Teamwork involves working together to achieve shared goals. Teamwork involves striking a balance between effective communication, coordination and contributions from each member while acknowledging that each team member brings something different to the team. Teamwork has been in vogue since the 1980s but was not a new concept even then. Prior to the popularization of teamwork in the 1980s, examples of project-based, self-managed teamwork were found within the mining industry, farming and factory settings.
One of the major effects of teamwork on the workplace is increased communication. Communication refers to each team member's ability to understand and the capacity to use decentralized networks. Encouraging a team approach ensures that team members have to speak to one another and coordinate their efforts toward a shared goal, as the division of labor and diversification of skills creates interdependence among team members. Teamwork is not effective if mechanisms to facilitate and ensure communication are not in place. There are many points where communication can break down within a team. Strategies such as regular team meetings or e-newsletters can ensure your team is in the loop and working toward the same goal.
The saying "the more the merrier" often applies to the positive impact of teamwork on problem solving. Teams can bounce ideas off one another, challenge each other to think outside of the box and promote creative and innovative thinking. Teams can also support one another when dealing with challenging problems, by providing moral support and encouragement. Not all teams excel at problem solving, however, as strong personalities or several similar personalities can inhibit this process. This may lead to "group-think" or frustration amongst a team. It is important that you take a leadership role in the development of problem solving as a skill.
A positive teamwork environment can have many positive effects on feelings of commitment to the organization, job satisfaction and morale. A team approach may promote unity amongst co-workers who previously worked in isolation from one another and may even approve attendance of employees. Teamwork may also adversely affect job satisfaction if there are freeloaders within the team who do not carry their weight, or if there is a workplace bully within your team.
According to a study completed by Cornell University in 2005, a teamwork skills and task training had a positive impact on the effectiveness of the team. Encouraging teamwork can have a positive impact, particularly if protocols and training are put into place to ensure that the team operates well with one another. For freeloaders, however the team model can provide a safe haven where they might coast undetected as others pick up their slack.
- International Journal of Leadership Studies; Leadership and Teamwork: The Effects of Leadership and Job Satisfaction on Team Citizenship; Seokhwa Yun, et al.
- Thinking Managers; Teamwork: The Natural Way to Total Quality; Robert Heller
- Cornell University ILR School: The Impact of Task and Team-Generic Teamwork Skills Training on Team Effectiveness
- Like A Team; 7 Benefits of Teamwork; Dale Roach
- Tips 4 Teamwork; The Advantages Of Teamwork At The Office; Kate Tammemagi
- Federal Aviation Administrations: Team Advantages & Disadvantages
- Photo Credit NA/Photos.com/Getty Images
What Are Some Ways That Diversity Can Impact the Workplace?
Defining diversity requires acknowledging the differences between groups of human beings. These differences include such attributes as ethnicity and race, religious ...
Examples of Good Team Spirit
Examples of Good Team Spirit. Team spirit can make or break a team. Teammates who have team spirit are better able to...
Effective Teamwork in Schools
Effective teamwork in schools has a domino affect. If there is good teamwork among the administrators, then there will be good teamwork...
Positive & Negative Effects of Advertising
According to American humorist Will Rogers, advertising is "the art of convincing people to spend money they don't have for something they...
The Effects of Poor Writing Skills on Business
Businesses who hire marginal or poor writers hurt the bottom line in many ways that are difficult to quantify. Lost sales and...
Benefits and Challenges of Teamwork
The use of teams has become increasingly popular in American businesses, with many companies hoping to capitalize on synergies created by groups...
Importance of Decentralization in the Workplace
In a decentralized workplace, organizations allow certain activities to operate independently, away from central control, sometimes in separate locations. One example ...
How to Work Effectively in a Team Environment
"Work effectively in a team environment" is a ubiquitous job description. It's an important skill for almost every employee to have. Being...