Employees are the most important assets in any given organization. In order for these assets to function at their maximum capacities and strength, the organization needs to embrace teamwork and motivate the employees to achieve the set goals. Teamwork refers to the actions of employees that are brought together to accomplish a common goal giving priority to the interest of the organization. Teamwork means that people will try to cooperate, using their individual skills and providing constructive feedback, despite any personal conflict between individuals. The key variables to measure effective teamwork are effective communication, team cohesiveness, accountability, interpersonal skills, leadership and level of trust.
Research in organizational effectiveness has repeatedly given substance to the view that teams are valuable to an organization. However, teams can be done right or they can be done wrong. When done well, teams can bring a lot of good things to an organization. When done poorly, they can sap motivation out of an organization faster than almost anything else. Ineffective teams are a bad sign for the future of an organization.
Conti and Kleiner (2003) reported that teams offer greater participation, challenges, and feelings of accomplishment. Organizations with teams will attract and retain the best people. This, in turn, will create a high-performance organization that is flexible, efficient and most importantly, profitable
A study on employees from an entertainment company in Kuala Lumpur capital of Malaysia (2016) found that efficient communication, level of trust, leadership, and accountability has a positive and significant impact on employee performance.
It is not easy to build teamwork due to the modern technological challenges and the increasing competition between industries. The various forms of challenges that have appeared recently because of the technological developments make it harder to build a strong structure of teamwork in an organizational environment. The most efficient elements to overcome such difficulties regarding teamwork are positive communication, confidence, and productive leadership. It is nearly impossible to build up efficient teamwork without these factors. The following elements are quite important regarding the competence and efficiency of teamwork: trust among all team members, preparation to engage in various debates around ideas, learning to commit to decisions and plans of action, effective leadership and structure of teams with well-defined roles and responsibilities of team members, proper performance evaluation of team members and rewards and recognition for outstanding work, focusing on achieving collective results.
Based on the findings from a study by Walid Al Salman and Zubair Hassan (2016), there is a positive and significant relationship between effective communication and employee performance. Based on the findings, there is a significant and positive relationship between interpersonal skills and employee performance. Leadership has a positive relationship with employee performance. Leadership is an important element of the design of the organization; leadership can be the turning point from failure to successf. This study also shows that there is a positive and significant relationship between accountability and employee performance. Cohesiveness has a significant and positive relationship with employee performance. Cohesiveness shows how employees perform in harmony together, cohesiveness is the spirit and the sense of belongingness where the employee feels safe which will establish the motive to take a step ahead and be ready to participate in action towards the goals of the organization.
Therefore organizations that have disregarded teamwork must start employing it by constantly organizing training and development programs for employees of the organization on how to form and work in teams.
Keithley Tongai is a Consultant intern at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a business management and human resources consulting firm.
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