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Useful Ways to Enhance Teamwork in the Workplace

Build diverse and inclusive teams

First and foremost, it is important that we focus on creating diverse teams rather than teams of all like-minded people. A group of people with different backgrounds are more likely to bring diverse perspectives and ideas to the table. With more perspectives, comes more thorough decision making. We often tend to want to surround ourselves with people who think and act in ways that reflect our own thoughts and actions.

While a group of like-minded individuals with similar backgrounds may get along great, we have to think about the bigger picture – Will they bring fresh ideas to the table? Will the team members challenge each other to tackle a project from all angles? Or, will the team members be so agreeable that they come up with ideas that don’t get questioned or elaborated upon? If all team members think the same way, come from similar backgrounds, and have the same beliefs and opinions, the work that the team produces will likely be one-sided and less creative. Whereas if each team member has unique opinions, beliefs, background, etc. they will likely produce work that reflects more creativity and innovation.

Clearly define roles and responsibilities for every team member

When team members are unsure of their own tasks and responsibilities, it often creates tension within a team. It is important for each team member to know exactly what he or she is responsible for so that there is no overlap in projects. If multiple employees are working on the same task due to confusion in responsibility, invaluable time and team effort spent on the task are wasted. Each individual should have responsibility in reaching the team goals as well as the tools and mutual support to obtain good results. Setting clear goals for each team member will help keep people aligned on their assigned tasks and responsibilities.

Build trust within the team

It’s difficult to work productively with somebody that you don’t trust. For this reason, trust is a dire need if you want to lead a successful team. Trust between team members can flourish by doing something as simple as attending a happy hour together, participating in simple team-building activities, or simply eating lunch together. It’s important to encourage team members to interact with each other outside of their work together. Not only will this build trust, but it will also likely increase employee morale and job satisfaction – work is more enjoyable when you enjoy the people you work with.

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