When people define teamwork, they usually describe a group of people working efficiently and effectively towards a common goal. The term itself has no negative connotations — bad teamwork is simply a lack of teamwork.
However you define teamwork, there’s little doubt working as a team in the workplace is advantageous. The importance of teamwork to corporate culture cannot be underestimated, as it brings multiple benefits, including:
1. Increased Creativity
Teamwork brings together coworkers with diverse experiences, skills, and work histories, creating fertile ground for brainstorming and creative problem-solving. When employees work alone, there’s always the risk they’ll fall into established routines, stagnating rather than moving forward. Teamwork encourages employees to share experiences and learn from each other.
2. More Enthusiasm
Collaboration builds excitement for a project, as coworkers feed off each other’s enthusiasm. It’s difficult to remain unengaged when your teammates are excited about a project. Positive attitudes are infectious.
3. Complementary Skills
Being able to access other employees’ skill sets is one of the great benefits of teamwork. You may shine in the area of conceptual thinking, while another coworker may be the team’s planning guru, and another thrives when giving presentations. Working with each other’s strengths makes your team more effective than when you work alone.
4. Trust Building
Trust naturally develops when team members rely on each other. Increased trust builds and strengthens working relationships, creating an environment in which employees can open up about concerns, offer new ideas, and encourage each other. A culture of trust drives productivity, as each person can focus on their own role in a project confident their teammates are fulfilling their obligations.
5. Conflict Resolution
Part of the importance of teamwork is the fostering of healthy conflict resolution skills.
Working as a team doesn’t mean never having a disagreement — far from it. Team members may disagree regularly. A strong team, however, can disagree respectfully, listening to each other’s concerns and working together toward a mutually agreeable solution.
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6. Employee Ownership
Working toward a team goal gives employees a sense of accomplishment and ownership of their role in the team’s success. Employees feel connected to their teams, and by extension, to the company as a whole. This sense of ownership encourages greater job satisfaction, company loyalty, and higher retention rates.
7. Willingness to Take Risks
Employees who work alone are understandably concerned about taking risks: if an idea implodes, they take all the blame. This reticence can prevent employees from sharing potentially groundbreaking ideas.
A team shares its successes and failures. Any praise or blame is spread out among team members. This sense of a shared goal increases internal communication while giving employees a safe space in which to promote out-of-the-box thinking.
8. Teams Attract Talent
Over the next decade, millennials and Gen-Z employees will make up the majority of the American workplace. A generation known to value collaboration over competition, millennials understand and value the importance of teamwork and are attracted to companies that build teamwork into their corporate cultures. Simply put, focusing on teamwork now will attract new talent in the future.
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