Teamwork and Collaboration
Emphasizing the importance of teamwork, Ken Blanchard rightly said, “None of us is as smart as all of us.”
There are a lot of ways to define the team. A team does not mean that all the members are performing the same tasks or each person can and can do another person’s job. The team is an integrated way of working where the resultant outcome is greater than the parts.
It is only possible with the help of teamwork one can identify and seize opportunities and overcome obstacles. Team members will provide a different yet complementary point of view. The main understanding behind teamwork is to split the difficult task into smaller and simpler ones and then to work together to complete them faster
Teamwork is required almost in all areas. Over the years, it has gained a lot of importance. It is regarded as a soft skill. Understanding its importance, top BBA & MBA colleges in India have been making use of various Team Building Activities, Group Projects, and Presentations as a part of their teaching pedagogy for providing a comprehensive learning platform to the students.
The role of teamwork is not just restricted to the education industry but also essential for practical application at the workplace. An individual is always seen as a contributing member. There are a lot of benefits associated with it for both, the organization as well as the employee. An individual is benefited from higher morale, a sense of accomplishment, and new learning opportunities. At the same time, an organization gets the benefit of innovation and creativity, resulting in higher productivity and better results.
Studies have shown teamwork also helps in reducing the stress level of an individual because responsibilities are shared. Also, in case of failure, a team helps in positive coping up with the situation. It provides a sense of psychological safety amongst the members. The more safe people feel with one another as a team, the more likely they are to take risks, take new responsibilities, and contribute to the fullest of their potential. This helps in the reduction of fear in the minds of individual members. It results in the development of reliability on one another.
Further, teamwork motivates unity in the organization. It helps in building loyalty and association. Group cohesiveness helps in being supportive of other members. A teamwork environment helps in achieving personal goals as well as group goals. Members are more focused and there is a situation of healthy competition.
The Parker Team Player Survey (PTPS) has identified 4 types of members in a team. Those are categorized as the contributor, the collaborator, the communicator, and the challenger.
The contributor is a task-oriented member who provides the team with technical information and motivates the team to set high standards of performance.
The collaborator is a goal-oriented member. He or She has a clearly defined vision and mission. He or She is flexible and willing to share the limelight with other members.
A communicator is a process-oriented person. He or She is an effective listener and facilitator. He or She also helps in conflict resolution and also provides feedback.
The challenger takes the risk. These are members who are always ready to take risks.
How can an effective team be built?
The building block of a great team is a compelling direction, which motivates and engages its members. Teams work better when goals are clearly defined. And the achievement of these goals must be backed up with rewards, both extrinsic as well as intrinsic.
Secondly, the structure of the team must be strong. There should be an optimum balance of skills: technical, human, and conceptual as well as several members. A team must possess great diversity in viewpoints, perception, attitudes, and also factors like age and gender.
And finally, there must be an evaluation of work. There must be a proper diagnose of the performance of the team as a whole as well as its members. Feedback is a must.
In addition to the aforesaid, the right support is very important throughout. This includes reinforcement strategies, i.e., the reward system which promotes good performance, Management Information systems for storage and retrieval of data, training, funding, and technical assistance.
One can now say that teamwork is the oil that makes the team works!
Ms. Srishti Arora
Assistant Professor, RDIAS