Teamwork makes the dream work.
You must have heard this phrase a countless number of times. What does it mean? Simply that you can achieve your biggest obstacles if you have a team that shares a common goal and works together to achieve it. A team that works together performs and excels. They know what their goals are and how exactly they can go about achieving it- together.
As Andrew Carnegie rightly said, “..It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
Therefore, I am going to delve deeper into the importance of team building and how it translates directly to high performing teams.
The Importance of Team Building
1. BUILDS TRUST
Trust plays an essential role in building effective teams. For teams to work together, they need to know they can trust each other. That they can fall back on each other if the need arises. Moreover, when you build trust among teams, they give each other the space and autonomy to accomplish their tasks and make their own decisions.
Trust makes people feel safe. When they feel safe, they open up. They let their team members know about their strengths and weaknesses. They are more proactive with their ideas, take risks, listen to each other and then arrive at a consensus. As a result, there’s more collaboration, communication and team members aren’t afraid to expose their vulnerabilities with each other.
2. REGULATES COMMUNICATION
When employees work as a team, they communicate. They talk to each other about the task at hand and what is the best way to achieve the desired result. They strategise, divide themselves into smaller groups, hold discussions and try to finish the task in the most efficient manner. Communication also allows employees to understand their roles and what their peers are doing. When employees know what their team members are doing, they can check up on the progress made and help each other out if someone is unable to reach their goal.
3. INCREASES PRODUCTIVITY
Teams share the workload. This means that if one member has relatively less work, she can help another team member to complete their work. This allows the project to be finished faster, thereby, increasing productivity and improving the overall bottom line.
The importance of team building is that it improves the individual’s as well as the organisation’s productivity. Because individuals are working in teams, they can pick up on new skills and sharpen their existing skills. This improves team performance, makes them efficient and overtime, more work gets completed in less time. As a result, organisations are able to generate more revenue when they achieve their targets and deliver their best.
4. BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER
As Margaret Carty rightly said, “The nicest thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side.”
One of the most important benefits of team building is that it improves interpersonal relationships between employees. When people work together, they share experiences and both failures as well as victories. It brings them closer and makes them trust each other. When team member A helps team member B, team member B is sure to return the favour at some point. Employees team up together to face adversaries and share the spotlight.
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5. FOSTERS CREATIVITY AND LEARNING
Successful team building motivates employees to learn from each other and build on each other’s talents. As compared to working solo on a project, teamwork allows room for fresh ideas and new perspectives. It brings together individual experiences combined with new, innovative ideas which makes the work more fun and efficient.
As a result, everyone is able to bring something new to the table and learn from each other.
6. HEALTHY COMPETITION
It’s proven that when you make a task a competition, people achieve more. In the workplace, conducting team building activities can be a great way to bring out the competitive side of your employees. Team building exercises are fun games where employees participate in order to complete their challenges while competing with other games. The main objective of conducting these games to inculcate team spirit among employees, letting them work with other teams and acquire skills like problem solving, communication and collaboration along the way.
7. MAKES PEOPLE MORE ACCEPTING
The race to achieve success should be equal. Everyone should be given the same importance, resources and equal opportunities to reach their goals.
With workplaces becoming more inclusive towards cultural and gender diversity, your employees need to do their bit too. It is always a good idea to form teams with people from different ethnicities and backgrounds. Such groups are often more creative as they are more accepting and understanding towards each other's differences. It makes them realise their preconceived judgement of an individual is completely wrong and that that team member is actually a lot of fun to work with.
8. RESOLVES CONFLICTS
When people work together, there are sure to be disagreements. It’s up to team members to resolve the conflicts amicably and not let it turn into full blown disputes.
But conflicts aren’t always a bad thing. Conflicts can sometimes turn into constructive and useful work. Disagreements, especially, might arise if people with diverse experiences are grouped together rather than those with similar experiences. The key to resolving such conflicts is that people should be open to hear and accept diverse opinions and perspectives. If team members can group their diverse opinions, skills and experiences together, they can achieve a lot more than a group formed on similar experiences.
Also read about Constructive Criticism for better employee engagement and performance.
9. EMPLOYEES CAN ACQUIRE SKILLS
Team building is important. It enables employees to learn from others and develop new skills. Working in a team helps employees take on leadership roles and see their team members fulfill their responsibilities. For teams to perform and achieve their goal, they need to arrive at a consensus before making any decisions. This requires employees to hold discussions, communicate and actively listen to each other. Teamwork enables problem solving capabilities, strategizing and decision making skills. It also teaches team members to hold responsibility and accountability for their decisions and actions.
10. IMPROVES COMPANY CULTURE
When teams work together, it fosters creativity and innovation in the workplace. Employees communicate and collaborate more. This improves their performance and efficiency, resolves conflicts and misunderstandings and makes people more accepting towards each other. More people start getting recognised which motivates them and others to achieve more and better the next time. This improves the company’s overall bottomline and simultaneously fosters a positive and motivating workplace culture.