Sometimes, the complexity and nature of some jobs makes it near impossible for a single person to effectively and efficiently produce and complete a task that was assigned to him and, therefore, requires the help of trusted colleagues and it should fit in with the company culture.
In the Lord of the Rings, for instance, Frodo Baggins embarks on a dangerous quest to take and destroy the Ring of Sauron by throwing it into Mount Doom with the help of the Fellowship of the Ring, which is comprised of nine members. Likewise, in the Marvel Comics universe, the Avengers are a team of superheroes who work together to kick villains’ butts.
Great movies, books, and comics like these have all taught us the importance of teamwork with the primary advantage being that a team can achieve a common goal which, in turn, leads to the success and growth of an organization.
After all, they say two heads are better than one for a reason, and we’ve got five pretty good ones for you.
1. Improved Efficiency
Most projects come with a deadline. And if one employee has to deliver a report within 24 hours, but has 48 hours’ worth of work to get through, the end result will most likely be subpar, to say the least. Worse: he might not even finish it on time.
However, working within a team allows for the workload to be shared equally amongst members and distributed according to each member’s skills and strengths. With more hands on deck, tasks are, therefore, completed faster and more efficiently.
2. Better Employee Relations
When a workplace encourages collaboration and teamwork, strong relationships are established and developed among coworkers, which helps them communicate more freely and openly as well as encourage and motivate each other.
Meanwhile, as with everywhere else, conflicts inevitably happen in the workplace. No two people in one team are the same, and they often have different habits and work styles that may frustrate one another. However, because each member collectively works toward a common goal, employees learn to resolve disagreements by themselves for the sake of the project and team as well as the organization and its mission – and any employer will tell you that conflict resolution skills are viewed favorably by employers.
Moreover, working within a team provides employees with a support network where they can freely seek guidance when they’ve run into a wall in order to deliver high quality results. Members learn to help each other and rely on each other, and this allows them to build trust within the group.
3. Increased Innovation
When two (or more) heads come together, the possibilities are endless.
Teams are better able to produce more creative, innovative, and practical solutions to problems than someone working alone. In fact, some companies have embraced this idea by using teams to create a work environment that fosters creativity.
Take W.L. Gore & Associates, for example, a technology and science-based enterprise in the US that uses the flat lattice corporate structure in which associates (not employees) are hired into general work areas and, with the guidance of sponsors (not bosses), commit to projects that best match their unique skill sets. They can also lead their own projects and teams which emerge, thrive, and then dissolve when the required work has been accomplished. This unique, non-hierarchal structure allows and encourages associates to grow, develop, and innovate in small teams.
4. A Learning Experience
As explained earlier, no two employees are the same, and this means that they have different skills and strengths that complement those of each other’s. In other words, teamwork provides team members with the opportunity for learning and professional development.
They’re able to learn from one another and develop skills that they can then use throughout their careers, while questions are answered and concepts are better understood more quickly. Each team member is an education resource to other employees, and should all be used as such because fewer mistakes are then made and the team’s efficiency is improved.
5. Improved Morale
When the workload is shared and when members of a team collaborate, they can feel a greater sense of accomplishment when they have completed a task and reached a goal that they would not have been able to achieve if they had been working alone. This combined with a sense of belonging, appreciation, and recognition can drastically improve employee self-esteem and morale.
In turn, when employees find joy in their work, and they experience increased job satisfaction and less stress, companies see a drastically lowered turnover rate. And that’s especially music to employers’ ears, considering that employee turnover can be quite expensive: replacing a mid-level employee can cost a company upwards of 150% of what they would have paid in terms of annual salary.
Can you think of any other ways employees can benefit from teamwork? Perhaps you’re a manager and have a few pointers you’d like offer? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!