You have heard the saying: “Teamwork makes the dream work.” While it is a catchy statement that is great for memes, there is still some truth to it. When individuals come together to work toward a common goal, they can use their different skills and abilities to achieve what they set out to accomplish.
Creating a culture of teamwork takes work, though. Your team members may not see how they can help each other or collaborate, especially if they work in many different locations. You can help encourage more teamwork by trying a few new strategies.
Every team needs to have well-defined roles and responsibilities. It is smart and important to allow some wiggle room. If you get too detailed in roles and responsibilities, you limit the opportunity for different team members to jump in and experiment with new ideas. To create a more cohesive team, try relaxing the rigid role boundaries and allowing team members to try different tasks outside of their prescribed roles.
Establish clear team objectives
Another way to encourage teamwork is to set objectives for the entire team. The key is incorporating objectives that involve teamwork and collaboration. Try setting goals for how well your team serves its projects, customers, or other team members. You could also add behavior goals that assess how well team members work with others on the team.
Look at everyone’s contributions
For a team to work well, all members must invest roughly the same effort. While some roles will be more difficult than others, it is important to avoid situations where one person is viewed as a slacker or the person who will take care of everything. If someone on your team is not hitting their numbers, consider additional coaching or training.
Highlight dependency on each other
In a cohesive team, each member of the team knows they can count on others on their team to get their work done. Not everyone knows what is going on with everyone on the team, you may want to try showcasing how everyone’s work impacts the work of every other person on the team. This brings to light how one person’s poor performance or missed deadlines can impact the entire group.
End the Blame Game
A quick way to crush teamwork is to blame others when things do not go as planned. If your team members are quick to point fingers, they are likely more interested in avoiding blame than working together. You need to work to establish better teamwork by fixing the problem rather than broadcasting who caused the issue and how they messed up. The best leaders do not place blame but instead take the hit themselves and work with their teams to avoid the issue in the future.
Group cohesion is essential to a successful team. If your team does not seem to mesh, consider how you can emphasize teamwork. Look for ways you can eliminate boundaries that may be stifling your team members and think about how you can frame goals that will inspire your team to work together. Make sure everyone is pulling their weight and demonstrate how everyone on your team in interconnected through their roles.
When you put in the work to create a more cohesive team, you will build a highly functional and supportive group that will outperform dysfunctional teams every time. And this will help you thrive.