As a manager, one of the most important parts of your job is fostering teamwork in the workplace. While certainly teamwork comes naturally to a great many people, it still pays to know how to bring it out. Also, there are some people who are not naturally inclined to use teamwork. Knowing how to get the best out of these people can mean the difference between a good and great job done. Here are some tips for teamwork in the workplace that any manager can use:
Teamwork in the workplace starts with getting your team to buy in to the idea. Showing them the benefits of using teamwork can be eye opening. That said, you should oversee a project that is measurable and relatively quick. For example, a sales manager might use setting up the sales floor for a coming sale. To show them the power of teamwork, you should gather them all together. Have one or two people set up the sale during the first week. The next week, have the entire team jump on the project instead. By doing this, you are showing them the power of teamwork. Most employees will gladly do a small part of the work to be a team, as opposed to doing the entire job alone.
Now that you have the workers buying into using teamwork in the workplace, the hardest part is keeping them on point. As a manager, when some part of the team falls down on the job, you must recognize and fix it. The best way to fix it is to find out why they did not complete their part. Observation and questions can readily give you this information. If the problem is a training issue, then you should address this yourself. If the issue is a problem with laziness, then you should issue a written warning. Regardless, you can not let one piece of the teamwork puzzle pull down the rest.
Another common problem with teamwork in the workplace is that people get locked into certain duties. You do not want one person for each task. When someone is out of work, the team falls apart. That said, you should train each person in all of the various steps of a job. This way your teamwork in the workplace is also interchangeable. They can all fill the various positions. It is okay to recognize and allow folks to do their favorite jobs, but everyone should get a turn at doing each part. Find the optimal working positions for each person, and use that when you need it done especially quickly. During down times in business, explore different combinations and find others that can do the job as well.
Teamwork in the workplace is not rocket science. It really is as easy as giving them the instructions and letting them take the ball and run with it. People are usually quite receptive to anything that makes their job easier.