In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Frodo Baggins embarks on a dangerous quest to take the One Ring and destroy it by throwing it into Mount Doom, all with the help of the Fellowship of the Ring (which is comprised of four hobbits, an elf, a dwarf, a human and a wizard). Likewise, the Power Rangers are a group of five teenagers who band together to defeat Rita Repulsa and save the world in the process.
Some jobs simply cannot be done alone – as evidenced by movies, books and comics such as these – and require teamwork and trusted colleagues in the workplace to effectively complete the task at hand on time. After all, they say that two heads are better than one for a reason, and we’ve got 10 reasons for you.
Join us as we take a look at 10 important benefits of teamwork in the workplace.
1. It boosts productivity
First things first, working within a team allows for the workload to be shared equally among members and distributed according to each member’s skills and strengths.
Alex Azoury, founder and CEO of Home Grounds, notes that this can significantly impact a team’s efficiency: ‘Everyone has responsibility for completing their part of the larger workload. In a way, this removes overwhelm by allowing a team member to concentrate solely on producing one thing on time and to a high standard.’
With more hands on deck, tasks are completed faster and more efficiently, thereby increasing productivity.
For example, if one employee has to deliver an important report within 24 hours but has a backlog of 72 hours’ worth of work, the end result will most likely be subpar. Worse, still, they might not even be able to finish it at all. However, if they were to collaborate with someone else, chances are the report will be delivered with plenty of time to spare.
2. It provides a support network
A strong team environment is essential for the success of any business, especially during difficult and challenging times when team members will help and rely on each other for support and guidance. This allows them to remain focused on the goal and complete projects more efficiently.
Yaniv Masjedi, CMO at Nextiva, reports: ‘If your team doesn’t trust each other, they won’t utilise the skills of other team members, and will try and do everything on their own… For an efficient team to function, all members of the team need to know they are valued and supported by the other members of the team. Team members can work together to become greater than the sum of their parts when they know what each other are good at and trust in each other’s competence.’
Conversely, a stressed-out individual with a heavy workload working alone is at risk of becoming overwhelmed and making bad and costly decisions.
3. It encourages innovation
Two heads are better than one, and this is especially true in the workplace. Teams are better able to produce more creative, innovative and practical solutions to problems than someone working alone.
Indeed, Mr Azoury, remarks that diversity plays a crucial role in problem solving: ‘When you put a bunch of diverse people together to solve a problem, they will suggest vastly different solutions. These brainstorming and creativity sessions lead to better ideas and solutions than would be achieved by someone working alone.’
Furthermore, when bouncing ideas off one another in a brainstorming session, employees tend to feel more confident about coming up with unique and more outside-the-box ideas. On the other hand, someone working alone will usually present the safer option to their manager.
4. It improves morale
When the workload is shared and members of a team collaborate, they can feel a greater sense of accomplishment when they complete a task and reach a goal that they would not have been able to achieve had they been working alone. This, combined with a sense of belonging, appreciation and recognition, can drastically improve employee self-esteem and morale.
Purpose also plays an important role here. Dawson Whitfield, founder and CEO of Looka, remarks: ‘Aside from creating an exchange of ideas, teamwork also gives employees a shared purpose… If people don't feel connected to the purpose and culture of a company, they won't stick around long – no matter how great your other benefits are.’
So, when employees find joy in their work and experience job satisfaction and less stress, companies see a drastically lowered turnover rate.
5. It attracts talent
Within the next 10 years, the global workforce is expected to be almost entirely comprised of millennials. And considering how millennials value collaboration over competition, it’s important that companies cater to the needs of their future employees by creating a company culture they want to be part of. By doing so, companies are able to attract – and retain – top talent.
6. It establishes strong relationships
Another huge benefit of teamwork is the establishment and development of strong relationships among coworkers. This helps them communicate more freely and openly, as well as encourage and motivate each other to work to their strengths and talents, which is key to the success of any organisation.
Generally speaking, being part of a team allows members to build trust and share a strong bond with each other, creating an environment where they feel comfortable trying new ways of doing things and asking questions about things they don’t understand. Without trust, the team is destined to fail and will inevitably crumble.
Erik Rivera, CEO of Thrive Talk, stresses that a company culture that doesn’t encourage teamwork is more likely to face inefficiencies and misunderstandings, caused by a lack of communication and trust. He also adds: ‘Encouraging teamwork helps avoid these issues and can also foster a culture of togetherness and loyalty’.
7. It improves customer service
The importance of teamwork is not limited to the workplace but also to the service provided to customers. Generally speaking, people tend to shy away from companies with unhappy employees and prefer doing business with organisations whose employees demonstrate a strong work ethic and team spirit. Teams that work well together are, therefore, essential in improving service and meeting the needs of customers.
8. It allows flexibility
Collaboration in the workplace may mean the added benefit of a more flexible work schedule, as members are generally trained to cover for each other’s skills and strengths. In fact, this allows employees to plan their personal obligations (like childcare or doctor’s appointments, for example) with little disruption to projects while ensuring that important and fast-approaching deadlines are met.
9. It teaches conflict resolution skills
No two employees are the same, and polar-opposite personalities will clash in the workplace. They often have different habits and work styles, and this can frustrate one another. However, because each member of a team collectively works toward a common goal, they learn to resolve disagreements on their own for the sake of the project and their team. This is especially important in healthcare roles, for example, as it increases patient safety.
10. It advances your career
Finally, working as part of a team can help you advance your career. By collaborating with others at work, you’re exposed to their skillsets, and you can learn from them and expand your own skillset. Not only that but it also provides you with the prospect of building your professional network with alliances that can potentially lead to bigger and better opportunities further down the road.
It can also be an excellent opportunity to take initiatives as a leader, which can help you present yourself in a positive light in your next performance review. It will also give your CV a boost and, consequently, give you a huge advantage over the competition.
Can you think of any other benefits of teamwork in the workplace? Do you prefer working alone or collaborating with others?
Join the conversation below and let us know if you’re a lone wolf or a team player!
This article is an updated version of an earlier article that was originally published in February 2016 and was written in collaboration with staff writer Melina Theodorou.