It’s not a controversial statement to say that teamwork is important in the workplace. No one will deny that teamwork is a good buzzword to include in your company’s core values or mission statement. However, people often take this idea for granted. They don’t actually know why teamwork is so important and how this group trait can affect various aspects of your organization. So, what does teamwork mean to you?
5 Reasons why teamwork is important in the workplace
Spend some time reflecting. What does teamwork mean to you? What does it mean to your employees and your peers? Understanding why teamwork is so essential can help you prioritize it. Start with these five important benefits of teamwork in every workplace.
1. Teamwork leads to better communication
It’s easy to get so caught up in the technical performance elements of the workplace with endless analytics and KPIs that you forget that your office is made up of real humans. These humans form friendships and professional relationships with each other just by working together every day. When you create space for your employees to genuinely form teams, they can improve their productivity, collaboration, and communication.
You might start to notice this has as a snowball effect in your workplace too. Teamwork improves communication, which in turn fosters more teamwork. One study found that 54 percent of employees say effective communication leads to improved relationships with colleagues.
Good relationships lead to clear and honest conversations, which means your team will be governed by transparency and open communication. When small relationships grow into true work friendships, people feel comfortable sharing positive and negative feedback in order to work through problems together. All of this improves the workplace.
2. Teams can resolve conflicts faster
Conflict is a natural part of human behavior. Good managers know that they cannot eliminate conflict from the workplace. But they can develop a team that works effectively to resolve it.
According to a 2022 survey by The Myers-Briggs Company, people spend 4.34 hours per week managing conflict. This is a significant increase from the company’s 2008 survey, where people only spent 2.1 hours per week handling conflict on average.
Poor communication is the number one driver of conflict in the workplace, according to 47 percent of respondents. Other key factors include personality clashes (37 percent) and dysfunctional teams (27 percent).
Not only does good teamwork reduce conflict levels as a whole, but it can also help you resolve conflict faster. There will be more open communication and transparency along with less gossip, gatekeeping, and cattiness.
3. Good teams reduce the burden of stress
Don’t underestimate the power of good teams for reducing stress levels in the workplace. When your employees work together, they can share their workloads and offer support when one person needs help.
According to the ComPsych StressPulse Report, 62 percent of employees report high levels of stress in the workplace. This inevitably leads to fatigue and feeling out of control. When asked about the sources of stress, 41 percent cited their workloads while 32 percent cited people issues.
Not only can good teamwork reduce stress in the workplace, but creating a better work environment can also help team members get help when their work gets overwhelming. A good team will help out a struggling employee because they know they might need a helping hand themselves someday. Plus, more employees will feel comfortable asking for help if they feel they’re part of a team or community.
4. Good teamwork leads to great collaboration
If you ever look into the benefits of brainstorming, you can see how collaborative ideation allows people to come up with diverse ideas while clarifying and building on existing thoughts. Collaboration in your team allows your employees to offer unique solutions to problems and divide up work so a major project becomes easily manageable.
Collaboration is an essential tool in the modern workplace but it is fueled by teamwork. It doesn’t matter whether the staff is all in the same building or calling in from across the country. What matters is that your team is willing to pool their mental resources to achieve their goals. If you want your employees to collaborate with each other, they first need to be a team.
5. Respected employees are less likely to leave
Along with looking at the benefits of teamwork, it also helps to look at the consequences of running a group of people who don’t work well together. According to Pew Research, the third major reason why employees leave their jobs is that they don’t feel respected, either by their manager or their peers. This reason was only slightly behind the top two reasons for leaving: low pay and limited opportunities for advancement.
If your department or company as a whole doesn’t prioritize teamwork, you might notice that more people start to leave in search of healthier workplaces. Not only can this reduce your productivity and hurt morale, but it can also significantly affect your bottom line. Turnover is expensive and you can expect to spend six to nine months an employee’s salary to replace them. This means for each person who leaves because they feel disrespected, your company could spend nearly $50,000.
Understand the importance of teamwork
Now, returning to the initial question, it’s important to establish what does teamwork mean to you. Because it isn’t just a buzzwork or a nice-to-have feat.
Teamwork is something that needs to be fostered over time so your company and employees can reap the many benefits that come as a result. And the bottom line is that better teamwork means less stress, better productivity, and an overall increased sense of belonging.