The phrase “teamwork makes the dream work” is often thrown around carelessly in the business world, everywhere from family-run businesses to international corporations. And while it’s true, effective teamwork does make daily, monthly and yearly operations easier, it’s a concept that looks much simpler on paper than in practice.
Why is it that both managers and team members tend to struggle to create a good team dynamic? Why is it that instead of steadily improving productivity and achieving better results teams tend to be inconsistent? Why do some people struggle to fit in a team and why are others simply left out? How can managers mitigate smaller and larger differences both in views and work performance? How can team building programs and other bonding opportunities fail sometimes terribly due to disinterest?
You see, once we tap a bit deeper into this topic it’s easy to observe that there’s a great number of unanswered questions which all require planning and expertise to resolve.
THE MANAGER – FROM INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL TO HUMAN BEHAVIORAL EXPERT
Most managers get promoted based on their previous performance, expertise and the knowledge of their profession. While it’s true, they are more than capable of taking up greater responsibilities within the company and have a great understanding of how the given company conducts business and basic workflow, still, managers also have another important role: they don’t just manage work, they also have to manage coworkers.
They must know how to balance professional and personal conflicts within the team. They always need to take into consideration the “human factor”, the fact that team members not only differ in terms of performance and expertise, but in temperament and emotionally too.
Efficient teams that get the job done have efficient managers who know how to deal with conflicts and who know how to create a team management strategy that can be followed by all members.
THE TEAM – A ONE OF A KIND ECOSYSTEM WITHIN THE COMPANY
While most teams share similar structures every team is unique and has its own dynamic. In some cases, a group of people can instantly find the smallest common denominator, while other teams struggle even to organize an effective meeting.
In most cases, when teams face dysfunction, the problems revolve around a few common pitfalls which side track members and slowly decrease productivity, enabling the team to reach its full potential.
More often than not, team members face an absence of trust, they are not committed to the cause, they fear getting into conflicts, avoid being held accountable and not paying enough attention to results. These pitfalls can be demanding to correct on their own, let alone having to face all of them at once. However, in order to have a great performing team, both managers and members need to commit to their roles, must work through conflicts, take responsibility, focus more on results and build trust.
TEAMWORK – IMPOSSIBLE OR NOT?
Improving how your team functions is by no means a fly-by-night process but managers can start by analyzing their teams’ strengths and areas of improvement, along with their own roles within their team. They need to pinpoint the main obstacles and must work toward overcoming them.
By using the necessary tools and coming up with the right strategy and action plan, every team can improve and become a prominent asset to any company.
In order to make that happen, both managers and team members should possess the necessary knowledge to approach the issues from the right angle and this link can help you get started if you seek to improve how your team functions.