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Team work: Taking excellence another mile is the way ahead

Last updated: 23 August, 2011
Rahul Kulkarni 18:20 IST

Teamwork is essential - it allows you to blame someone else - Anonymous Funny quotes apart, sometimes the importance of teamwork at workplace is truly underrated.

It is human tendency to believe that we as individuals are much more capable of handling things on our own.

Though, the truth is that in order to finish any work, whether at office or home, we invariably need the help and assistance of other people.

As human beings we are first introduced to the concept of teamwork when we take part in some form of team sport.



Participation in such sports helps us to understand the importance of allowing the other members in the team to do their bit. It also teaches us key things like proper communication and the importance of sharing responsibility.

Importance of Teamwork in the Office
Teamwork is defined in Webster’s New World Dictionary as “a joint action by a group of people, in which each person subordinates his or her individual interests and opinions to the unity and efficiency of the group.”

This does not mean that the individual is no longer important; however, it does mean that effective and efficient teamwork goes beyond individual accomplishments. The most effective teamwork is produced when all the individuals involved, harmonise their contributions and work towards a common goal.

Teamwork is important for a number of reasons in the workplace. It does not in any way reflect any employee’s inability to perform the task effectively. There are many tasks that require people with diverse skill-sets and different perspectives to come together ensuring a thorough completion of work.

With proper teamwork it is not only possible to reduce the amount of work for one person but also means more focused attention on fewer things. This naturally results in completion of the work much before expected. It helps to a great extent in reduction of stress levels of the employee. Also, teamwork enables quicker learning and helps grasp concepts better and with ease.

Teamwork also plays a big role in making every employee feel as an important part of the organisation. The success of any teamwork comes with a participative leadership. The leaders need to make sure that the team members should get heard and their opinion should get counted. With team members discussing improvement and innovation at each review a bond is created between them.

This goes a long way in increasing the productivity of a business place and increasing the loyalty to the company. Teamwork also helps in creating a healthy competitive atmosphere improving the productivity of the company. Effective teamwork is imperative for proper completion of result oriented tasks.

How to create an atmosphere of teamwork
Alignment of objective and vision of the team is the prerequisite for a successful team. The milestones should be clearly defined with responsibilities and accountability for every team member. It is important for every employee to possess teamwork skills in the workplace.

The work assignment needs to be as per the strength and passion of the team members. It is crucial to develop and work on strong open and transparent communications. Self monitoring is the best tool for team members.

Goals should be set in such a way that they are not only highly measurable but also makes the team members visible. Team members should be empowered and inculcated with entrepreneurial zeal and skill.

It’s also pertinent to reward and recognise the top performers as they are the key to the success of any team. But the low performers should also be aligned on priority and not kept lingering on any task.

Working towards a common goal and at the same time competing with each other to do better can help foster ties at the workplace. As mentioned earlier, one of the most important reasons to encourage teamwork and collaboration at workplace is to increase the rate of productivity. In certain cases, teamwork fosters job satisfaction that bears a direct correlation with employee performance.

These are just some benefits that highlight the importance of teamwork in the workplace. There are many other benefits that can be very specific to the team that you are working with. While for many people adjusting to an environment consisting of groups of people can be a stumbling block, their adaptability to the situation will improve, making them more receptive to teamwork.

(The writer is Head – Human Resources at Kale Consultants)

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