Ways to Foster Teamwork

Trust is a key to fostering teamwork.
Trust is a key to fostering teamwork. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Whether on the sports field or in the corporate office, teamwork is necessary and essential in all walks of life. In business, teamwork is the backbone of a successful enterprise. Fostering teamwork is easy when you put together like-minded individuals – but that’s not always the case. Employing a few strategies can help your team become a successful one.

Common Goal

The team must work together toward a common goal; after all, the group is there to achieve something. The team leader must be able to clearly show the group what the goal is, how the team will achieve it and why it is in the best interest of each member to work together to that goal. Getting buy-in is essential to the overall success of the team, both in terms of cooperation and reaching the end goal.

Defined Roles

Each member of the team needs a defined role. Each member needs to know for what he is responsible and what is expected. When each member knows and understands his role, he is better able to contribute in an appropriate manner. When uncertainty exists, a team member can begin questioning whether or not he should be doing one thing or should he do another. Defined roles reduce ambiguity. Reduced ambiguity means enhanced teamwork.

Develop Trust

Without trust, a team can break down quickly. Developing trust is up to the team leader and can come from the definition of each member’s role. Trust is needed among team members because it creates a positive atmosphere in the group. For example, the possibility of conflicts is lessened if team members trust each other to complete their tasks; decisions can come to a relatively quick consensus if there are no suspicions of underlying motives.

Cultivate Relationships

In order to foster strong teamwork, the group must cultivate a healthy relationship. This means that team members must be able to have a healthy, communicative relationship in which there is a proper decorum and open-mindedness. When the relationship among team members is open and healthy, team members are more comfortable around each other and more willing to offer input and take risks. This all leads to enhanced teamwork.

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