10 Tips for Highly Effective Teamwork

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10 Tips for Highly Effective Teamwork

Posted on December 7, 2018 by Danny Leffel

When you work with a large team, figuring out the right formula for promoting effective teamwork can feel like a complete mystery. Some days, you might just want to throw up your hands. How many more team building activities and team meetings will it take?

We feel your pain. The workplace is a tricky space, especially when you’re dealing with complicated hierarchies and near-constant conflicts. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be quite so painful. With a few simple changes and some intentional communication strategies, you can get teams working together effectively, efficiently, and all together positively.

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1. Encourage Collaboration

Often, a breakdown occurs somewhere between “team” and “teamwork.” Perhaps you have a large team, but everyone seems to be running in their own lane. It is possible that your employees aren’t even aware that they’re supposed to be working together. It helps to be extra-clear about expectations when it comes to teamwork. You may have to go out of your way to encourage collaboration and squash unnecessary competition. The more you can remind everyone to be teammates rather than rivals, the better off your business will be.

2. Communicate Clearly — and Often

One of the most difficult hurdles to overcome in a workplace environment is communication. It seems there is always a breakdown somewhere along the line. Employees end up feeling out of the loop, management doesn’t have the correct information for scheduling and setting goals, and everything feels out of whack. Use the Crew app to help you move from a cluttered mishmash of emails, texts, and websites to an all-in-one hub for effective employee communication. With Crew, you can send immediate messages without email or phone numbers. Work in real-time to handle schedules, recognize employees, and drive positive business results. Solutions like these can make a world of difference. When everyone is on the same page, the story is a lot clearer!

3. Manage Conflicts ASAP

You don’t want to let negativity fester. If there are conflicts, no matter who is involved, it is best to deal with them as soon as humanly possible, before they boil over and become even bigger than before. If two or more employees seem to be having an issue with one another, it is best to come together and address the situation openly, clearly, and without judgment. Then make a plan — as a group — for moving past the conflict.

4. Prioritize Employee Appreciation and Engagement

When an employee doesn’t feel appreciated, he or she might act out or lose motivation. When multiple members feel disengaged and under-appreciated, entire teams can fall apart. Negativity feeds on negativity. This is why it is important to prioritize employee engagement from the get-go. You don’t have to go crazy — written thank-you notes and simple celebrations can make a world of difference.

5. Make Short-Term Goals and Task Lists

When the weeks drag on forever with no end in sight, even the most skilled team can flounder. Keep your team on track with visible, shareable goals and to-do lists. If each team member can get a “win” each week, the whole team or business will make progress in the long run.

6. Nurture a Culture of Transparency

One of the quickest and surest ways to doom your team to the Land of Ineffective Teamwork is to build a culture where employees must resort to guessing and gossip. To avoid this, you’ll want to be as transparent as possible and encourage the same level of sharing within the team itself. Communication begets trust, efficiency, and even more communication. You can use the Crew app to communicate directly and quickly with every single employee, a subset, or just one individual.

7. Keep It Positive

One major roadblock to effective teamwork is a fear of negativity. Team members fear the wrath of their colleagues or bosses, while managers worry about the morale and attitudes of the employees. Bypass this roadblock by starting off the year with a commitment to positivity in everything you do — no teasing, no getting stuck in negative attitudes.

Try to limit discussions that center around disappointments and frustrations, and turn them around into something positive instead. Cheer up your employees, and cheer them on. When all members are building one another up, everyone is set up to perform at their optimal level.

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8. Always Set Clear Expectations

Sometimes it might feel like your employees are moving and working in a hundred opposing directions. This can often be the result of muddied expectations. You should even set expectations for simple things like communication. Should team members check in with their manager weekly? Daily? What do those check-ins look like? Try to think through any team processes before the next schedule cycle begins.

9. Expect (and Respect) Different Viewpoints

Teams are full of diversity — that’s what makes them great! In order to effectively and appropriately coexist as teammates, however, everyone will need to commit to respecting different viewpoints, backgrounds, emotions, etc. Achieving this requires more than a one-time team building workshop. Members should be encouraged to get to know one another, problem solve together, and practice working with one another on of tasks. As with most things, getting along with others takes practice. The more opportunities for teamwork your employees are given, the better co-workers and humans they will be to one another.

10. Make Ample Time for Reflection

As teammates work together over a period of time, they’ll learn all sorts of things about each other’s skill sets, communication styles, and so much more. The best way to absorb that information is through reflection at work. This could be group discussions, one-on-ones, journaling, or any other form of intentional reflection. Through reflection, employees will not only know what happened during their last project but also why it happened and how processes can be improved the next time around.

It doesn’t take a huge budget or a ton of allocated time to build a fantastic, effective team. If you walk with intention, communicate with clarity and openness, and commit to a positive environment, your team will be ready to take on even the toughest challenges. To make your job even easier, consider Crew, an app that will help your team communicate, stay engaged, and be more successful than ever before.

Crew helps to improve communications and saves time.
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