Any person is able to work in a team, but effective teamwork is the true key to productivity. When comparing a dysfunctional team to a team which works well together, the results indicate that there are several factors which influence the success. What are these factors? Read the tips below to find out.
1. Appoint a strong leader
A team has no direction without an elected leader. It is vital that this person is efficient and switched on when it comes to delegating tasks to the appropriate team members. This leader must also prioritise team goals over individual goals, ensuring they are committed to getting the job done. Finally, they must be capable of showing direction and increasing the morale of the team.
2. Clarify all responsibilities
From the moment the team is formed, particular attention must be paid to assigning direct responsibilities to each team member. If clear parameters are set from the beginning, there will be no overlaps of authority. This is an important step to make before delving into the project so that everyone is clear and on the same page. If everyone is clear on what they are responsible for producing, it helps prevent situations such as staff overlapping on tasks and the less desirable tasks being avoided.
3. Set common goals
Each team will comprise of a range of people from diverse backgrounds and skillsets. It is therefore important to set common goals in which the team is working towards so that the focus always remains on the finished product. Each team member must understand that personal goals must be set aside and team goals must remain a focus throughout the project. As the well-known saying goes, ‘There is no I in team’. If conflicts arise, refer back to these original goals and make decisions with a primary focus on them.
4. Encourage open communication
Encouraging team members to be forthcoming with their ideas is very important for the success of the team. When team members feel that they can freely contribute ideas, there is more scope for creativity and innovation. It is also important to establish two-way communication of information between both the members within the team, as well as between team members and their manager. This ensures that everyone is always appropriately informed and no topics of conversation are avoided.
5. Be willing to help others
In a team project, although you are assigned personal tasks you must remember that your overall goal is to contribute to completing the project. This therefore means that if you have finished your workload, you must be willing to help out where needed. This may mean contributing to tasks that are perhaps below your level, but the overall goal must be kept in mind.
What do you think?
Do you have any other tips for effective teamwork that you would like to suggest? I welcome your thoughts or questions in our comment box below.
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources have been used to prepare this article: The Time Management Guide and Shine Career Advice.