With the remote and hybrid workforce here to stay, teamwork is more important than ever to keep teams engaged in their work. Simply put, teamwork is collaborative action by a group of people to accomplish a common goal. While successful teamwork may have traditionally been accomplished while working side by side, that’s no longer the case. With the right motivation, communication and collection of diverse views, synergy can be accomplished no matter where your teammates sit. Here are four tips for making teamwork thrive at your organization in a post-pandemic world.

Define and establish clear and common goals. As you put together teams in 2022, whether they are comprised of cross-functional team members or those within the same division, make sure your vision is clear. Ask the question: “Do we have a clear team goal that we’re trying to achieve?” If the answer is no, you may end up with unmotivated workers who are getting through the ‘day to day,’ checking off tasks rather than genuinely engaging in the work they have in front of them. Remember that truly great teamwork means the sum is greater than the parts. Make sure your team members understand how their piece fits into whole and how their role is integral to the success of the team overall. A well-defined goal will result in enhanced efficiency and productivity.

Make sure everyone has the ability to collaborate. Whether your teams are in person, remote or hybrid, encouraging collaboration allows them to come up with new and creative ways to solve whatever problem you put in front of them. Members of your team likely bring different expertise and skills, which leads to a new way of thinking about solving the task at hand. Diverse talents and experience working together for a common goal can result in even stronger ideas and solutions, so encourage your teams to share freely. Collaborative environments facilitate intentional coordination of how and when team members act to achieve efficiency, and nowadays technology is essential for collaboration. Make sure your teams have access to Teams or another video conferencing tool so they can connect regularly.

Be transparent. For teamwork to be effective, members of the team should know how and why decisions that affect the team are made. All results should be shared – the good and bad – so the team can celebrate wins and make changes to minimize losses. Today, transparency in an organization is more important than ever before, so make it part of your culture if it’s not already. Open communication within your teams will lead to better results for your organization over the long term.

Build teamwork into your culture. Whether you are just getting started or teamwork is embedded in your organization, leverage these tips for building collaborative teams and maximizing teamwork:

  • Host teambuilding events: We’re not just talking about old fashion trust falls, but also activities such as ropes courses, escape rooms and other problem-solving games. Virtual games like two truths and a lie work well, too.
  • Make team bonding part of everyday work life: Daily 10-minute scrums are a great example of this.
  • Examine workspaces: If you’re in person, allow employees to work in any workspace you have assigned to your team. Book conference rooms for people work together. Encourage team members to work together in a local coffee shop.
  • Hold each other (and yourself) accountable: Once everyone on the team knows they can trust that everyone is going to get their tasks complete and on time, a team bond will naturally form from that trust.

As you plan for next year, focusing on your team members has never been more important. Making sure your teams are able to not only work together, but also thrive in a collaborative environment, will be key to your company’s success in 2022 and beyond. The synergies achieved through bringing diverse thoughts, talents and skill sets together for a common goal underscore the importance of effective teamwork. Taking the time now to make sure your teams are running smoothly will pay off rich dividends in the long run.

Craig McKey is a Talent Development Advisor at LBMC. He can be reached at craig.mckey@lbmc.com

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