Teamwork is unavoidable. While many people enjoy the collective experience of accomplishing goals as a team, there are many who find this facet of work challenging. What is it about teamwork that makes some avoid it like the plague, and others enthusiastic for the opportunity? Astronology® takes a look at the challenges of teamwork.
With teamwork comes a culture that values collaboration. This allows all involved to feel that their opinions and ideas are important and should be voiced when appropriate. This also allows employees to feel motivated to speak up for the betterment of the organization, not just for their personal gains. Overall, this culture of collaboration brings enthusiasm which spurs on cohesive success.
What are some challenges to teamwork? Arnoldo Mata, owner of Leadership Resource Group, mentions on his blog in a teamwork posting that there are three classifications of problems found in teamwork. The first level or classification deals with structural problems, such as unclear objectives or assigning too large an assignment to a small group. Such issues can be easily managed with clearer communication and assistance or coaching from management. The second type of issue can stem from personal conflict. History of mistrust, slacking off, and personality clashes can make it very difficult for some to muster up the interest in participating in any sort of work involving others. Although clearing a reputation takes time, the best step to take is to keep the lines of communication open. Set deadlines for specific phases of the project and make sure all are updated on the status as time passes. This approach will allow the team to focus on the project, and move past whatever personality flaws or reputation issues at present. A third issue centers around the enthusiasm of one team member. If one member of a team refuses to join the team in accomplishing a goal, the options are quite limited. Addressing the team member’s lack of enthusiasm is perhaps the easier step to take. If even after a discussion to address the issue, the team member simply chooses to not participate, two other options available would be to switch team members or terminate his / her participation. Both options aren’t pleasant to deal with, but can be less uncomfortable than carrying an unproductive team member.
Some other tips for successful teamwork include the following:
- Promote a sense of belonging to the team members,
- Ensure that every team member feels valued,
- Ensure the team completely understands the objectives / goals at hand,
- Examine the team’s progress constantly, and
- Celebrate team successes.
Teamwork can help bring out the best in its members. In addition to accomplishing whatever problem the team is tasked with, fostering of a teamwork culture can build organizational success. Instead of dreading that upcoming team project, look forward to it!