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You've likely heard the saying, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” And while Aristotle was not referring to teamwork, the statement expresses the main goal of building a great team.
A team can achieve far more than any individual working alone. That's obvious. But through teamwork, a team should be able to achieve far more than all of the individual members working alone.
Most of us have been on teams where we wouldn't say that is always the case.
It takes more than one brilliant mind to achieve a goal, especially as the issues we're trying to solve become more complex, no single person has all of the information, context, and skills needed. It takes a team for great ideas to come to life.
Why is being part of a team not always fulfilling?
You can’t simply put a group of people into a room and expect miracles to happen. Utilizing the diverse talents and perspectives of team members, having a clear shared objective, and effective collaboration all help give a team the power to grow and succeed.
Done right, working together and being part of a team drives success for the individual and the company. When a team grows and learns, so does the company's ability to be agile and create value for customers.
Each team member's skills and abilities should grow faster as well.
That's the power of great teamwork.
Let’s take a look at the importance of teams and how to make teamwork work in the workplace.
What’s the importance of teamwork in the workplace?
Collaboration is one of the most important skills for any employee’s career success. As a leader, finding ways to encourage and improve collaboration among members of your team is equally important for team success and your own.
Everyone has a different role to play. Whether you're all in the office or you're team is remote, as a manager, your job is to draw out the different capabilities on your team and find ways to use them to achieve better outcomes.
If you're a team member, your job is to play the role assigned to you, but also, identify if there's a gap. Sometimes you need to jump in and see what other roles you can fill . All of those roles need to be fulfilled in order to achieve progress.
Collaborating as a team is not something that comes naturally to everybody. As a leader, it's helpful to highlight the importance of teamwork. But you also have to demonstrate everyday how and why teamwork is critical within your particular workplace. Leaders need to model cooperative behavior, recognize people who are collaborating well, and advocate for tools and performance measures that support collaboration.
Healthy cooperation is instrumental to workplace productivity.
Working together also promotes fast development. It streamlines effective communication in the workplace and provides everyone the opportunity to feel recognized and validated in their contribution to the team.
Without proper direction and guidance, even the most talented colleagues will struggle to work together as a team. Effective teamwork is a skill set all on its own. It takes time and experience to learn how it works and why it is so important.
So what does teamwork mean to you and your business? Here are ten reasons why teamwork is a crucial element of any efficient workplace.
1. Brings new ideas
All businesses need fresh ideas to pull the company forward and achieve team goals. The competitive nature of business requires employees to find fresh ways to innovate and inspire growth. Without teamwork, many creative ideas may go undiscovered.
Give your workforce a voice, and what they say may surprise you.
2. Helps solve problems
Problem-solving forms a huge part of any successful business. If you take a step back, you can see that your teams are always solving the problem of how to deliver more value to the customer.
And as technology advances and needs change more quickly, the problems your team needs to solve are getting more complex.
That means the odds of one person knowing having the best answer for how to address a problem is unlikely. More likely, most problems or opportunities require a variety of skills, perspectives, and knowledge.
A team is more likely to bring the perspectives and experiences that solve a problem than one person on their own.
Teamwork is about more than brainstorming — getting some ideas on the table is just the beginning. More effective brainstorming involves combining ideas and building off them. This type of collaboration, among team members who trust and respect each other, is a simpler, faster, and much more effective way to find solutions.
Think of it as collective troubleshooting. The more perspectives you have, the more likely you are to solve the problem.
Brainstorming creates an open arena for the exchange of thoughts. The mistake is to think of it as sorting through ideas until you strike gold. It is less about seeing one great idea than having a bunch of different people kicking the tires and adding onto it until it becomes something altogether different, and better.
This type of open, safe, and motivated environment can be very energizing. This creates a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that is rewarding and makes work feel more meaningful.
Brainstorming has other benefits besides generating ideas. A study by NIU researchers found that brainstorming can be used to build cohesiveness, which in turn can lessen employee turnover and increase employee commitment.
3. Motivates unity in the workplace
A sense of unity in the workplace is really important for high employee engagement levels and job satisfaction. Society likes to divide us and focus on the ways in which we are different. But by recognizing the importance of teamwork, you can motivate camaraderie amongst your employees.
Teamwork improves when everyone feels heard, seen, and recognized for their value as an employee and as an individual. Promoting a sense of community and social connection within the workplace offers fulfillment. It helps employees foster a much-needed sense of belonging.
4. Builds morale
Building morale gives employees the strength they need to push forward and take their profession to the next level. Working as a team can boost morale levels by keeping spirits high and can even allow people to have fun while they work.
Teamwork motivates employees to trust and rely on one another. This encourages friendship and respect for everyone around them. By advocating for teamwork and positive working relationships, you can strengthen company morale and keep everyone feeling satisfied.
5. Promotes learning and development
Being part of a team allows people who wouldn’t normally speak up to share their points of view. Their insights and perceptions could be really valuable to the business.
Promoting team-building activities means that information is more evenly distributed. And it creates peer-to-peer learning opportunities, helping individuals develop their skills and expertise more rapidly. By learning from one another, employees can leverage the knowledge and experience of their colleagues.
6. Teams innovate faster
Innovation is a critical component of any forward-thinking company. Teamwork is a great way to nurture it. Many of the best ideas your company has will come from its employees. But they won’t be able to share their innovations unless you open up the floor.
Empower your employees by giving them the opportunity to exercise real collaboration. Get them to work as a team on certain projects. With the power of everyone’s minds combined, true innovation can naturally develop.
Bouncing ideas off one another is an essential part of company progress. Bringing everyone together as a group can help those ideas loosen up and start taking form. The best innovations often require the input of more than one person, which is why it’s better to succeed as a team.
7. Teams self-monitor
Contrary to popular belief, being part of a team can actually make you more independent. When you’re working as a group, those who don’t pull their weight are quickly left behind. All while more responsible team members go the extra mile.
Introducing teamwork exercises can help employees learn what their strengths and weaknesses are. This way, they can learn how best to contribute and put their skills to use.
Many people feel uncertain about their roles within the workplace. However, teamwork exercises can teach them to take ownership of their positions. It encourages them to develop accountability for their role in achieving team goals.
8. Provides improved efficiency and productivity
Your business is only as good as the people you employ. Individuals create real motion when acting cohesively.
Teamwork in the workplace means a more efficient and productive workforce, bundling everyone’s skills, ideas, and experiences to build something new. Working together saves time and provides everyone with more energy to focus on getting the job done.
By getting your employees to work as a team, you can improve the productivity levels of everyone present. You can actualize innovative ideas with more efficiency, making the importance of teamwork clear.
9. Creates healthy competition
Sometimes, teamwork opens up the possibility to overcome challenges that cannot be done alone. There’s nothing like a little competition to get people pushing their limits. Teamwork is one way to rally employees against whatever challenges your company is facing.
Healthy competition can invigorate employees and spur each other on to solve problems. Some research studies suggest that workplace competition can motivate employees and make them put in more effort.
10. Promotes workplace synergy
Synergy is what happens when two or more groups come together and act as one to achieve something great. Workplace synergy is important for business momentum. It directly reflects how cooperative a group of employees really is.
Asking a group of individuals to work together to accomplish a common goal is the ultimate test of strength and potential. If you want to see how far your business can really go, assembling a strong, communicative, and innovative group of people is crucial to success.
Teamwork in the workplace requires compromise, sacrifice, perseverance, and many more positive attributes. The best way to promote a high standard of workplace synergy is through teamwork growth.
The bottom line on the importance of teamwork
When it comes to tackling new challenges, the importance of teamwork is impossible to underestimate. It’s the glue that holds everyone together.
Teamwork ensures that momentum is consistently maintained. In business, that momentum is precious. Any methods of increasing efficiency must be taken seriously.
Being part of a team fortifies the bond between individual employees. It allows them to embrace their position within the greater system of the workforce.
When the workload is shared between everyone, things get done faster and more efficiently. This provides everyone with a sense of pride and confidence in the role they play.
But more than that, as a manager, you cannot succeed if you aren't developing effective teams. Teamwork is critical for agility.
With a wide range of specialized packages and coaching options, BetterUp can support your business in its journey. The keys to unlocking peak teamwork synergy in the workplace for both your in-person and virtual teams are in your hands.
Request a demo with us today.