Encouraging Good Teamwork
There is so much that could go wrong with a workplace team that it becomes extremely important to always encourage good teamwork. Competition between employees, employee absences that put strain on the rest of the team and insubordinate employees are just some of the challenges that managers face when they are trying to create a productive team.
The good news is that encouraging good teamwork is easy when you get the entire team to sign on to the idea. A strong team will find a way to police itself and make sure that the work is always done and that the quality of the work remains high. There are several different things a manager can do to encourage good teamwork and keep everyone on the same page.
Everyone Has a Role
If everyone in your team does not have a role to play in the team’s success, then there will be problems at some point. Each person on your team has to have her own responsibilities and her own contributions to the team’s success. If you have team members with overlapping responsibilities, then that will create unnecessary and potentially counter-productive competition. As a manager, it is your job to identify the needs of the team and then put people into roles that address those needs.
Everyone is Supportive
Once a week, your team should meet and you should take the time to identify the accomplishments of each team member for the previous week. Then you should open up the floor for team members to express challenges they are having and ask the team for help. You need encourage this healthy interaction to inspire the team members to be supportive of each other. A team that respects and relies on the input of its members will only grow stronger and become a more productive unit.
Let it Get Personal
While it is true that your team members do not need to necessarily like each other personally to be productive, trying to develop some low-level personal bonds between team members can be helpful in building mutual respect. In a separate weekly meeting, you can allow your team to discuss any non-related work issues that they want. The team members can ask each other for advice on personal matters, or they can share stories of personal achievement. When it is a team member’s birthday, everyone should get involved in celebrating that birthday with a cake and maybe a card.
You should also try to arrange an off-site event once a month that could even include the team members’ families. A movie night, bowling night or some other kind of activity will go a long way towards encouraging personal bonds to form which can be essential to promoting good teamwork.
Everyone Knows the Plan
When everyone in your team is on the same page, then team harmony is easier to maintain. If there are some people on your team who are not clear on what the team plan is for success, then there could be problems. In your weekly team business meeting, make sure that everyone is updated on the company’s expectations for the team and how the team intends to achieve those expectations. When everyone knows the plan, then it is easier for everyone to work together to achieve that plan.