How to Improve Teamwork in the Workplace

Tips to Improve Teamwork in the Workplace

Tense office meeting.
Workplace groups should take as much time as they need to mesh, but effective teams put clear leaders in place to stamp out conflict.
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Once you have your team in place, here are a few general tips to make sure the collaborative process runs smoothly:

  • Don't let individuals get lost in the shuffle. Even though a team is a collaborative effort, each member should be allowed to feel a sense of ownership and accomplishment. Members should be rewarded for a job well done, and given encouragement and guidance when they need additional help completing a task.
  • Let each team member actively take part in the decision-making process. Making each member feel integral to the group's success is crucial for the team's morale. Minimize the importance of rank; instead take advantage of the entire group's talents and skills to contribute to its overall success. However, there must be one clear leader who can make the final decision if the team can't agree.
  • Keep the balance of work equal. One or two team members shouldn't be shouldering the burden for the entire group. Everyone should have a manageable and relatively equal workload.
  • Build a foundation of trust and mutual respect. Each team member should be encouraged to share his or her opinions openly and respect everyone else's point of view -- even if they don't agree with it.
  • Maintain open lines of communication. Everyone in the team should share ideas or express concerns with one another and with the company's management.
  • When conflicts arise, take a positive approach. Avoid confrontation and blame. Keep your focus on the issues.

For more information on workplace topics, please see the links below.


Related HowStuffWorks Articles


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  • Gibbons, Tracy and Randi Brenowitz. "Workforce Collaboration." Innovative Leader. November 2002. Volume 11.
  • Gschwandtner, Gerhard. Great Thoughts to Sell By: Quotes to Motivate You to Success. McGraw-Hill: 2007. New York, NY.
  • NDT Resource Center. "Teamwork in the Classroom."
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  • Osborn, T. Noel. "Improving Teamwork -- Working Against the Odds." (Aug. 5, 2010)
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