How Teamwork Really Works

teamwork, management, how-to-work-as-a-team, coordination-of-employees

Mary Rae Floresca |

What comes into your mind when you hear the word “teamwork”? Do you only see yourself as the “team” or do you look at your coworkers and slowly shake your head? Possibly, your company still lacks coordination. In this article, you can get a few points to remember how teamwork really works.

In the Philippine setting, traditionally, “teamwork” is often described as bayanihan, picturing men carrying a bahay kubo or a nipa hut transferring from one place to another. This is also considered as an act of kindness, not much of an obligation. In today’s modern world, we have to go way beyond the benevolent works. Teamwork is usually applied in achieving a company’s common goal, it is one of the essentials. The first thing that we consider is to have a good leader, of course, who leads the team? One must manifest excellent leadership, one who plays fair, and genuinely knows how to motivate the team and knows how to properly designate the tasks accurately.

J. Richard Hackman, a pioneer in the field of organizational researched for 40 years that what matters most to collaboration is not the personalities, attitudes, or behavioral styles of team members. Instead, what teams need to thrive are certain “enabling conditions.” Based on the recent research of Martine Haas and Mark Mortensen from Entrepreneur Magazine, these “conditions” are compelling direction, strong structure, and supportive context. A great team with compelling direction have their goals set and continuously engages with co-members. All must unite to achieve only one goal. A strong structure of a good team is composed of different individuals, age, gender even race. The mix of members bring knowledge, skills and expertise that may apply in many situations. Lastly, a supportive context, this is equipping your team to have enough resources to be able to execute their job well. Maybe a laptop is not enough, ask your members what they need. You are not spoiling the team, you can monitor them if they are using the tools effectively. Also, release the needed information and don’t forget the fair reward system to keep the team going.

Once identified the essentials of teamwork, members will now focus on effective execution of their tasks. Before doing the task, clearly make plans and come up with methods. Having the discipline to organize people, gather resources, and then coming up with a plan that others can commit to will improve execution. Set deadlines and keep the team focused on the goal. After accomplishing a task, do a post-task discussion, gather feedback among the members, this way, teamwork aims for further improvement.

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