Updated: Oct 12, 2022
We all dreaded group assignments in school. Little did we know that the struggle of getting through that team project would help us succeed in the workplace. Most work done in the workplace is done through teams, whether it is working with clients or other coworkers. In fact, nearly 75% of employers rank teamwork as “very important.” (bit.at, 2022). Teamwork is not only important, it is vital to success in the workplace.
Strength in numbers
People perform better in teams than they do working independently because we all have blind spots. Our knack for doing something so well it becomes automatic can make us less sensitive to more efficient ways of performing the same task.
Seeing the world through different glasses
We all have experiences that have shaped the way we see problems. Our prior knowledge may bring different ideas that may benefit a project or initiative.
We can’t do it all
Also, most of the time it's impossible for a single person to complete all the work that needs to be done to make an organization run smoothly. Employees at different points in the project help move the project from “point A to point B.”
It is often more important to be able to work with others and on a team than it is to have the actual skills needed to complete a job. At a conference I recently attended, I heard a loose statistic that actual skill is only 25% of what it takes to do a job. The remaining 75% is the ability to work with others. What skills business owners can leverage to build a successful team?
Actively listening. “Listen to understand, not to respond.” Many people, including myself, find active listening a challenge. Active listening involves the ability to fully understand what someone is saying. Active listening is a key way to build trust and psychological safety among team members.
Empathy is the ability to share feelings with one another and understand someone's experiences. Because of this, a team's prior knowledge can build trust and strong relationships.
Giving and receiving quality feedback is essential to building a culture of respect. Giving specific feedback, combined with support, makes feedback useful to team members.
Teams can be sources of great strength. A good team will complement its members’ abilities by creating a synergy that increases the whole group's output. This is why teamwork is so important in the office, and why your ability to work well with others will often determine your success or failure on the job.