It’s no secret that 9 out of 10 new businesses fail. There are all kinds of reasons why it’s so difficult for startups to survive, and a lack of cohesion is one of the major contributors.
If you’ve got a great team, you stand a much better chance of making your venture work. If you’re looking to hire new staff or you’re trying to promote collaboration and cooperation in the workplace, here are some of the reasons why teamwork is so important and some tips to get everyone pulling in the same direction.
The importance of teamwork
One of the most important reasons to promote teamwork in your business is the accomplishment of shared goals and objectives. If you’ve got some people who feel left out or some that feel like others get more praise, you’re going to struggle to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
By setting clear objectives and getting every member of the group involved, you’re going to hit those targets faster and ensure that each individual has an interest in getting to that milestone.
If you’ve got a target, for example, a deadline for a project, you’ll stand a much better chance of completing it on time if you’ve got an entire team behind you, rather than a few people.
Consider how fast you can get a task done when there’s a group working on it cohesively compared to trying to do a job on your own. They say that teamwork makes the dream work, and if you’ve got every cog moving, this notion should be proven right.
Delegating tasks, setting deadlines and monitoring progress will help your team achieve goals without delays or hiccups along the way. If you can improve efficiency, this won’t just impress your clients. It will also save you time and money.
A positive working environment
Nobody wants to go to work and be greeted with a frosty atmosphere. You don’t want to sit at your desk all day feeling awkward about talking to a colleague or spend the morning dreading your afternoon meeting.
If you work well within a team and the team is strong, this is going to create a much more positive working environment where people feel able to speak up and share ideas, and everyone gets on well. You don’t have to be best buddies with your colleagues, but it helps if you get along.
Identifying strengths and weaknesses
The beauty of teamwork is that it compensates for weaknesses and highlights strengths. If you’ve got a group of people, you’re bound to find that each person has strengths and weaknesses and you can adapt the way you approach individual projects to achieve the best outcome every time.
If you’ve got somebody who is a brilliant leader and communicator, you can put them in charge of managing the project while people who are skilled in sales and pitching can get out there and close deals.
We all have times at work when we need advice or reassurance. If you’re part of a team that is working together, this should give you peace of mind that you can ask for help or seek advice if you’re unsure or you’re struggling.
Team members support and encourage each other, and this can help to strengthen working relationships and improve the chances of a successful outcome.
Building a strong team
If you’re recruiting for a new business, or you’re hoping to build relationships and promote collaborative working at your company, here are some tips that may prove useful.
Recruiting the right people
Recruitment is incredibly important for any business. When you’re searching for new members of staff, don’t focus solely on qualifications and exam grades. If you’ve got an ethos and your day to day work involves being part of a team, you need to look for candidates who fit the mould and those who are happy to work with others.
Shortlist candidates who have the relevant skills and experience, and then use the interview process to get to know the applicants and to gauge how well they fit in with your vision.
Look for personality, enthusiasm and passion, as well as skills and capability and set tasks that are relevant to the job description. If you’re recruiting for a sales team, for example, it would be useful to see how that candidate approaches a pitch.
Organizing your team
Organization is key to any business. If people don’t know what they’re doing, what shifts they’re working or when deadlines are, this is going to have a negative impact on efficiency, and it may also affect the service you provide.
Be clear on goals, make sure every person knows exactly what jobs they’re undertaking and have a clear scheduling system in place. If you run a restaurant, for example, the last thing you want is your employees not turning up for shifts or finding that your entire team is working at the same time because you’re using outdated, confused techniques.
Use a team scheduler app to organize your rotas and arrange regular meetings to check up on how your team is getting on. A lack of clarity can be disastrous, no matter whether you manage a bar or an office full of people.
Cohesion is instrumental in achieving the desired result in any kind of business. If your employees can work together harmoniously, this creates the right atmosphere, as well as improving efficiency and increasing the chances of hitting targets.
It can be difficult to bring a group of individuals together, but there are lots of techniques you can use to try and strengthen ties and facilitate collaborative working. Bonding activities are a popular choice for business owners.
This may involve having a weekend away or spending a day out in a field trying to cross ponds with rafts or scale walls that are too high to climb. Alternatively, you may adopt a more relaxed approach and plan an outing such as a meal out or drinks after work on a Friday.
These are excellent options for getting to know people if the business is relatively new or encouraging new starters to feel like part of the team. It’s also useful to accommodate group work by making time in the day for people to get together and providing spaces for this kind of activity.
If you’ve got an office full of people trying to concentrate, you don’t want one person shouting across the room to another. Setting aside a meeting room or installing a communal area to grab a drink and go over some new figures can help.
If you’re working on a project, it’s incredibly beneficial to arrange regular meetings to see how everyone is getting on and check that you’re on the right track. It’s also helpful to provide a platform for your employees to speak.
Sometimes, in a group, you’ll have people who love to stand up and share their ideas, but there will also be a few who are reticent to get involved. As a manager, it’s important to encourage those who want to participate to step up. Every member should feel able to voice their opinions.
Dealing with conflict
Conflict of any kind can knock you off kilter and kill the positive vibe. As a leader, this is probably one of the aspects of running a business you fear most. Nobody likes to get involved in conflict or find themselves caught up in office politics or unwanted arguments.
If you sense that the atmosphere has changed or you get wind of unrest from other members of the team, try and nip any problems in the bud. If disagreements are left to fester, this can affect the entire group.
Ask those involved to meet with you and air what’s going on. Talk about any problems that have cropped up and try and find solutions. You don’t have to act as a counselor or ensure that two people become best friends, but if you can improve the situation and ensure that any issues are cleared up, this will benefit everyone.
If you have a team of people working hard to achieve a goal, giving those people something to look forward to will encourage them to continue putting in 100% and help them to maintain focus.
If you hit that target as a team, it makes sense to celebrate as a team. If you’ve won an award or you’ve reached a deadline, do something to recognize the achievement. Go for a celebratory meal, host a party or ask everyone to bring some food in, finish early and enjoy the afternoon together.
Whether you have a new business or an established company, you should never underestimate the importance of having a strong team around you. A cohesive team can make all the difference when the line between success and failure is so fine.
Teamwork improves efficiency, and it helps you hit targets. It also ensures a positive vibe in the workplace and encourages employees to pull together and support each other. If you’ve got a new team or new starters, get everyone together on a regular basis, create spaces for group activities and prioritize organization.