group stacking hands in office

How Teamwork Helps Achieve Business Goals [Everything You Need to Know]

The saying “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” conveys the importance and function of teamwork. It is not only who is on the team that determines how strong the team is. How the team works together determines the ability of the team, department, and organization to deliver results and create value for all stakeholders. Individually, we might accomplish the task, but by working collaboratively under a single purpose, the team can reach new heights and success.

When executed well, teamwork unites people and purpose, enhances trust and collaboration, and ultimately boosts productivity and elevates workforce engagement. It’s worth the time to understand the true value of how teamwork helps achieve business goals, and how you can realistically incorporate this into your team.

What Is Teamwork?

Teamwork develops when individuals take on a cooperative mindset to accomplish goals. Rather than considering how their actions and behaviors impact themselves, team members assess how their performance affects the team and organization as a whole. By moving from self-interest to a group-interest mindset, individual members are empowered to work collaboratively under a common purpose to reach success.

Why Is Teamwork Important in Business?

Demonstrating teamwork in the workplace is vital for the following reasons:

1. Better problem solving: Empirical research illustrates that teams perform better than a group of individuals working alone. Experts attribute this to the group’s ability to more effectively correct issues, think creatively, process information, and solve problems. The diversity in thought and learning styles allows a team to execute tasks and produce results quicker and more productively.

2. Improved productivity: Team members who motivate their peers and offer proactive assistance will improve capacity and productivity because teamwork, by its very nature, creates better working relationships. For example, cross-training and brainstorming sessions often pave the way to better strategies and outcomes.

3. Heightened morale: When every team member is given a unique task that contributes to the team’s success, a feeling of belonging and purpose develops which leads to psychological safety and engagement. This type of morale cannot develop within an individualistic working environment.

4. Upgraded communication: When a team understands precisely what they need to achieve and how to do it, there is less confusion and fewer details are lost in translation. This leads to team members sticking around because they know the expectations and how to reach them, and effective communication produces 4.5 times higher workforce retention.

group meeting in office

How Can I Utilize Teamwork Effectively in the Workplace?

Here are five actionable ways to utilize teamwork effectively in the workplace.

Apply these suggestions and customize them to align with the needs and goals of your team:

1. Establish Clearly Defined Roles

When roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, the path is clear for better, more precise, and more frequent communication.

Team members understand when to step in—and in what capacity. There is also less overlap and confusion—all of which supports each team member’s role with more clarity and satisfaction. This process also enables the business to be more efficient and productive.

Clear role definitions involve:

  • RACI (Responsibility Assignment Matrix) chart: This RACI framework helps you lay the groundwork for clarifying team member roles while minimizing confusion. As every team and organization operates differently, we encourage you to adjust this framework as necessary:
    • Responsible: This individual performs the work for a given task, milestone, or deliverable.
    • Accountable: This person ensures the task/milestone/deliverable is progressing as planned and ensures it gets done.
    • Consulted: This individual provides essential input on the work.
    • Informed: This team member receives information on how the task/milestone/deliverable is progressing and its outcome.

Ensure all team members have access to the chart so everyone knows the roles.

Clearly explaining the whys: In addition to explaining what team members must do, explain the why. 79% of leaders believe purpose is essential to business success. Purpose is what drives individuals to get up each day and complete their tasks. Take time to explain how each person’s role applies to the overall vision and mission of the organization as well as the success of the team, organization, and individual contributors. These big-picture insights foster a shared purpose, growth, and inspiration.

2. Encourage Teams to Participate Actively in Decision-Making

According to Deloitte, cognitive diversity—diversity of thought, values, and personalities—in a team improves innovation by 20%.

Every person possesses unique strengths. Encourage your team members to tap into their strengths and backgrounds to make decisions collectively. When team members feel their voices are heard and acknowledged, they are 4.6 times more likely to put their best foot forward. Here are a few opportunities to consider:

  • If your team tends to be quiet or refrain from speaking up, consider initiating a survey that team members can anonymously fill out and submit. You can then hold a group session that discusses the survey results/feedback.
  • Implement brainstorming sessions that allow individuals to work together. These sessions invite team members to jump-start the problem-solving and decision-making processes.
  • Display empathy—an essential element of emotional intelligence—to connect with team members and ensure you take the time to understand their viewpoints. When you actively listen and ask follow-up questions, others will follow suit and feel included. This will inspire them to open up more and share their ideas.

3. Initiate Team-Building Activities

A strong team that works well together includes individuals who feel:

  • They can depend on one another.
  • Psychologically safe (listened to, can express concerns and ideas without feeling judged).

Consider initiating various team-building activities. These help to build and bond the team.

  • 73% of staff members wish their organization would provide more team-building opportunities.
  • In response to ever-changing market shifts, significantly more businesses are meaningfully investing in virtual team-building.
  • Team simulations and exercises can help staff members enhance their problem-solving, communication, and planning skills. Remember—a high-performing team needs a balance of both technical and social skills.

For example, encourage events such as the following:

  • Hold a business-focused team activity. Take an integral skill set within your industry and hold a workshop on this to build competency among the team. For example, a conflict resolution workshop educates individuals on how to have difficult-yet-productive conversations around differing viewpoints.
  • Sponsor informal team activities. Consider a dinner to celebrate achievements and encourage individuals to get to know one another better in a more relaxed environment.

4. Leverage Social Technologies

McKinsey reports that organizations using social technologies can raise the productivity levels of “high-skill knowledge workers” by up to 25%.

For example, the average staff member spends:

  • 28% of the workweek handling emails
  • 20% of their time tracking down internal information

Utilizing social platforms and communication channels can minimize this time and create space for learning and problem-solving.

Social platforms reduce manual searching by 35% and drive more efficient and effective collaboration. Consider the following social, engagement, and project management tools to get started:

  • Slack: Instant messaging platform where team members can communicate and form channels based on interests or topics
  • Asana: Project management software that allows team members to build plans, add collaborators, and communicate progress and obstacles
  • Blink: Intranet dashboard that serves as a one-stop engagement solution for staff members
  • Bonusly: Recognition and rewards platform that helps enhance motivation and build a positive company culture

5. Be Patient

Great teamwork doesn’t happen overnight. Like other business practices, it takes practice and commitment. So, be sure to:

  • Make time to share and receive feedback: Giving and receiving feedback bolsters relationships through trust, candor, and collaboration. In addition, those who know they can speak their mind feel more driven to contribute unique ideas and push boundaries.
  • Gain the insights of your team members: What is—and is not—working? How can processes be improved? What are some ways your staff can augment their teamwork skills? How can they collaborate more?
  • Recognize and reinforce work that is well done: Acknowledge or reward your team members when they accomplish a milestone through teamwork. Recognizing the quality work of groups boosts profitability by 29% and reinforces the value of communication, cooperation, and coordination among your staff.

Develop Teamwork Skills and Capabilities with CMOE

You don’t have to figure out how to achieve high-performance teamwork alone.

CMOE offers a High-Performance Teamwork workshop that provides team leaders and team members with the skills and tools they need to bolster team performance. Through workshop exercises, case studies, and discussion, our team will help you identify the critical areas that must be leveraged. For intact teams and senior leadership teams, CMOE offers a highly effective team-alignment process that helps teams apply skills, uncover issues, and create solutions to ultimately reach their potential.

Contact us for more information.

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About the Author
CMOE’s Design Team is comprised of individuals with diverse and complementary strengths, talents, education, and experience who have come together to bring a unique service to CMOE’s clients. Our team has a rich depth of knowledge, holding advanced degrees in areas such as business management, psychology, communication, human resource management, organizational development, and sociology.

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