Teamwork is a shared action by two or more people, this action requires each person to contribute different skills and perform different tasks for the unity and effectiveness of the group so that common goals or mission can be achieved. However this does not mean that the individual in the team is not important, even though it is said that there is no “I” in team it is forgotten, that each individual effort counts, any one weak link can spoil the effort of the whole team. So, though efficient teamwork goes beyond individual accomplishments, it is still a part of it. The most effective teamwork is said to be produced when all harmonized links are involved to work towards a common goal. It is understood that, in order for a team to succeed the components that join the team should be team players. Keep in mind; if each component is working towards achieving different/separate goals, then the definition of team does not apply to that group.
The achievement of a team is usually measured by a kind of performance indicator for instance a customer satisfaction, sales growth etc. teamwork improves when the performance of the group improves, however good teamwork does not require for team members to have good interpersonal relationships, friendships etc. rather, the requirement is the attitude to work as a team that leads to better performance.
The most certain way of improvising teamwork is by applying the principles of performance management to the team’s behavior. Following are three basic steps to demonstrate it:
– Identify what teamwork attitude or behavior will lead to better performance in the future.
– Assess attitudes and behaviors currently in use by the team
– Undertake a gap analysis, between target and current teamwork behavior or attitude.
– Take action change current attitude and behavior to come closer to target.
It is also necessary to understand that all team attitudes and behaviors are not the same, in fact they may vary from team to team, organization to organization as well as job titles, and for example, the attitude that leads to success of a sports team is different from a business marketing team.
One of the best ways to identify target teamwork is to complete the “Ideal Team Profile Questionnaire(TM). This process can be completed by peer groups, staff, customers, senior management and the team itself; it provides an array of views of what would actually make the team successful in its endeavors and also enables the team to:
– Recognize and administer contradictory expectations between management and customers.
– Taking a broad viewpoint when setting behavioral goals for themselves, this also helps in improving the quality of these goals.
– Assist in creating a dialogue between team members and non-team members for ideas to improve performance.
Concluding the topic, I would say that teamwork isn’t always the means to an end, that is, it is not always the answer to fixing a problem, individual work is good on its own as well. There is much organizational work that is better done by an individual. “Trying to bring teamwork to bear on every process and activity is likely to create something that has a scary resemblance to the dreaded “management by committee.” However when making teams and setting team goals team leaders should understand that it is quite rare that a team members will rise higher than he standard set by the team leader. Always make sure that a particular job requires team work, “I wonder how many team efforts crashed and burned because nobody ever asked if teamwork was desirable for the type of work being done or identified where the opportunities for teamwork were greatest.”