Teamwork in the Workplace

Creating the conditions

Teamwork in the Workplace

Creating the conditions

How do you create the conditions for effective teamwork in the workplace? Good team leadership is about creating the conditions that allow ideas and people to flourish, people to come together, to feel empowered, allowing performance to flow.

It’s also about developing people’s strengths, while building good relationships and connections between people. Especially when in the pursuit of challenging and meaningful team goals. Achieve this and you’re well on your way towards creating the conditions for effective effective teamwork in the workplace. So these are the three key points to remember:

  • Developing individual strengths
  • Establishing good relationships with others
  • Encouraging performance to flow

And all three are major factors in well-being in the workplace. Particularly when people feel they’re pursuing meaningful, worthwhile goals which make a difference.

It’s a similar story with our relationships and “connected-ness” to others. The strengths of our relationships have repeatedly been found to be the strongest links to finding happiness in life. So there’s a good chance that developing this kind of teamwork in the workplace will also create a better place to work.

In this article we blend ideas from three well-known experts. Firstly from Stephen Covey’s 7 habits, (think win-win, seek first to understand and synergize). Then with three of Peter Senge’s five disciplines, (personal mastery, shared vision and team learning) together with some of our own thoughts. Finally by adapting Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi’s conditions for creating flow to a team context. From these eminent sources we propose our own recommendations for creating the conditions for teamwork in the workplace.

Developing the Strengths of Individuals
  • Ensuring you place a high value on the ideas of others.
  • Allowing time to foster creativity.
  • Encouraging personal mastery – and personal growth and learning, by encouraging the team to “continually expand their ability to create the results in life they truly seek.” (Senge).
  • Building on the strengths of your colleagues in the team.
  • Aligning and blending the strengths of individuals so that they complement each other.
  • Letting people get on with what they do well.
  • Thus allowing people to feel empowered to contribute and make an impact.
Cultivating Relationships and Friendships
  • Trusting the team to deliver.
  • Developing your own teamwork definition that you all share and fits your context.
  • Thinking Win-Win. Consistently seek mutual benefit in what you do. Cultivate an abundance mentality – there is more for everyone and together people can achieve more.
  • Seeking First to Understand. Communication is the most important skill in life. Seek to understand another person’s view first, in order to best put your view forward. To communicate well you must listen first.
  • Developing a shared vision – encouraging personal vision, moving from this to shared vision, spreading this vision and anchoring the vision within a set of governing ideas.
  • Aligning people’s sense of togetherness with the vision of where you are going.
Encouraging Performance to flow
  • Energising team learning – the potential wisdom of teams, where individual talent combines for the benefit of the team and energy and activity is aligned in the same direction.
  • Synergizing by bring together people, their ideas and their views. Do this properly and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
  • Encouraging the team to take on meaningful but manageable challenges (high challenge with high skills).
  • Together generating clear goals that are shared, and to which all are committed.
  • Providing immediate feedback on performance (so that it’s clear how well everyone is doing).
  • Encouraging others to support and provide feedback to each other.
  • Aligning strengths with good teamwork, in a common direction, towards meaningful goals.

Teamwork is like many things in life. It will grow naturally if the conditions are there. At the heart of effective teamwork in the workplace is the sense of camaraderie and of valuing each other. This means when people come together they deliver more than they would separately, and they are empowered to do it!

Effective teamwork in the workplace

So effective teamwork in the workplace happens when three things are in place:

  • Individuals flourish as they use their Strengths.
  • People come together building relationships that often become friendships resulting in effective Teamwork.
  • Together everyone achieves more as performance flows and Results are achieved.

You may have noticed that to bring each of the three aspects together we have emphasised the importance of alignment. Team leaders need to ensure that they align the strengths of individuals with teamwork, and a focus on meaningful results. This forms the basis of our model for effective teams, we call it the STAR team performance model (Strengths, Teamwork,Alignment, Results).

You can find out more about our STAR team performance model in our article teamwork theories, where we explain the model and why we think it can help create the conditions for effective teams and a workplace built on well-being.

Exercises for teamwork in the workplace

Teams e-guidesIf you want to put our teamwork concepts into action, you’ll find more information and a wealth of practical resources, in our colossal Team Building Bundle.

Containing 240 pages and 50 tools, these are the 8 key guides we recommend to help you do more than define teamwork, build it!

Why is Teamwork Important
Build a Better Team
The Problems with Teams
Team Health Check
Team Building Exercises
Leading with Style and Focus
What’s the Problem?
Making Better Decisions

These are fantastic little e-books, very thorough, easy to follow

We’ve used [the guides] as support tools for learners on our talent management programmes which has saved me a lot of time and a lot of money. I’d definitely recommend them.

Kieleigh - United Kingdom

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Try our great value e-guides

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