The most successful businesses strive for a teamwork culture where everyone has an important role to play and everyone fits into the overall whole.
"The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." - Babe Ruth
Baseball. Football. Soccer. Basketball. You know the stars: David Ortiz, Tony Dorsett, Lionel Messi, and Michael Jordan. As talented as they are, they were part of a team that made their accomplishments possible. The teamwork culture that they, their coaches, and other players put in place supported and propelled those individual talents into greatness.
Your workplace is not that different. You may not have thousands of screaming fans cheering you on when you make a sale, but the concept is the same. A team works together toward a singular goal. But that teamwork culture doesn’t magically appear. It takes focus, dedication, and discipline to both create and maintain an environment conducive to that level of success.
What Does Teamwork Culture Look Like?
Every business has a work culture. In the most successful businesses, that culture is one in which people work together to continually improve, to do their best, and to support the strengths of their colleagues. In a restaurant, that might be a bartender helping out a busy host, even though it’s not part of her duties. In a law office, it may be a secretary catching typos on legal correspondence. In sales, it may be passing a client to another salesperson because they have more expertise that the customer may need.
A teamwork culture could take on a variety of forms, but the bottom line is that everyone works together for the greater good. And while it might seem that passing a sale to another salesperson is tantamount to giving away a commission, it isn’t. A happy customer will send more potential sales to your company, creating a bigger pool of customers for everyone.
You can’t, however, just expect to send out an interoffice memo and change or develop your organization’s culture overnight. There are a lot of ways to create a positive and productive environment. And there are ample benefits, too. To get those benefits, you have to know where to begin.
The Benefits of Teamwork Culture
and How Your Business Can Reach Them
1. More engaged employees
According to one estimate, disengaged employees cost U. S. companies more than $450 billion yearly. And in case you don’t think your company is part of that, you might be interested to discover that a Gallup survey found that 70% of U.S. workers don’t feel engaged at work, and 18% of them are actively disengaged.
A good teamwork culture, however, can reverse that trend in your business. What would it look like if your team was 100% engaged?
2. Increased productivity
Focusing on employee strengths could make your team 12.5% more productive, according to Michelle Burke, CEO of The Energy Catalyst Group. How can you do that? Acknowledge the contributions of each team member. Praise people for meeting goals or for learning something from failing to meet a goal. Give your team time in the workday to take classes that will help them improve their strong points.
3. Better problem solving
We all think differently, and when we work as a team, our different viewpoints can bring out details that individuals may not notice on their own. Support sharing those viewpoints by actively engaging your colleagues and asking for opinions and ideas. And make sure people get credit for their ideas. Failing to do so can create a reluctance for people to continue sharing.
4. Better morale
If you’ve ever walked into a business with a morale problem, you know it almost immediately. In a retail setting, it often manifests as poor customer service. In an office environment, gossip, negative attitudes, and complaining are the symptoms of poor morale. Among other consequences, a morale problem quickly becomes a productivity problem. Creating a teamwork culture is one effective way to improve morale.
Let employees suggest projects. Work together to set goals. Give motivated people the chance to take on more responsibility, then give them the tools and space to succeed. Results are the ideal, but don’t neglect the power of rewarding the effort, even if the results don’t always come through. Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was rejected by 27 publishers before he finally published his first book. Thomas Edison is famous for never failing—in a way. He is quoted as saying, “I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work.”
5. Smarter employees
In a business that focuses on creating a teamwork culture, employees have the opportunity to learn from each other. And the more we learn, the more we have the capacity to envision new solutions to the problems we encounter in our work.
Creating the right culture at work is an essential ingredient to building a strong, dependable team. It’s not something that will happen overnight, but the reward is well worth the effort.
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