You might be familiar with the phrase ‘Teamwork makes the dream work’ and whilst it makes for a great slogan, there is a whole lot more to get from teamwork than you might realise. Having a strong team that works well together will bring many benefits to your business, from increased productivity to happier, more engaged staff that want to stay working for the business.

So how do you get your staff to work better as a team?

It is not as simple as just telling staff that they need to work as a team, you need to be able to nurture your team by providing opportunities that drive teambuilding. This could be within the work environment or could be away from the workplace. Some companies have had a lot of success by organising teambuilding activities on ‘away days’, where the employees might take part in a problem solving activity or taking part in cookery courses together, for example.

Scheduling a day to dedicate to teambuilding will not only make sure that it actually happens but it will also feel rewarding for employees to get a day away from work. You could even combine it with going for lunch somewhere or maybe going for a few drinks afterwards. The more time the team spend together away from the working environment, the more they can get to know each other, which will enable them to work better together.

Setting team objectives and tasks

A more direct way to get your team to work better together is to set joint objectives that they need to achieve with the input of several team members. The objectives will vary depending on the type of business that you are but instead of agreeing individual tasks for everyone, look for opportunities where colleagues can work together. The benefits of doing this are many, including the increased motivation for employees who enjoy working with others.

Teamwork can also help employees to develop new sills that they are able to learn either from other employees or through the process of collaborative working. For example, it will give people a chance to develop leadership skills, communication skills and many other soft skills that they would not develop when working on their own.

Regular team meetings

Communication amongst your team is key, so organising a regular meeting will keep people in regular contact with one another. This is particularly important where employees may work from different locations and you don’t have to spend hours having meetings, just a quick catch up to see where everyone is up to and to talk through any problems. By talking through existing projects, opportunities may appear where one employee can help another by providing advice or guidance of some form.

Create an environment where feedback is seen as good

People who can take constructive feedback on board can develop quicker than those who do not like to hear feedback other than how great they are. If you can master an environment where people are happy to take feedback from their peers on board then it makes for a more conducive team.

Giving praise is still important and if you have people within your team who are good at doing that then you know that they can motivate team members. Sometimes you will need to lead by example with this, showing employees that giving and receiving feedback is a vital part of personal development.

Be open and honest

Employees are less likely to work well together if they think that they will get blamed for mistakes or ‘get into trouble’. It is important that you build trust within the team to ensure that employees feel comfortable working together. If you are seen to have favourites within the team then this can cause tension, so try to stay impartial to all members of the team. Leading by example is a great way to promote teamwork, so show your team how good you are at being part of a team.

Reward good teamwork

When you see good examples of your team working well together, make sure that it does not go unnoticed. If you can reward it in some way then that will encourage teamwork, both for the people who receive the reward and for those who see that it has been rewarded. You could even have a regular reward for best example of teamwork and give out a voucher or maybe treat the employees involved to lunch.

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