Fostering Teamwork

Goal-setting can help an individual to realize a higher level of personal achievement. You should place an equal emphasis on encouraging teamwork within a group. A healthy level of competition is good and can keep employees striving to do a better job. Taken too far, however, that competition can become a detriment as the various individuals that make up the whole fail to pull in the same direction.

To encourage and cultivate teamwork within a group, a leader might do the following:

  • Build trust among staff members.  
    Encourage honesty and the open expression of opinion among group members.

  • Reward people who contribute to the team.  
    A leader might make a point of the importance of teamwork in an individual's evaluation. Let employees know that they are not only judged on personal achievement, but also on their ability to sacrifice personal glory for the greater good of the unit.

  • Use terms like "we" and "us" when referring to your group's work as a whole.  
    This will reinforce the idea that they were an integral part of your unit's performance.

  • Handpick your team.  
    Nothing encourages teamwork like actually handpicking a team. Choose members of your group who you think could potentially work well together and assign a joint project to them.

 

Caution: Don't let teamwork stand in the way of dealing with an employee who is not performing up to the standards you've set. The team environment can make it difficult to recognize and correct subpar performance. Be aware of whether team members are pulling equal loads.