Put the “I’ in Team - It Starts with Great Individuals

Improve Employee Engagement with Teamwork in your Organization

Toolbox.com published an article 7 Tips to Improve Employee Engagement all of which we agree with. On the blog, over the past few months, we have discussed the many ways to improve employee engagement and offered employee engagement activities by touching on most of these cornerstones. We want to go more in depth, presenting specific ways to incorporate these tips into your organization.

Two weeks ago we discussed ten ways to improve communication in your organization. This week our employee engagement idea focus is on teamwork. A successful leader has to focus on fostering individual talents, creating a great work environment based on respect, and establishing solid, attainable goals. We can look into this more in depth with these key factors of teamwork.

  1. Team Leader: Choosing a leader (manager) to head the team is crucial for success. The role of the leader is to keep the team on task, inspire, and facilitate a great working environment. She may also choose team size, according to task. There are great managers – visionaries who aren’t glory hogs – and great team workers. Choosing leaders and team workers is critical for success.

  2. Collaboration and Diversity of Skills: Every individual is her own world of ideas, experience, and education. Teamwork, essentially, begins with the individual. Each person on a team has been hired to better the team, with specific skills to complement the strengths and weaknesses other members have. Collaboration is key in teamwork. For collaboration to work, though, team members must be able to communicate and share ideas and then, in turn, leave room for contributions made by individual members in a respectful way.

  3. Commitment and trust: “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” (Vince Lombardi). In order for a team to work together, each member must be dedicated to reaching the team’s goals, sharing the workload. Working toward completing a project, putting together a proposal, designing a new building … all of these entail time and incredible energy. The team members have to trust their colleagues are putting forth the same amount of time and energy and that their skills and experience will better the final product. The manager, in turn, must learn to delegate responsibilities, trusting his team will complete the responsibilities they were hired to do.

  4. Show Team Members Their Value: All too often team members don not feel like their contributions count. As a manager, it is important on an individual level as well as team level that all members feel important. A large component of employee engagement is making sure each individual knows her contributions make a difference.

    Building an organization takes work, and the big success stories have mastered the art of teamwork, taking individual talents to build toward a common vision. Key components include leadership, collaboration, commitment, trust, and communication.

    As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has.”

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