Achieving a seamless combination of Employee Engagement and Teamwork is one dream that every manager, leader, CEO shares. A quote by Vince Lombardi which is frequently used when the topic is Teamwork immediately comes to mind. Vince Lombardi said, “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” The importance of teamwork and engagement cannot be overemphasized.
To build an effective and efficient team, organizations should firstly focus on carefully assembling a team and, secondly, on fostering teamwork.
1. Creating a Team
How to create the winning team where employees can feel fully included and engaged? Well, in the simplest form, there are two ingredients to achieve this.
- Know the individual strengths and skills of potential team members: It is paramount that an organization takes time and focuses effort on knowing the individual strength and skills of their employees. This helps to build teams where the combination of skills fits perfectly.
- Understand the personalities of team members: Understanding the personalities of team members is as important as knowing the available skills and strengths. Who is an introvert? Who is an extrovert? What tasks do people enjoy and what do they detest? Answers to these and more similar questions can help ensure a smoother combination of skills and strengths.
Now that we know what is needed to assemble a team that has the best potential to be fully engaged to accomplish business goals. The next question that must be answered is how to make sure that employee engagement can be maximized to the fullest.
2. Utilizing Employee Engagement to Foster Teamwork
How to utilize employee engagement to foster better teamwork? Researchers have been looking into this subject area since the 1960s. Fortunately, promising results have been found. We have collated some of these best practices below in no particular order.
- Autonomy: Encourage the team to think independently by giving them more job autonomy. This allows the team the freedom of choosing their own best way of doing their job so long as they are accomplishing the task and producing expected result. It is advised that the leader manages through results rather than attempting to manage all the processes by which the results are achieved. In the end, team members will want to start thinking about ways to improve the work by focussing on working more efficiently.
- Collaboration and Communication: It is critical that the leader encourages collaboration and clear and respectful communication as this is key to successful teamwork. Because individuals in a team may come from diverse worldview, experience, and education, the team can only work if members collaborate to complement the weaknesses and strengths of other members. However, for collaboration to work, team members must be able to share ideas and communicate respectfully, and in turn, allow for contributions from other members. A daily stand-up and a frequently held team dialogue are powerful tools to achieve this goal.
- Trust and Commitment: For individuals working together on a project, there is a need for significant investment of time and energy to achieve success. Therefore, team members need to be dedicated to reaching the team’s goals and completing their fair share of the workload. This fact makes it very important for the leader to be able to facilitate trust and commitment. Best way of doing this is by delegating responsibilities and trusting that the team will complete the task they were assembled to do.
- Belonging: It is key that all team members are made to feel important on an individual as well as a team level. There is evidence to show that a significant aspect of employee engagement is making sure every individual knows that their contribution makes a difference. Employees need to feel accepted, trusted and appreciated in the work environment as this helps to ensure the production of quality output.
- Competence: It is vital to choose a team leader who can spur and galvanize the team to success. The organization must be able to identify team leaders who can communicate and facilitate. Through good communication leaders kan keep the teams focused on the task and challenges ahead. In order to facilitate a great team working environment leaders must be able to show humility and treat their employees a partners. In the end, it is the employees who know best how to turn their workplace into a great one.
In conclusion, the relationship between Employee Engagement and Teamwork is a two-way street. Employees working together in a team tend to have a higher sense of engagement as they know that they can lean upon colleagues for support. This has the advantage of improving a sense of belonging to the organization and elevates an overall sense of wellbeing. Engaged employees are more likely to work better in a team and be willing to contribute their best efforts to achieve organizational goals.
It is important to note, however, that application of these results take time and require diligent efforts. It is key to remember that the biggest success stories have mastered the art of teamwork. They have become proficient in taking individual talents and building them towards a common vision.