Importance of teamwork and collaboration in the workplace

When working in an office environment teamwork and collaboration is important. This applies to remote working locations as well.

Whether or not your colleagues work remotely or in an office, teamwork and collaboration coincide with success. Between stressful deadlines, it’s important for coworkers to feel comfortable relying on each other.

It doesn’t matter if you have every other function in your business set up to perfection. You will still run into speed bumps if collaboration in the workplace is not on point. We’re here to help you understand how much of an impact good teamwork can have on your team.

How teamwork and collaboration can make or break your team

There are countless studies that have focused on collaboration and how teamwork sets companies up for success. The truth of the matter is that communication is at the heart of this issue. Without it, even the best employee may struggle to connect with the rest of the group.

Teamwork is a cooperative process that allows regular people to achieve impressive results.

Collaborative tasks in the workplace can help lift every member of your team to the next level. If you feel stuck at some point, asking a teammate for their input can help you finish a project successfully.

If your team is struggling with communication, asking for help may be an anxiety-inducing experience. When trust issues are left unresolved, it can stunt every person on that team and prevent everyone from moving forward.

Promoting collaboration is every bit as important as completing a project risk assessment and workflow analysis. Yet, it’s something that is often forgotten in lieu of more project-oriented tasks.

Does teamwork really make the dream work?

If you have hired great team members, collaboration should be a natural progression of the team’s relationship.

We often see our teammates more frequently than our family. For a good portion of every week, you are working together to keep the company successful. It’s only natural that they chat about their personal lives or maybe even grab a drink or two on a Friday evening.

Supporting this kind of environment should be high on every manager’s list. Without collaboration and teamwork, projects may suffer as people attempt to distance themselves from each other.

a workplace team collaborating to complete a project

The importance of teamwork

The phrase “No man is an island” is especially important in modern businesses. This saying simply points out that no single person is entirely self-sufficient.

When working with a team, everyone has to understand that they have to rely on each other for support. This is the best way to make the most out of everyone’s skills.

Studies have found that 39% of employees believe that people within their company don’t collaborate often enough. Avoid letting your team fall into this trap and becoming a statistic. Make sure to promote great teamwork and collaboration within your office.

What are the pillars of great teamwork and collaboration?

In addition to using a task management tool, managers should make sure that they’re supporting teamwork in-person as well.

Personal communication preferences may differ, but there are certain traits that universally help people collaborate.

Strong interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are a key factor in how successful the team can be. However, these skills are dependant on each individual on your team.

Even if someone is shy or quiet, it is possible for them to have strong interpersonal skills. By definition, interpersonal skills are anything “used by a person to interact with others properly.”

It’s these skills that allow employees to be more productive while playing off of social expectations and customs.

If a certain teammate is condescending, their lacking interpersonal skills may actually stunt others on your team. It’s important for a project manager to speak one-on-one with that team member. To make this happen, you can brainstorm ways to improve their behavior and collaborative skills in the future.

Open communication

Directly tied to a team’s overall social skills, open communication is a key factor in creating a collaborative environment.

Under no circumstances should an employee feel uncomfortable asking for help or advice. Promote questions and allow the entire team to pitch in and help find a solution.

Some managers have found that the best way to foster teamwork is to start with themselves. Be open about your personal struggles and ask others for advice. Once you get a conversation started, you can learn more about what would make your team more efficient.

Open communication can also be built through company culture and outings. By having a team lunch, you can discuss important projects as well as what people are doing during the weekend.

Remember, the more relaxed your teammates are with each other, the more efficient everyone will be.

Helpful feedback

One of the most important parts of collaboration is feedback. How comfortable your teammates are with each other is a big factor in the type of feedback they give.

Sometimes, all that’s needed is “this is a good idea, keep going!” In other cases, feedback may be more complicated and need to point the entire project in a new direction to be successful.

Both the person asking for feedback and the person giving their opinion must understand that constructive criticism is not a personal attack. If everyone is on the same page about effective feedback, the goal will always be to support each other.

Leadership

Although each department will have specific managers who lead the rest of the team, it’s important that every teammate is comfortable with leadership.

This is important because strong leadership skills allow team members to work together at every stage of the project. Together, they can brainstorm and understand what parts of the work will need additional manpower.

If you have someone on your team who is more detached from everyone else, you may want to work with them to improve their leadership skills. You can help these individuals out by teaching them to take ownership of their work and collaborate whenever possible.

A picture highlighting the importance of leadership within teamwork and collaboration.

Accountability

Every manager has experienced a scenario when something went wrong in a project and no one wanted to take accountability for the error.

If you want to have successful collaboration in the workplace, you’ll need to promote personal accountability.

This may seem counterintuitive because teamwork is all about a collective of people. However, personal accountability will motivate everyone to do their best and correct any problems that arise. Accountability is a motivating factor because it allows people to take pride in their work.

When something goes wrong, you want people to take accountability. Understand that mistakes happen and don’t yell or scold an employee harshly. You will want to use each experience as a learning tool to improve on for future.

Commitment to success

Commitment to success is the final pillar that allows teams to collaborate well in the workplace.

Even though every employee is interested in collecting their paycheck, they should also be motivated by the quality of their work. They should enjoy seeing things from start to finish while making sure that customers are kept happy.

If everyone on your team is strongly committed to success, you’ll find that collaboration is easy to foster and that overall efficiency will improve.

Thanking people for their hard work and rewarding great outcomes are some ways that managers can help people renew their commitment to the team.

Ultimately, your team is relying on you to create an environment that supports open communication and collaboration. Though the steps to succeed may look different, the fact remains that teamwork and collaboration can ultimately make or break a company.

By Nancy Roque

June 26, 2018


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