John Maxwell says it best “Teamwork makes the Dreamwork.”
The better our teams work together the better the results will be, it is as simple as that.
We see it every day in sports. It’s not always the best players that win but the best teams, and it’s the leader’s job to get the team to function at an optimal level.
We need to make sure that our teams are engaged, that they have a clear understanding of the goals and objectives, and of course that they have the tools to do the job.
But this is just the start point.
Great teams don’t just happen by chance they need to be molded, coached and cajoled to achieve greatness. We need to be looking to get the sum of the whole to be greater than the sum of the parts, and we can only do that through great teamwork.
Here are three ingredients which can help boost the teamwork.
People love to collaborate, and with the rise of collaboration tools, this is only going to become a more important part of the way we want to work together.
88% of Millennials say that the prefer to work collaboratively than competitively. So we should look to have people working together, rather than individually, where they are contributing to a shared goal, and shared success, which will increase morale and motivation. Having individuals competing with each other creates winners and losers, and nobody wants to be a loser.
Collaboration is the foundation for all great teams and will positively impact other areas.
As leaders, we should look to build collaborative teams, encourage collaboration and the use of collaboration tools, as well as be a role model for collaboration as this will help to build a culture of collaboration.
Cooperation and collaboration differ, although the words are often used interchangeably.
Cooperation is when someone helps a colleague to achieve their individual goal, with no real benefit to themselves. It is a selfless act that benefits others. We need to give people time to cooperate and support one another, and even encourage it, as overall it will lead to better results.
When have people working flat out on their own goals then we leave them with very little time to cooperate and help others. We need to make sure that we get the balance right, as our goal is for everyone to be successful. But when we achieve that it creates a culture of ‘give and take,’ which helps everyone improve and get closer to their goals.
It also fosters the sharing of best practices which is something every company should strive for.
Competition is a great way of improving performance, but it needs to be done in the right way.
We don’t want to set individuals or teams competing against each other as ultimately that’s not good for overall morale. We want to have them competing against themselves, against last year’s performance or benchmarks set by other companies.
That way we can get everyone pulling in the same direction, and if we do that correctly it will also help to boost both collaboration and competition.
The best way to achieve that is to have team and company bonuses aligned around the same goals. In this case, the team gets its first bonus when they hit their team’s contribution towards the overall goal, and then they receive a second bonus, ideally a bigger bonus, when the company or department achieve its goal.
The better they collaborate, the quicker they will hit their team’s goal, which then leaves them time to cooperate to help other teams and individuals, which then helps the company hit the overall goal.
Collaboration, cooperation, and competition work together to improve teamwork and as we improve in one area, it can lead to benefits in another, creating a momentum which will lead us to optimal performance.
Don’t just rely on your teams gelling and working well together, take positive action by mixing these ingredients to create amazing teams.