It is widely believed that we tend to think of a ‘team’ as just an indefinite number of people staying together to achieve goals. For example, think of our favourite sports team, a group of friends or the band that plays our favourite song. In reality, the word ‘team’ encompasses many nuances and possesses a much deeper meaning.
Being part of a team means sharing part of one’s life, sharing values and principles, and collaborating to pursue a shared goal with those we consider to be reliable people.
Nowadays, teams are very different from those of the past: more diverse, dispersed, digital and dynamic. However, all of them are always formed from the human tendency and willingness to seek out and collaborate with fellow human beings in order to achieve their aims.
What matters most for collaboration is not the personalities, attitudes or behavioural styles of team members. On the contrary, what teams need to thrive are certain ‘enabling conditions’ including persuasive leadership, a strong structure, and a favourable context. These are the conditions that appear particularly critical to the success of teams.
Creating a cohesive and winning work team is certainly not ‘child’s play’ as many believe, so that is why we think that it is important to devise and follow a detailed plan to get the best results. Among the many tips that exist, we would like to highlight three that stand out to us:
Clear, direct and transparent communication among colleagues: exchanging information within a group in a workplace is crucial. Remember that not everyone is privy to the same information, so paying attention to these aspects is fundamental. Don’t just focus on talking; listening is also part of healthy communication!
Each goal should be SMART: this is a simple acronym for ‘Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Relevant and Time-Bound’. It allows us to set common goals according to certain rules and conditions. This provides clarity and avoids doubt in team members.
Importance of delegation: this activity strengthens the team, builds trust and contributes to the professional development of each worker in the group. Also, for leaders, it allows them to identify who is best suited to tackle tasks or projects based on the personal characteristics of each member.
The benefits of engaging in group activities focus on the values of belonging, sharing, socialising and active participation. Just think of the chance to improve each day by grasping knowledge from those around us, the achievement of greater goals rather than personal goals, and shared support in times of difficulty.
On the other hand, we must always keep in mind that within work groups, it is normal to have discussions and debates based on differing opinions, to often stick to shared schedules and routines, and to not be able to do what we want when we want to.
Like many other aspects of life, modern times and greater forces — such as the recent global pandemic — are increasingly pushing us to go digital and adopt new ways of working. So the question arises of how to maintain the relationships of a work group through the digital sphere. This is a great challenge for present and future generations of employers! Undoubtedly, technological tools and platforms will play a key role in this transition to digital working, allowing colleagues to maintain contact with each other even at a physical distance.
All things considered, we quote Henry Ford and his famous line to best summarise the importance of teamwork within the workplace. Always remember, “coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”