How do I build teamwork in my organization?
How you build a team and teamwork in your organization will most likely be your greatest accomplishment as a manager.All other accomplishments will be because your team works well together.Additionally, this is why you are the manager, to lead and build a cohesive team to accomplish your organization's goals.
Fostering teamwork is creating a work culture that values collaboration. Your team must truly believe and even assimilate the belief that `none of us is as good as all us'.In a teamwork environment, people understand and believe that thinking, planning, decisions and actions are better when done cooperatively.
America puts a lot of emphasis on winning and being the best.It is hard to change those feelings into being part of a larger group.For instance, a super star basketball player cannot accomplish nearly as much if he hoards the ball to improve his own stats.However, when he learns to share the ball and assist others he is able to lift his entire team to new levels of competition.
While our organizations are working on valuing diverse people, ideas, backgrounds, and experiences, we lose something key. We have miles to go before valuing teams and teamwork will be the norm.You as the manager must focus on creating the team in your organization.
Create a Culture of Teamwork
As the manager you must communicate the clear expectation that teamwork and collaboration are expected.Nobody is solely responsible for a work area.Thus, all should work together which means everybody is receptive to ideas and input from others on the team.
You must model teamwork in your dealings with your peers and your dealings with the rest of the organization.Be careful not to attempt to do things on your own so you can control things when things go wrong.The best teaching you can do for your team is to model the behavior expected.
You must reward and recognize teamwork.This may mean you have to structure compensation, bonuses, and rewards to depend on collaborative practices as much as individual contribution and achievement.
The performance management system of the company must emphasis and value teamwork.This is often referred to as 360 degree feedback.As a manager you would receive feedback from your subordinates and peers as well as your boss.Your bonus or other benefits may depend on the feedback you receive.
Tips for Team Building
Often people think of team building as a seminar or retreat that a team participates in.You need incorporate the idea of teambuilding as an on going project and something that happens daily.
Form teams to solve real work issues.Provide training in methods to use the team to resolve the issue so the team expands their ability instead of focusing on working as a team.Teamwork will come as you work on the project.
Create fun and shared occasions into the organization's agenda.These events will foster teamwork and improve communication.When the team can coordinate and talk about a small activity it will improve their communication on larger more complex issues at work.
Use ice breakers and teamwork exercises at meetings.These small events will help the team get to know each other and provide an opportunity to laugh together.They don't have to be elaborate or long.Ten minutes for an ice breaker can be time well spent.
Lastly, celebrate team successes publicly.A t-shirt for the team or hat may not be much, but it shows you recognize their efforts and will be a reminder to them.You are only limited by your imagination on what you can do here.
In summary, building your team and creating a culture of teamwork may be your most important job as a manager.First, create the culture by modeling the right behavior and encouraging the right behavior.Then create activities and events to model these behaviors on a small scale and to bring the team closer.These small steps will lead to more communication and cooperation among the team.