How do you get staff to work in a team?

This article will be focusing on how you can get staff to work in a team. We will be discussing intently why teamwork is considered so important in a workplace and the various obstacles for teamwork. Teamwork as a process can be greatly rewarding but also challenging to implement in an organization. It takes immense effort to make team members valued, included and engaged in a team.

How do you get staff to work in a team?

Teamwork can be improved in staff in many different ways. Research has found that team work positively impacts the work performance of employees. In this section, we shall be looking at various ways to improve teamwork among staff.

  • Advocating teamwork from the leaders

When leaders follow teamwork principles, the team members also follow them properly. Leaders can implement team work by communicating openly about goals and objectives. Being transparent and honest with other team members can also be useful to improve teamwork among staff.

  • Creating team identities

Every team is different and has its own identity and culture. When leaders try to make all the teams function in a similar way, it might be an obstacle in the process of teamwork. Leaders have to focus on individual team identities and recognize them. This also improves levels of creativity and innovation.

  • Avoiding too many team-building exercises

Some team leaders may implement too many team building activities in a bid to improve teamwork. When there are too many team building exercises or seemingly weird activities, team members may avoid the program altogether. Not just the amount of participation, but also the quality of participation in the said activity will decrease. Thus team leaders have to choose the right activities in the right schedule in order to promote teamwork.

  • Opening up communication processes

When there is open communication within the team, there will be better teamwork. Communication should also be a two-way process where team members can speak and feel more heard. Team members should be encouraged to voice their opinions, give suggestions and also give honest feedback. At the same time, they should feel that their suggestions and opinions are valuable.

  • Creating transparency in project management

When team members know who is doing what in a team, it leads to better team spirit. The project should be visually represented well so that the work is transparent. This also ensures the project is completed on time with efficiency.

  • Setting clear goals for the team

For good teamwork, the entire team should be on the same page about the work process. They should also know the goal of the project and how each one would contribute to its achievement. While setting goals, it is important to create both team and individual goals. For individual goals, team leaders should keep the personas and expertise of the employees in mind.

  • Working for a greater cause

When team members work together for a greater cause than just business, they tend to be more motivated and will work together to accomplish the goal. Organizations should focus on goals meant to change communities and localities, thus making their teams work more meaningfully. This not only leads to better productivity but also leads to better employee satisfaction.

  • Avoiding micromanaging of teams

Micromanaging is an easy habit to inculcate but always leads to more problems in the team.  It not only leads to problems in efficiency and work productivity but also leads to less teamwork. Teams will refuse to work as a collective unit and become more dependent on higher management for directions and solutions.

  • Improve the ability to listen

Good listening abilities are a sign of a great leader and a cohesive team. When team members listen to each other their team spirit increases. This also improves the team’s effectiveness. The ability to listen is however not just up to an individual team.

 It also has a great deal to do with the organizational culture. For teamwork to improve, listening should be encouraged not only in work settings but also in other environments.

  • Resolving conflicts immediately

Teams are bound to have conflicts. When individuals of different mindsets and personalities work together, there can be many different opinions. These opinions can sometimes be conflicting in nature and can lead to disputes. 

There can also be disputes because of personal egos and social issues. It is always better to resolve these problems immediately to ensure no disruption of teamwork.

  • Using the right collaboration tools

Organizations are implementing tools and technologies to improve collaboration in the workplace. However, if the right collaboration tool is not being used, then teamwork will not be effective. It can also lead to less teamwork. Using collaboration tools for sharing information, communication, project management and administration can greatly affect teamwork positively.

Why is teamwork important?

Teamwork is considered essential in every industry. The top reasons why teamwork is important are discussed below.

  • Teamwork helps in transferring skills and knowledge

When people work in a team, it helps them interact with each other and share information. They can also learn different skills from each other and broaden their horizons. Teamwork also increases the team effectiveness as different heads are put together to create an innovative product.

  • Teamwork reduces stress in employees

Research studies have shown that teamwork reduces stress in employees. When team members interact, they have constructive discussions about work issues like projects, workloads, etc. They also share more about their personal lives and feelings. This leads to better team cohesion and also reduces stress in employees.

  • It leads to better creativity and productivity

Through teamwork organizations can bring about innovative campaigns and products. When there is a strong team bond, team members are more likely to share opinions and work harder to achieve the team goal. This leads to not only better creativity but also better productivity among the members.

Obstacles for teamwork

In order to increase team work, organizations need to invest time and effort. However, there can be many obstacles when teams are trying to work together in harmony. Some of these obstacles are explained in the following list.

  • When there is no effective leadership

A good team needs to have a great leader guiding the process. When there is no leader, or the leader present is not so effective, then the team will not work together effectively. Leaders need to be equipped with the right skills for team work such as communication, management, problem-solving, etc.

  • When there are no clear goals

When a team is working with no clear goals, there wouldn’t be proper teamwork. When there is no clear aim, team members lose their motivation and tend to engage less with the project. Ultimately, it leads to lesser team productivity.

  • When there is improper communication

Without proper communication, a team cannot function effectively. Communication allows everyone to work at the same pace and remain on the same page. The right style of communication will also help team members open up about their opinions, thoughts and feelings, further binding the team as a unit.


This article has focused on how you can get staff to work in a team. We have also discussed intently why teamwork is considered so important in a workplace and the various obstacles you might face in the process of teamwork.

Frequently asked questions:

How do you build staff effective team members?

Effective team members are essential for not only teamwork but also to increase productivity in an organization. You can develop your team members and make them more effective by using the following ways.

  • Providing the right skills training

It is not enough that we encourage learning in a team, but we also have to provide the right resources for it. To ensure a team is continually learning, the right training and development tools have to be provided. When a team is constantly learning, they are continuously growing as a unit, making them work more effectively together.

  • Assigning clear goals and roles

When team members are assigned clear roles, they tend to perform them better. While assigning roles and responsibilities, it becomes important to make sure they have understood their roles properly as well. It also is essential that we delegate tasks according to individual skills and expertise rather than in a random manner.

  • Trusting employees to complete their tasks

Once the goals have been explained and tasks have been assigned, team leaders should take a step back and allow the staff to do their jobs. The leader role here becomes to ensure a smooth process and also help the team negotiate sharp corners. Trusting employees means working in an accountable environment with regular communication.

  • Communicating clearly and regularly

Employees need to communicate well with each other in order to accomplish a goal. They also need to communicate with different authorities for the successful completion of a project. For an effective team, regular meetings and discussion about their progress and challenges becomes important.

What are teamwork skills?

These skills help team members work better with others. They are qualities that help improve conversations, project management, task completions, brainstorming sessions and work collaborations. Teamwork skills can include communication skills, listening abilities, responsibility, honesty, accountability, understanding diversity, etc.

What is team empowerment?

Team empowerment refers to the process by which a team can organize and structure itself and is authoritative enough to make changes to a project or product at their own will. Team empowerment has four elements which are:

  • An empowered team is highly potent

A team which is potent needs no external resource. It can function on its own as it believes it has the right power and effectiveness.

  • The members find meaning in the team

The members of an empowered team care highly about their work and the impact it is going to have on society. They work towards a greater cause.

  • The team is autonomous

In an empowered team, the members together are free to make their own decisions about a certain project. They have the right authority to make changes and implement them.

  • An empowered team focuses on great impact

An empowered team does not settle for meaningless tasks and like to create important impacts. This can impact the organization’s business goals. It can also have impacts in the community at large.

If you like this article, please feel free to post your comments or questions below.


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