Teamwork makes the dream work, right? There are so many catchy phrases or sayings praising teamwork, but they’re not just cheesy slogans. There are actual benefits for businesses that build and maintain working teams.
Across industries and around the globe, teams are beneficial for a few specific reasons. The biggest benefits that teams bring are these:
Forced partnerships don’t always give the best results, but well designed workplace teams consistently enhance individual efficiency. Shared workloads, reduced pressure, and optimizing each team member’s output has a net positive impact on your results.
No matter how many great tools you use, you’re going to have a hard time replacing the efficiency of a collaborative team. Your tools and software might have awesome features and the world’s most useful functions that are top of the line in your industry, but you’ll be beaten every time by a team that’s working together well.
Teams allow each member to play on their specific strengths and fill in for each other’s weaknesses. A balanced team can work more efficiently simply because 1 person doesn’t have to do everything on their own. The added accountability and support from team members also plays a role in boosting overall productivity.
All this is not to say tools and software are bad for efficiency. On the contrary, a strong team with the right set of tools will be even more productive than a team without productivity tools. For example, remote teams that work together from different parts of the world need to communicate and keep up with ongoing projects. VoIP software or video conferencing apps can make this easier and help teams to communicate better than they would using long email threads.
VoIP apps are just one example of how tools can benefit teams. But, the tools are only as good as the hands they’re in. Get a good team together before you start worrying about what kind of tools to use or how to increase individual productivity.
It’s difficult to stay motivated when you’re working alone. Working in a team environment leads to better motivation and stronger morale for every team member.
One way that employees feel more motivated in a team is by competing with one another. The progress of others can sometimes spur employees on to do better themselves in order to satisfy their competitive nature. Friendly competition can be stimulated within teams, but only if the work type makes sense for it.
Teams also motivate each other by providing accountability and support. When you’re having a difficult work week, your teammates can help you through it, and vice versa. Having the support of others who can relate to you and working with people that you like makes you feel happier at work, which will keep you motivated in your job under normal circumstances. Even an unpleasant job feels better when you’re working with a team you like.
3. Diversity of Thought
People think differently. If you work by yourself, you only have your own thoughts and experiences to draw from when you’re coming up with ideas, developing strategies, and problem solving. Adding more people into the mix increases the number of unique ideas and gives you the opportunity to brainstorm and bounce ideas off each other.
Diversity of thought is vital for differentiation and creativity. Any business that wants to set itself apart from competitors needs to have a team that can offer different perspectives, give constructive feedback, and come up with something unique. The only way to do this effectively is to have teams with multiple people working together to solve problems and build useful solutions.
Sometimes all you need is a new perspective. Individually, we tend to get caught up in doing things one way. It’s not always the fault of tradition or stubbornness, because we may genuinely see no other options or believe that way is the best way to get it done. However, working together with others brings new ideas to the table that may never have crossed your mind before, leading to new solutions and methodologies that open your mind to new ways of accomplishing your goals.
4. Growth & Learning
Working in a team provides each member with the opportunity to learn from the others. This has proved true for university students, showing how they learn more effectively in groups because they learn from each other while also practicing real-world collaboration skills. In the same way that students get the benefit of learning better in groups, employees in teams also experience a similar effect in working teams.
While you’re working together, you learn valuable skills from each other. Working closely with others, it’s nearly impossible to avoid picking up some of the useful tricks your teammates do. Even if you’re each learning incrementally over a long period of time, the result is still a more rounded and skilled workforce.
It’s difficult to grow in the skills and career experiences that lead to promotions if you work independently. Communication, leadership, accountability, encouragement, humility, confidence… All these and others can be built more effectively in a team than individually.
Teams trump individual work in most industries, which is why we often see small or large teams created in every business. Even teams as small as 2 or 3 people can give benefits over working alone. No productivity tools, machinery, or apps have been able to replace the efficiency of a great team so far!