“Alone we go faster, together we go further.” – African Proverb
It is true that we can accomplish much more when we work together. By surrounding ourselves with people who possess experiences and skills that are different yet complementary to our own, we can more forward faster and further. That is why teamwork is so important.
According to cnrtl.fr, a team is a group of people who are united in order to reach a common goal. Each member of the team works with one-another to reach this same objective. They share some values and a common vision; they put together their experience, skills and know-how, and are carried by their mutual desire to succeed.
However, it is not sufficient to simply gather several individuals together to make them a team. You must create a bond, a spirit of teamwork that unites all these people so that they want to work together and succeed on their common goals.
Discover 6 tips to facilitate teamwork.
1. Clearly defined objectives
This is where it all begins. If you assemble a team, it is because you have a mission to complete. In order to make sure that your team is carrying your project towards success, you must make sure that team members know the collective goals you are striving for, as well as their own role, responsibilities and expected results.
Make sure that everyone has completely understood what you are expecting of them; what are the goals are and that every individual is working hard to achieve them.
2. The importance of communication
Communication is the key to any effective team. Without communication, every member of the team will progress in isolation and chaos can quickly engulf the project. It is impossible to know which tasks have already been completed, which ones are currently being worked on, and those that haven’t even been started. How can you know if a task is being delayed, if a partner has come across a problem or if he/she needs help to finish on time?
Communication improves the efficiency of your team. Everyone knows that the progression of each task and the evolution of projects in real time is what expedites the bigger picture. Equally, it is in daily communication that we eliminate the small functioning errors and that we work in our most high-performing manner.
Another important point: participants must be able to express themselves freely and share their ideas. Whilst promoting these exchanges at the centre of the team, you develop creativity and the ability to innovate in your workers. Problems are resolved more quickly when we hunt for solutions together.
3. Encourage trust, helping each other and honesty
“Confidence is the invisible cement that drives a team to win.” – Bud Wilkinson, American football player.
For a team to collaborate in a productive manner, the team members must all trust one-another, respect one-another and help each other out. For this to be the case, it is important to define some basic rules that promote politeness and manners. Every team player must be respected and treated equally, and the tasks should be distributed equally to avoid that feeling of injustice that gives rise to friction in the team.
Everybody must take responsibility for their own mistakes, and problems have to be discussed together for the solution to be found as quickly as possible. Equally, you should encourage good exchanges among team members. Finally, conflict and tension must be settled immediately to avoid generating a bad atmosphere and ruining the team’s productivity.
4. Strong team cohesion
For your team to function at 100%, you need to develop their teamwork skills. For this to happen, team members must know each other well and develop a strong sense of belonging. When they get along well, a team can easily communicate with one-another, and they will enjoy working with each other. They will be more motivated, they will want to exceed expectations and they won’t hesitate to make more of an effort to succeed.
To create this team cohesion, you should regularly organise light-hearted occasions to get the team together. At the office, organise regular team lunches. Also, encourage organising fun activities outside of the working day where everyone can enjoy being far from the responsibilities and expectations of the workplace. These exchanges facilitate communication and strengthen bonds between co-workers.
Cooking workshops or wine tasting, sports activities, Escape Rooms etc. there’s no end to the possibilities. Encourage your team to put forward their own ideas; it will be all the more enjoyable for them to participate if they have a hand in the event’s organisation.
5. Good teamwork tools
These days, with the rise of the Internet and the digital transformation landscape, a multitude of tools have appeared to help teamwork flourish. Among them, digital management software has become a must. In brief, it brings together a range of very useful tools in order to organise a team’s tasks, facilitate collaboration and promote communication.
For example, the collaborative platform Wimi allows for the centralisation of all the details of a project, offering an overview of its progression. In just a few clicks, you can share documents with your colleagues, as well as your clients, partners and suppliers. Thanks to the shared objectives board, you can know the availabilities of your co-workers, the different deadlines and the key points of your project. At last, with the different integrated communication tools (instant messaging, audio and video calls, screen sharing, etc.), you can easily communicate with everyone involved in your project and you will save precious time.
6. Celebrate all your successes
Nothing is better for uniting and motivating a team than celebrating each success, however small it may be. Highlight the skills of your team members, be grateful for their efforts and thank each person for their contributions to the project. Don’t wait until the project is finished before cracking open a bottle. Celebrate each milestone to encourage the team to keep moving forward.
A high-performing team is a team whose members are aligned on the task at hand, constantly communicating, respectful and trusting, feeling that they are all part of the team and involved in the project, whilst using collaborative tools.
You now know how to facilitate collaboration at the heart of your team. Now it’s your job to make it happen!