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Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

You work for a company day in, day out. You have your own specific role and responsibilities, and you’re in charge of finishing your daily tasks. You also know that your colleagues are in charge of their own responsibilities, but you rarely (if ever) cross into their territory because you believe their priorities and methods are unrelated to yours. 

Suddenly, you find yourself swallowed by work. Whether it’s because of external pressure, like a global pandemic, or from internal pressures, such as increasing demands from your boss, it’s becoming more difficult to finish your daily tasks, and soon enough, you find yourself on a sinking ship with no lifeboat. Eventually, you are overworked, stressed out, and feel that you may need to start looking for a new job. What happens then? From our experience, we’ve seen this happen too often to our clients: employees are burnt out and underperform, HR departments must tackle poor employee experience, and companies struggle retaining their workers. In fact, according to a LinkedIn study, employees are 92% more likely to look at a job post when they face work-related stress and 45% more likely to apply for a new job when they feel that they don’t receive support from upper management. 

How can this all be avoided? The answer: Teamwork.

Groups vs Teams

In order to visualize what a team is, we have to understand the difference between a group and a coherent team. First, think of a public transit bus. A public bus is packed with people, but riders barely communicate with each other and get off at their distinct stop. Each rider has their own distinct individual needs, unconcerned about others’ purposes. Occasionally, some riders will engage in conversation and establish a passing connection or friendship, but these people are simply a group of people.

public transit bus group
game day bus ride team

Now think of a spirited bus ride taking a team of players to their game. On this bus, the riders get on and off at the same time. The players have uniform values and a mission to accomplish, with roles and goals that are interrelated. They regularly coordinate and communicate individual efforts to achieve a common goal, and they work together to keep each other motivated. They provide each other authentic and ongoing feedback, and they value collective improvement over individual development. Contrary to the public bus, the players on this bus work as a team.

How Does Teamwork Make the Dream Work?

Our last blog post revealed the biggest obstacle that a company can face: silos. We discussed the dangers to your business and the problems organizational barriers cause when your employees aren’t working in close collaboration or as a team, and we even shared the first step of breaking down silos and eradicating the problems they impose on your organization.

 We’ve all heard the saying “teamwork makes the dream work.” But let’s break down this line by uncovering the power of teamwork and the benefits it can bring to your organization and bottom-line.

Higher Productivity

Different people approach problem-solving in their own distinct ways. In a team, employees with varied skills and expertise across various departments join forces to perform quality work within a shorter time than any lone worker or department could do. With effective communication and collaboration with multidisciplinary teams, teamwork is a more efficient method of making sure each individual works on the portion that is most aligned with their skills. When operating as a team, you receive the best of what everyone has to give. In turn, you have employees who are less likely to be overburdened by their workload or the level of quality demanded to them, knowing that teamwork breaks down complex activities into smaller, more manageable portions, allowing them to be completed more quickly.

Team Cohesion

For a firm to succeed, cohesiveness is critical. Without teamwork, individuals are more inclined to put their personal gains before the company’s interests. Your business, bottom-line, and corporate culture will suffer as a result of everyone working toward slightly different goals.

By focusing on establishing a well-oiled, cohesive group of employees, you lead the way towards the company’s success. However, it’s important to realize that cohesion does not instantly happen overnight. Your team has to first communicate with impact in order to foster creativity, dedication, and innovation. Only then can diverse minds work together to build on each other’s ideas, generate solutions, and produce fresh ideas that aid in innovation. 

team cohesion

Less Managerial Intervention

When employees possess a team mentality, they work harmoniously together to achieve the same end-goal. They win as a team and they lose as a team, so they notice and rely on the quality of one another’s work. If one employee’s performance is insufficient, other team members will have the incentive to step in and offer their expertise and a fresh pair of eyes to assist them. Effective teams can control their own performance and improve alongside their team members without the need for constant management intervention.

When individual workers function as part of a team, there’s a pervasive sense of accountability and self-monitoring that isn’t present when working in silos. Due to a team’s self-correcting behaviour, management does not have to interfere as frequently, and instead, organizations can leverage the power of team support. 

Strong Company Culture

A well-functioning team will develop a sense of solidarity, devotion, and synergy that defines the corporate culture. Working in a positive atmosphere improves team morale and employee experience and fulfillment, as well as generating a sense of belonging to something bigger than the employee themselves. When team members hold a shared mindset and purpose, a company can transform into a collaborative community in which everyone contributes to the greater good of the organization.

A strong company culture not only sets a clear image of your company’s brand and workforce, but it ensures that you’re retaining the right people. Employees are more inclined to stay with a company if they feel like they belong to it, implying reduced turnover and fewer new hires to onboard. A healthy company culture recruits, but more importantly, retains valuable talent.

What Are You Waiting For?

All successful businesses are built on the basis of high-performing teams, and knowing how to work effectively together is essential. When members of a team feel linked to one another, their emotional investment in the group grows, as does their dedication to success with their high-functioning team. To foster a genuine sense of community among your employees in order to achieve passionate and effective teams, an organization must build an emotionally intelligent team. By prioritizing emotional intelligence in the workplace, your employees will be able to use the information provided by emotions to act appropriately in the face of daily challenges. Not only will there be more open and honest conversations, but your organization can transform from a group to a team. If you’re ready to take the first step in building trust and developing intimate authentic connections, click here for a free emotional intelligence team activity. 

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it impacts your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help successfully leading high-performing teams, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can. 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Linkedin to keep up with our latest posts! 

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Communication in Groups & Teams

Communication in Groups & Teams

There is no doubt the importance of teams. As our jobs and skills become even more specialized, it often becomes necessary for people from different disciplines to work together. Companies are commonly doing multiple projects, and people can be a part of multiple teams. This focus on group work and social learning has even been on the rise in the education system, beginning in elementary school, continuing to post-secondary and beyond.

It seems the way the trends are going that the future of business is going to involve more teams and more projects. Sometimes when looking at the makeup of the group or team you’re on, you may find yourself wondering “How can such a disparate mix of people work together?”, but you may be surprised. The goal of effective workplace communication is to bridge the gap between a diverse range of workers. As long as everyone remains open-minded and focuses on the overarching vision while balancing the group dynamics, there is no telling where the group can go.

Groups vs Teams

The words “group” and “team” are often used interchangeably, but I think there is an important semantic difference that makes them distinct from each other. A group can consist of any number of people doing any number of things. Groups are considered teams only when a group of people is working towards a common goal or cause. There’s a reason why they are called sports teams and not sports groups. Although a team is also a group of people, a group of people isn’t necessarily a team.

What is at the core of effective communication and positive group dynamics? The answer: Face-to-face interaction. Miscommunication is a very real threat to your group, and personal interaction with all the group members present is key to avoiding this. Just think about how easily a message can change and distort depending on how many people it is passed on through to the target receiver. Or how easily text messages or emails can be misconstrued. Things that are readily apparent when talking to someone, such as humour or sarcasm, can turn into potential landmines when written.

Personal interaction is imperative to a successful team. Groups by nature are social, so it makes sense that if you take away that element, you are risking the social bonds of your group, which often manifest as misunderstandings that lead to countless hours of frustration. Remember how they say that human communication consists of 93% body language and other nonverbal cues?

There is also the issue of response time, as some people can take forever to respond to an email or text. With face-to-face meetings, this isn’t an issue as you can talk to people directly.

Introverts and Extroverts

Personality is another issue that comes into play during group work. Some people are just naturally outspoken, while some prefer to listen quietly. To best use the skills of all your people, you need to make sure that everyone has a chance to talk, and everyone has a chance to listen. But you also need to be aware of and respect personal comfort levels as well.

Doing a quick self-evaluation can also reap many benefits. It is important to know yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, and values. Ask yourself questions such as:

“What kind of personality do I have?”

“What are my values?”

“How do I react to situations of stress or strong emotions?”

These will help give you a better idea of what kind of communicator you are, and your likely, or preferred, role in the group.

Working in a team can be exhausting, but with the power of communication in business, it can be extremely rewarding as well. There are things that we can accomplish when we work together that we’d never have been able to do individually. That’s why we work together. No matter who’s on your team, or what you’re working on, you should look at your group members and their individual personalities and skills, and strive to cooperate with each other to maximize what each and every one of you bring to the table.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it impacts your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help mastering the elements of clear communication within your team, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can. 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Linkedin to keep up with our latest blogs!