Teamwork is the whole point of forming business organizations. Businesses bring together people with different skills and traits.
People working alone are limited in what they can get done. Putting them to work together multiplies their productivity exponentially
Read on to learn how we can promote teamwork and what can hamper it.
What is Teamwork?
Teamwork happens when several individuals cooperate to do something. Working together, they play off each others’ skills and abilities and share ideas. The team
produces several times the sum of what the members could create individually. Two or more people discussing a challenge will discover solutions neither one would have thought of alone.
Why Teamwork Matters
Teamwork matters because individuals’ abilities limit what they can do or discover alone. For example, consider the typical approaches of:
- Equipment operators.
Professionals in these and many other disciplines have different views of a project or challenge. Each approach has its merits. For most complex projects, many cooperating disciplines have a place in the task’s successful outcome.
To summarize the concept, we could say that 1+1+1+1+1+1=10, or 20.
It’s hard to overemphasize the importance of teamwork in business.
Team Building in the Workplace
Building a functional team requires leadership. The leadership skills necessary to cause teamwork to happen are several.
Each team member must feel part of something important, something more significant than the individual. The competent leader helps each member see their part in the team’s greater results.
Each team member must feel supported. When someone has a question, remember that there are no stupid questions. There are stupid answers, such as ridiculing the questioner or providing an answer that the leader is uncertain of. If the leader is not certain of the answer, the correct response is, “I’ll find out and let you know.”
The leader must take care to provide the team with adequate resources to accomplish their task. If they’re forced to operate with inadequate budgets and tools, they will be disgruntled and inefficient. Productivity can be defined as the quotient of results per dollar spent. Reducing the denominator of that fraction is usually less effective than Increasing the numerator.
We could even say each member must feel loved! The leader should show an interest in each person, their families, and what’s important to them as individuals.
The leader and the team members must form a cohesive partnership. The importance of a team in business is huge. Teamwork makes the venture work. Its absence breaks it down.
The Importance of Teamwork in Business
Let me get a bit personal here. I joined the business world over 50 years ago. I soon observed that, in every organization with two or more people, time, effort and resources are wasted by people working at cross purposes. It became part of my mission to promote teamwork wherever I had influence.
Probably this mission was subconscious at first. It gained new meaning for me when, in 1991, I took a position as Operations Manager for a large gas and oil exploration and production company. The two largest departments under my leadership were Drilling and Production. These two departments had many roles in the operation where their communication and support of each other were important.
Under the leadership of two culturally diverse managers, the two departments were not cooperating well at all. I pointed out to each of them how important their communication and mutual support were and helped them see ways to work together. We soon began to see increased production, lower costs, improved safety, and happier people.
Six months or so into this, when their cooperation, and our results, began to improve, I suddenly realized my personal dedication to teamwork. I formally declared to myself that this was my central purpose.
There’s more detail on this story here.
The importance of teamwork among people in business can be likened to the importance of teamwork among horses pulling a heavy load. If the horses all pull in unison in the desired direction, they can pull far more than their own weight. However, if one is hanging back, another is nipping at its neighbor’s neck, and other disruptions to teamwork are occurring, they can’t pull much.
Perhaps there will always be some discord among individuals, especially in larger companies. It can be minimized by competent leadership.
Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here. Search that page for keywords representing your particular interest. Most articles offer suggestions for ways of improving business and personal relationships. Keep in mind that business is done by…people. Every business concern is essentially an inter-personal concern.
A “Shot in the Arm” Every Day!
Eric Lofholm, my friend, mentor and sales coach, hosts a 15-minute motivational call every business day. The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Register for it here. You’ll find instructions on how to join the call on Facebook, Zoom, by phone, or in a recording you can access on your schedule.
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