Teamwork provides a foundation for business success. Teams, when managed properly, maximize each individual’s strong points while minimizing weaknesses. Of course, creating productive teams isn’t as easy as it sounds. Strong working relationships need five basic ingredients for success: Communication, Collaboration, Culture, Creativity, and Commitment. Each of the five Cs builds on the previous one, to form a complete structure which fosters teamwork and relationship building.
Effective communication in the workplace makes the difference between completing a project on time and watching things go up in flames. You’ve probably been involved with a team where missed deadlines and fractious co-workers made it almost impossible to get anything accomplished. Effective communication is the key to diminishing conflict and getting everyone on the same page. Set the tone on day one by scheduling contact with all team members on a regular basis. Phone calls, emails, and meetings all help keep teams working toward the same goals. Touch base regularly with all members to keep each person on track and updated on changing project goals.
Working together produces better and faster results, but collaboration also imposes challenges. Each team member must understand that a project is a team effort. Eventual success is shared among all members of the group. While individual effort should always be rewarded, it is the sum of the work that is most critical. Make it clear that every member of the team shares responsibility for both success and failure. This helps build a work culture of success.
Overall organization and structure in the workplace determine how employees interact. When personal effort reaps greater rewards than collaborative efforts, there is no motivation to put the team ahead of personal success. This type of behavior is counter-productive, and it is up to management to clearly reward team success, not individual efforts. When every member of a team knows that job performance is rated based on the group, it creates a culture which encourages strong work relationships and team building.
The more comfortable you are working within a group, the more comfortable you are sharing thoughts and ideas. When a diverse group of people brings their perceptions and experiences to the table, creative solutions emerge. Each member of a team has something to offer, and no idea should be shot down. Discuss every idea, even if it has been tried before. Sometimes all it takes to turn a bad idea into a good one is a new point of view.
Committed employees go the extra mile to ensure the success of a project. Make it clear that each team member was carefully selected for their expertise and skills. Team projects are a reward and opportunity, never a punishment. A collaborative assignment offers each employee the opportunity to learn about all aspects of a project. Teams work together on everything from event planning to product development, and working together allows employees to gain a better understanding of all aspects of a venture. Build a sense of commitment by acknowledging the importance of each project and all the team members that made it a success.
Combining all of the five Cs gives you a strong platform for strong working relationships.