You may have heard the expression “teamwork makes the dreamwork.”
While this may sound like a cheesy platitude, it’s true that we can accomplish so much more when we collaborate with a team than we can alone.
Around 75% of employees rate collaboration and teamwork as being very important. In fact, 86% of employees in leadership positions believe that the biggest reason for workplace failures is a lack of collaboration.
To get the most out of teamwork and collaboration, you need to know how to make it work.
I've learned many lessons on my journey as a founder and team leader that I wish I could have known earlier.
To help you improve your teamwork skills, I’ll go over everything you need to know about teamwork and collaboration in the workplace.
The Difference Between Teamwork And Collaboration
Teamwork and collaboration go hand in hand, but they are two distinct principles. Teamwork is the combined action of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient.
Collaboration, on the other hand, is the action of working with someone to produce or create something.
When you collaborate, you’re working with a team to produce something you couldn’t do on your own.
What Is Collaborative Teamwork?
So what is collaborative teamwork, then? Team collaboration maximizes each individual’s strengths to achieve a common goal.
When you combine collaboration and teamwork, you get a united team of distinct individuals.
The group will solve problems together by combining each person’s expertise while also assigning individual tasks and roles for each person to complete on their own.
Collaborative teamwork brings out the best of each team member to give you something greater than the sum of its parts.
Benefits Of Collaborative Teamwork
There are countless benefits to promoting teamwork and collaboration in the workplace.
If you’re interested in establishing collaborative teamwork at your company and supporting teams, you may find motivation in the following benefits:
- Boosts productivity and efficiency
Businesses are always looking for ways to become more productive and efficient.
Collaboration and teamwork in the workplace maximizes efficiency by allowing each person to bring their individual strengths to the table.
Work gets done faster, there are fewer errors, and people are willing to work harder when they’re part of a team.
- Improves social skills and communication
Communication is a vital tool for running a business. Good communication, teamwork and social skills can make problems easier to solve and find more solutions.
When you work as part of a team, you need to learn the principles of communication and sharpen your social skills to become a better communicator.
Teamwork and collaboration allow people to grow together rather than stay stagnant on their own.
- Allows for civil discourse
Civil discourse is an underrated but highly valuable practice.
When you work as part of a team, you don’t always agree on everything.
Collaboration and teamwork gives you an opportunity to practice courtesy, kindness, and respect for opinions in the process of sharing your voice with others.
You can also encourage honesty and open-mindedness as you exchange ideas and information.
- Enhances work quality
Not everyone is talented in all areas. When we work alone, our skills may excel in some areas and flounder in others.
Collaborative teamwork allows us to produce a higher quality product than we would if we were working alone.
Everyone has different strengths, and by combining those strengths, we can accomplish things we may struggle with on our own.
- Creates fresh ideas
It can be hard to change your mindset when working alone. When we’re exposed to other people and different ways of doing things, we become more willing to try new things and inspired to change our mindset to talk about big ideas.
Whether we decide to use a new software or tackle problems in a different way, collaborative teamwork makes us open to fresh ideas on a regular basis.
Required Skills For Teamwork And Collaboration
To achieve good teamwork and collaboration, you need to develop a few skills.
These things come naturally for some, but others may acquire them with a little bit of work.
The pillars of great teamwork and collaboration are:
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Open communication
- Drive and determination
Not all of these skills come naturally, but the more you work as a team, the easier they’ll be to acquire.
Collaborative teamwork is guided by leadership. It’s up to leaders to advance teamwork and collaboration in the workplace, implementing strategies to help team members gain the necessary skills.
Team members should also be able to take initiative from their side and bring their A-game to every project.
It may take some effort to get a passive team member to be more active, but a good leader can bring out the best in their employees, including enthusiasm for collaboration.