The 9 Best Strategies to Build a Teamwork Culture
We all know teamwork is important. In fact, there are more quotes sayings about teamwork than we can count.
From our favourite sports to the workplace, teams are everywhere. But have you ever taken a moment to wonder why?
To put it simply, teams are more effective and they’re more efficient. So it’s no surprise that team culture continues to top the list of priorities for organizations.
But building a strong and efficient team requires some extra thought and consideration. Fortunately, it’s clear that when it comes to teamwork culture, the effort is worth the reward.
What does it mean to have a culture of teamwork?
First things first. What does teamwork culture even mean?
Teamwork is what happens when a group of individuals cooperates in order to reach a common goal.
When there’s a culture of teamwork, collaboration is ingrained in the shared values and beliefs of the company. This trickles down into the day-to-day and drives the decisions, behaviors, and attitudes of everyone who works there.
In general, teamwork culture creates a sense of shared purpose. The idea is that working together can lead to better outcomes than working alone.
Creating a teamwork culture can improve everything from your company’s productivity to employee satisfaction. When combined, it can have a significant positive impact on the success and bottom line of the business. Studies have shown that companies with a healthy culture are more likely to see revenue growth when compared to those that don’t.
What does a successful teamwork culture look like?
It’s no secret that there are numerous benefits to building a culture of teamwork. But what does that look like in the workplace?
Here are some signs that teamwork and culture are thriving within your organisation:
● Higher employee satisfaction: Humans are social creatures. Working as a team creates a sense of belonging that can make your employees happier with their work life. And happier employees are more productive. How much more? Well, 12% to be exact.
● Better employee engagement: Having a workout buddy can make you more accountable and motivated. The same can be said for having a team to lean on in the workplace. Teamwork is key when it comes to engaging and motivating employees. When they’re engaged they’ll be more invested in your organisation and their work.
● Higher quality of work: Ever heard the term two heads are better than one? Imagine what you could do with a whole team. Collaboration leads to unique perspectives and more innovative ideas. A strong team can brainstorm creative solutions faster and can often make better decisions.
● Increased productivity: The math here is pretty simple. More people = more output. Working together usually means employees can work faster and get more done.
● Greater flexibility and adaptability: Teams can be more flexible and adaptable than individuals, allowing them to respond more effectively to changes in the workplace.
● Better communication and coordination: Working in a group doesn’t necessarily equate to teamwork. Teams that work together effectively have better communication and coordination among team members. This can make them more efficient and effective.
If this doesn’t sound like your workplace – don’t fret. Teams aren’t built overnight. There are ways to strengthen your company culture and get your employees to work as a team again.
Tips for building and sustaining teamwork culture in the workplace
Putting a bunch of employees in a room together doesn’t make them a team. It’s how they work together that makes the difference.
Here are a few different ways you can foster teamwork among employees and keep it from fizzling out.
1. Communicate company goals and values
There’s a reason most successful companies have clearly defined mission and value statements. They exist to provide clarity about the long-term vision of the company.
Everyone might have smaller or different milestones along the way, like campaign launches or KPIs. But everything your employees work on ultimately come together to achieve that overarching goal.
By working toward a common goal, you can foster a sense of camaraderie among employees. Even when people don’t work together on a daily basis, they’ll feel a sense of unity simply because they’re on the same team.
Without a clear mission, every employee is left to guess what the priorities are. This means everyone is going off in their own direction instead of steering the ship together.
2. Define individual and team responsibilities
In a sports team, every athlete has a specific role to play. If one person isn’t doing what’s expected of them, it can cost the rest of the team – even if everyone else is giving 100%. The workplace is the same.
Everyone has a role within their department and the organization as a whole. But if that role isn’t clear, it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks.
When it comes to building a more effective team, everyone should understand their role and how it contributes to the team's overall objectives.
You can do this by having clear role descriptions, as well as things like accountability charts. This makes it easier for people to know who to go to when they need support as well as avoid stepping on each other's toes.
3. Hire the right people
When it comes to onboarding new team members, there’s something to be said about hiring the right person.
Typically this means hiring someone with the right soft skills and values that align with the rest of the team.
When hiring new talent, consider asking questions like:
● Are they motivated and willing to learn?
● Are they open to feedback?
● Do they like to work with others?
● Do their values align with those of the company?
Soft skills can often be difficult to teach or change. It’s much easier for someone to learn hard skills like new software or mechanism.
Remember that you should still hire people with different views and perspectives. It’s what makes a well-rounded team.
4. Create a safe and inclusive space
One of the biggest benefits of teams is that it provides access to a diverse range of thoughts and ideas.
The workplace should feel like a place where everyone on the team can feel comfortable sharing their ideas and addressing concerns. Otherwise, you can lose a lot of the benefits of teamwork.
Some ways you can foster inclusion in the workplace include:
● Make space for everyone’s voice and opinion (versus just a few people)
● Ensure company policies account for everyone’s unique life situation
● Commit to diversity and inclusion training
● Create accessible workspaces
5. Embrace opportunities for collaboration
As a leader, set an example by creating opportunities for effective collaboration. Set aside time for brainstorming or even just schedule regular working sessions. Encourage team members to work together and share information to achieve common goals.
We all like to groan when new meetings hit our calendars. But meetings can be extremely valuable tools in building workplace culture. Our top tip for effective meetings and collaboration? Start with an agenda.
If collaboration feels like a challenge, it might also be a sign that your business isn’t equipped with effective tools. Invest in things like project management and communication tools so collaboration is instinctive for employees.
6. Provide training and development opportunities
If your employees have been out of sync for a while, it can be difficult to find their groove. That’s when outside support can be helpful to improve communication or problem-solving skills. Whether it’s webinars or team building sessions, training can equip them with the tools to be successful as a team.
Employee training and development is also an effective way to strengthen their collective skillset. Everyone has a role to play in a team. If there’s a missing role, your employees won’t be as effective.
It’s also a way to show that you’re committed to their continued growth and development and a valued member of the team.
7. Prioritize employee recognition
It’s true what they say – a little appreciation can go a long way. Employees want to feel valued. So when you show that you value teamwork, it’s more likely that they’ll be willing to work together as a group.
Take the time to celebrate when employees work well together and contribute to the team’s success. This includes individual employees to the company as a whole
Another way to encourage employee motivation and teamwork is through a peer-to-peer recognition program. When employees show appreciation for each other it helps build rapport between team members. This will make them more willing to work together and help them work better together in the future.
The key here is to make it easy. If it’s easy, employees are more likely to participate. Make peer-to-peer recognition a core part of your culture and workflow by using apps like Evergreen.
As a leader, you can set an example by starting the habit of sending kudos for a job well done. Here are some ideas for when acts of appreciation can make an impact.
● Employee anniversaries
● Hitting targets and goals
● Going above and beyond
8. Foster trust and transparency
It’s easy to feel excluded if you don’t feel like you’re out of the loop. That’s why creating a culture of transparency is so important within teams.
Transparency builds an atmosphere of trust. If employees feel informed, they’re more likely to feel a part of the team. No matter how big or small your team is, clear communication keeps everyone on the same page. Your employees can’t contribute to their full potential if they don’t understand the full picture of what they’re working towards.
Open communication ensures employees feel valued and productive in their roles.
Where businesses often struggle with transparency is when things are difficult. But honesty is always the best policy. Even when the news or feedback isn’t what someone wants to hear, they’ll appreciate the transparency.
9. Make space for fun
Work hard… but not too hard.
Especially in a world of remote and hybrid workplaces, it’s so easy for teams to get stuck in the cycle of only work.
If you’re thinking about productivity it might seem counterintuitive to spend time not working. But it’s actually one of the best things you can do to improve your team culture.
Make time for things like team events, socials, or even just coffee chats. The change for employees to connect over things outside of work, will help strengthen their team bonds. And let’s face it – it’s easier to build a relationship over your favorite Netflix show than over what’s on your to-do list.
Over time, this translates into better teamwork and communication, improving your team’s working relationship.
Teamwork makes the dream work
It might be a bit of a cliché but it’s true. Employee teamwork is a huge key to your success as a business.
But if you want to build a culture of teamwork, it often starts from the top. It’s up to you as a leader to create a foundation that your employees can build off.
It can take time to get your team working like a well-oiled machine. But once you get your employees working together, they have the ability to make a much bigger impact.
Keep teamwork top-of-mind with Evergreen. Evergreen helps employees shout out and recognize their teammate's in just a few clicks. We’ll even motivate them by planting a tree every time.
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