“What is the importance of teamwork?” you may ask. Well, let us put this question into context: Jimmy runs a construction business. He needs to build a wall for one of his clients and a roof for another; all in 14 days. If Jimmy builds the wall by himself, it will take him 30 days. He will also need an additional 30 days to complete the roof. That is 60 days in total. However, If Jimmy hires five other workers to help him with these two jobs, it will take them 10 days to complete both the wall and the roof. If you were Jimmy, what would you do?
To understand the importance of teamwork in an organization, one must first understand what teamwork is.
What is Teamwork?
Every organization requires a team to function. Have you ever heard the saying, “no man is an island, no man stands alone”? The saying could not be truer. It is impossible to achieve certain things without the contribution of individuals working as a united group towards a common goal. That in and of itself is teamwork. Let us look at ten examples of the importance of teamwork in the workplace.
The Importance of Teamwork:
1. Teamwork increases productivity
I mean, it makes sense; the more people you have working on a project, the more work you will get done. Now, let us go back to our Jimmy story for a quick second. Again, I ask the question: what would you do if you were Jimmy? Would you hire the five additional workers, or would you try to do the work all by yourself? Teamwork is the key to success here. If I were Jimmy, I would not even think twice about hiring the five additional workers. I say make a team and get the job done in less time and with less effort from each team member.
2. Teamwork increases quality output
Among the many reasons teamwork is important in the workplace is the fact that when you know you are a part of a team, you are more likely to do work that will be of a higher quality. Knowing that the entire team is counting on you will motivate you to do your part and do it well. A supportive team will encourage each team member to do their part towards achieving the common goal. Not only that, but because each member will only have a small part to play, each person will be able to focus on a specific part of the project instead of trying to do it all. Too much workload only results in lower quality work.
3. Teamwork creates a positive workspace
The benefits of team building in the workplace are endless and so organizations should always make this a top priority. To be a part of a team gives you a sense of belonging. Having a strong support system within an organization encourages unity among colleagues. Sometimes through teamwork, people can even form lifelong friendships as you get to know more about other people that share common interests by working together in a team.
When workers have a good relationship with each other it creates a friendly office environment. A positive workspace will in turn motivate people to want to come to work every day and to go above and beyond, unlike a workspace that is negative. Nobody, and I mean absolutely nobody, wants to work in a hostile work environment.
4. Teamwork improves workers’ relations.
It is impossible to talk about the importance of teamwork and not mention communication. The most important feature of a formidable team is communication. In communicating, team members learn about each other’s similarities and differences. They also learn about each other’s likes and dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses and so much more.
With teamwork, members can also develop their listening skills, which is an important but ever so often forgotten skill that is needed when communicating. Teamwork also encourages us to accept people from different backgrounds and cultures and those who have different opinions. Due to this, workers relate to each other in a professional and respectful manner and can put individual differences aside to achieve a common goal.
5. Teamwork creates learning opportunities
Thanks to globalization, the people that you find in any one given place are never all the same. In one organization alone, you can find so many different people who think and behave differently based on where they are from, what they believe, how old they are, the experiences they have had, etc.
Teamwork in an organization is, therefore, necessary as it creates countless opportunities for workers to learn from each other. As such, workers will become knowledgeable in many different areas, developing new skill sets, which result in personal and professional growth and that will benefit the organization in the long run.
6. Teamwork lessens employee turnover
A company that experiences a high turnover rate clearly does not know the importance of teamwork. When you work as part of a team, you are only focused on your part of the project. Therefore, you will feel less pressured because the workload will be more manageable.
Studies have shown that workers who are less stressed in the workplace are more motivated to get up and go to work and do their job. The opposite is also true, workers who experience high levels of stress are more likely to quit and go hunting for other jobs within organizations that recognize the importance of teamwork in the workplace.
7. Teamwork encourages creativity and innovation
As I mentioned before, being a part of a team exposes you to different perspectives and ideas on how to solve problems. A team challenges you to think outside the box and one idea generally sparks another, until the team comes up with an extraordinary idea, never heard or thought of before.
Let us say you have a room with one hundred people viewing the same abstract painting. I can guarantee you that you will get a hundred different opinions on what the painting could mean, or more even. Similarly, we see the importance of teamwork in an organization; if two people can produce twice as many ideas as one individual, imagine a team of 5, 10 or more.
8. Teamwork improves individual performance
In any given team each person has a unique set of skills and experience to offer. Tasks are usually assigned to persons based on their abilities. So, let us say, for example, your team has a presentation to make. If there is someone that is good at public speaking and someone else that is good at creating PowerPoint presentations, would you give the person who is better at creating PowerPoint presentations the task to speak? Of course not!
In a team, people usually stick to what they are better at. This improves their individual performance and maximizes their overall contribution toward the common goal. That, my friend, is one of the many reasons teamwork is important in the workplace.
9. Teamwork improves efficiency
Teamwork is the key to success for any organization because it improves efficiency. What do I mean by this? Well, I mean having a good team to do a project will get the job done with little to no waste, effort, or energy. Notice I said, “good team” here. You know, the kind of team that has leaders who recognize each team member’s strengths and weaknesses and delegate tasks accordingly.
The type of team where the members communicate with each other, listen to each other’s opinions, and respect each other’s differences. A team that can overcome challenges, should any arise, and trust me, they will. Anything less than this is not a good team and is not worth being a part of.
10. Teamwork increases company profit
One of the greatest importance of teamwork in an organization is the result: more profit. The most important expected outcome for any employer if I do say so myself. Now, I highly doubt that anyone starts a business without wanting it to get bigger and better. Every company owner dreams of growth; more profit equals growth, and more teamwork equals more profit. In turn, when a company grows, there are more opportunities for workers to progress within the organization; more challenges to take on and more overall self-development. Do you see where I am going with this? It is all one big cycle: a win-win.
You know what they say, behind every successful business is a team. So, whether you are a part of an established organization or you are starting your own company, teamwork can make the difference between a successful business and an unsuccessful one. I do not know about you, but I pick a successful business any day.
Patrice Comrie holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in modern languages from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. She received intensive training in language, linguistics, literature, translation, and interpretation. She is proficient in English, Spanish and French.
Education has long been a Patrice’s passion. She has been teaching since 2011. Additionally, she has over 15 years of experience in the performing arts, training with several groups in music, dance, and drama. Over her teaching career, she had the opportunity of interacting with students of varying ages, backgrounds and cultures across different continents and regions, such as Europe, North America, Asia, and the Caribbean.