Benefits of Teamwork
Group Activity Tool
This is a simple but useful group activity tool, designed to help clarify the benefits of teamwork in your organisation. It will encourage team members to consider why teamwork is being used, and how it will benefit different aspects of the organisation. Clarity over such benefits can then help you focus on what needs to be done to achieve them.
To get the most out of this team activity you may want to read some of our other articles on teamwork. Firstly, read about those teamwork principles which can often be lost in the day-to-day busyness of work.
Secondly, and crucial to this activity, in “Why is Teamwork Important?“, we discuss the benefits of teamworking. Here we stress that it’s one thing to create a team, but quite another to create teamwork. Just as it’s one thing to join a team, but quite another to perform as a team member. To put it simply, teams don’t work without teamwork.
Before thinking about the benefits of teamwork, you may also find it useful to read the article define teamwork. Then use the associated activity tool: teamwork definition to help your teams understand, agree and “buy into” their own definitions of teamwork.
Benefits of Teamwork: Why Teamwork?
In considering the benefits of teamwork, a good place to start is with the end in mind. Though fundamental, beneficial and highly valued, teamwork is not necessarily an easy option. Which is why taking time to think aboutwhat you really want to achieve through better teamwork is such an essential first step.
The aim of this group activity tool is to help:
- Identify the expected teamworking contribution to the business and its culture (a strategic aim);
- Identify the desired contribution to people – both staff and the organization’s customers (operational aims).
You will need a large room, a flip chart, marker pens, writing pads, and several packs of post-it notes (4 different colours).
Before the session
Ask people to think about the following and make some notes. Ask them to:
- Identify a team they would consider to be effective;
- Identify a “team” they would consider to be ineffective;
- Consider what makes one successful and the other not.
During the Session
Begin the session with a summary of findings from above. List these on a flip chart for the assembled group to use as a reference.
Place a sheet of flip-chart paper in each of the four corners of the room. Label the top of each page with one of the four headings: Business; People; Culture; Customer.
Next, using a different colour post-it for each category, ask the group to write down the importance of teamwork to each of the listed categories. If the group is large, you may split it into teams allocated to each of the categories. If not, get all present to consider all categories, and place their post-it notes accordingly.
Allow approximately 30 minutes or as long as it takes for ideas to be recorded under each of the four headings.
Summarizing the Session
Ask the group(s) to summarize their ideas, discussing the main contributions teamwork will make to the four categories. Pin these four flip-chart sheets at the front of the room for a summative discussion. Ensure the ideas listed in “Why is Teamwork Important?”, have been addressed in this summary.
Optional: If this exercise has been conducted, review the draft teamwork definition previously developed by the group, in the light of the benefits identified during this session.
Collate, summarize and record the benefits to circulate to the team, and more widely in the organisation.