Teamwork is something that, at least on the surface, every business says they value. However, teamwork is more than a buzzword to be used in recruitment; it is a vital element of success, and Stanford Business School even believes that it can boost manufacturing productivity . In any industry or field, your organization can promote a spirit of teamwork through each of the following ways.
Encourage Social Interaction
Goofing off on the company dime is generally something that is frowned upon, but many businesses actually see an increase in productivity if they allow for social interaction during office hours. Rachel Rodriguez, writing for CNN, says that a weekly happy hour, game hour or craft day can boost creativity and teamwork . This may be especially true in work environments where isolation is normal, such as in computer programming or accounting.
Create a Team Structure
In large corporations, employees can often break off into individual cliques, which may cause some personnel to feel left out. In order for the whole company to benefit, it may be necessary to create a team structure, putting staff into set teams of a specific number. These teams can collaborate, share responsibilities and inspire one another. At Microsoft, teams are limited in size. Peter Drucker of Microsoft says, “Teams work best when there are few members…if a team gets much larger it becomes unwieldy .” This advice might encourage your business to create teams of up to 15 people, but no larger.
Encourage Free Speech
The natural power differences in a typical business leave some employees afraid to speak up against changes, increased production demands or new strategies. However, the best teams function when everyone feels like they can contribute and voice their opinions. Encouraging free speech is key in order to enjoy the results of “higher trust, increased productivity and rich creativity,” according to an article in the New York Times .
Businesses that foster a spirit of teamwork can see major benefits in the workplace. An organization that wants to improve teamwork might encourage free speech, create a formal team structure and encourage social interaction.