be considered before the leader ultimately makes the decision.
4. Be open towards new ideas and in communication
Just like how it works in relationships, having open and honest communication is vital to effective teamwork. Having a good work environment will influence an individual’s commitment towards and enjoyment of their job. Team members need to feel comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions. This will also contribute towards an individual member’s growth, helping them to reach their fullest potential.
When team members feel that they can freely contribute ideas, it also encourages creativity. Creativity can lead to new ideas and opportunities for innovation. When working in a team, it is also important to establish two-way communication of information. T between both the members within the team, as well as between team members and their leader. This helps to reduce chances of miscommunication and ensures that everyone is updated. Having effective communication plays a big part in work culture and productivity.
According to Expert Market, 86% of corporate executives, educators, and employees believe that ineffective communication and poor collaboration are the causes for failures in the workplace.
5. Be willing to learn and help each other
Although each member is assigned their own tasks, the overall goal is to contribute towards the completion of the group project. So, instead of having the attitude of pushing tasks to each other or kicking your feet up after completing a task. Team members should be willing to help each other out where needed.
This is not to say that you should bite off more than you can chew. Rather, if you can offer your skills and have the time to do so. Then, it would be better be willing to help each other out.
At the end of the day, teamwork is about (and assessed by) what the group accomplishes together.
6. Commit to the success of your shared goal/project!
Each member of the team has to commit their time, resources, and skills. Hence, establishing commitment and setting aside time intentionally is vital for the success of a project. This would involve coordinating each other’s schedules. Such as setting datelines, and communicating with each other to ensure that a project/goal can be completed.
These are some of the tips to commit towards having greater teamwork in your workplace! Having good rapport with your co-workers (and bosses!) can also be another motivating factor towards enjoying your job. I hope that these tips can remind us of the benefits of working in teams. As a result, now we know exactly how we can work with one another better. After all, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
If you’re interested to learn more about how to work well with others, check out this article that explains the innerworkings of an effective team in a workplace.