“Teamwork” can be defined as the collaboration between members of a group of people with the task of accomplishing a defined objective or target. This can be further elaborated as:
- Collaboration between employees within or between departments, between employees in the entire organization, and between management and lower level employees
- Employee willingness to help each other in the course of performing their job roles
- cross-functional collaboration
- vertical and horizontal cooperation
- Working together for mutual benefit
Research shows employee collaboration is a goal for most organizations and there are benefits of Employee Teamwork. HR can demonstrate its value, by positively influencing Employee Teamwork using these methods:
1. HR guidance towards the teams
HR can directly support better teamwork by getting involved in how teams are organized.
- Define a clear purpose and goals for each team — To be effective, a team must know its overall purpose and current goals. Involve team members in goal-setting, since they’ll likely feel more engaged by goals they helped create.
- Measure team performance — Establishing metrics and reporting from team leaders will help measure performance. A sub-par performance by any team can be identified and fixed.
- Reward team excellence — Teams can be motivated to achieve goals when achieving them is linked to variable pay and rewards. Using team-building activities.
2. Get the management on board
Employees can be better organized when senior managers back them. HR can make a business case for teamwork by citing benefits such as:
- Collaboration between employees result in innovation
- Teammates share best practices and engage in healthy competition
- High morale and motivation results from strong employee relationships
3. Supporting teamwork through HR strategy
This approach to the following HR areas can influence teamwork.
- Recruitment and retention: Successful teams are made up of self-motivated employees with excellent communication skills. Based on the desired qualities your team requires, recruitment drives can be designed by the HR team accordingly.
- Learning and development: Sometimes specific skills are required to work collaboratively, and to lead a team. HR can help develop staff in areas such as project management, communication, and leadership.
- Incentive Programs and Rewards: Employee incentive programs can promote effective teamwork by rewarding team achievement. Some examples are performance-related team bonuses and rewards such as social events for top-performing teams.
4. Team-building activities towards employee teamwork
These can improve interpersonal relations, team roles, and encourage collaboration and cooperation between your employees.
- Goal-setting activities — Team members are requested to plan a project also defining the outcome and measuring the success. This activity emphasizes clear team goals. Example Activity – The Egg Drop (teams are split into smaller groups to complete the task of building an egg package that can sustain an 8ft fall of the egg. Afterwards assess whether the eggs have survived intact, and discuss what they have learned.)
- Problem-solving activities — Work together to develop a plan and achieve the goal together. Example activity- Create a Shelter using only the resources available.
- Communication-based activities — Team members are challenged to achieve a team goal through communication. This emphasizes the importance of interpersonal skills. Example activity – Back to Back Drawing (one person describes an image without specifying what it is and the other has to recreate it by drawing it)
- Role-based activities — Team members are each given a clearly-defined role within a team-based challenge. This emphasizes the importance of focusing on your role in order to achieve the goal. Example activity – Legoman (using Lego building blocks, the overseer is required to build a random structure using the blocks and the teams are required to replicate it exactly, including the size and color. Only one member from the group can check out the original structure at a time and go back to describe it to the team while they try and build the structure).