"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."- Helen Keller.
A team is any group of people who have been organized to collaborate and rely on one another while working toward a shared goal. A team is a group of people who have come together to pursue a shared goal. Barnes (2008) defined a work team as people who work together on a common task to achieve a specific purpose or objective.
In looking at 'What are teams', let us examine the categorization of the teams in the workplace. Workplace teams can be classified into three categories that are departmental or functional, cross-functional, and self-managing. Research demonstrates that group problem-solving produces superior results. Working as a team promotes the individual's development, boosts job satisfaction, and lessens stress.
What are teams? The required skills
The question of 'What are teams' can be answered by looking at the critical skills required in a team.Teamwork skills involve your capacity to work cooperatively with others. These cover both fundamental social skills and more focused cooperative abilities. Teamwork involves many skills, including attentive listening, critical thinking, organizational skills, and the capacity to delegate responsibilities or provide candid feedback. The personality make-up of team matters when people work together as a team.
What are teams? Examples of teamwork skills
Effective communication requires various skills, including active listening, asking pertinent questions when appropriate, showing respect, being approachable, and exhibiting positive body language. Communicating and expressing ideas plainly and concisely is an essential cooperative skill. Good communication skills enable teams to discuss pertinent ideas and thoughts whether they communicate in person, via email, phone, or instant chat.
Team members with active listening skills can better trust and comprehend one another. You can better understand what your team members are trying to say if you can listen to them.
The dynamics of teamwork require that all participants comprehend the work for which they are accountable and put in the necessary effort to finish it on time and to the required standard. The team can achieve its objective if everyone works well and takes ownership of their tasks.
You must be honest and straightforward to communicate unpleasant updates, like your inability to finish a task by the deadline. Employers favor candidates who can accept responsibility for their actions and keep their word since it improves team performance. Without open communication, it may be challenging for a team to build trust and function well. Integrity is, therefore, necessary when working in teams.
Every team member must carry out their task for the group to function. A desirable teamwork trait is the ability to change with the times and operate outside of your comfort zone. You might feel at ease using a social media platform, for example. However, if your manager assigns another person to complete your assignment because they need your assistance with a new email platform, you ought to accept your new role graciously and complete the task given to you rather than grumbling about the change.
What are teams? Different types of Teams
'What are teams', can be examined in terms of different types of teams in an organization. Within businesses, there are three main types of work teams. These teams at work are cross-functional, self-managed, and functional teams. Each of these teams serves a somewhat different purpose.
Functional teams are employees belonging to the same department. These groups work for an organization continuously. This kind of work, team members frequently meet to exchange information and work out problems. Functional teams often have a manager to whom all team members are subordinate. A payroll department is an illustration of this kind of work group.
The department's employees don't all have the same tasks to perform. Some personnel might be responsible for entering work hours, handling benefits, or doing quality assurance. However, all of the employees' responsibilities are tied to payroll, and they all answer to the same manager who is in charge of the division
A team that manages itself is said to be self-managed. It runs without any official management control. In this kind of work, team participants share group leadership. This team comprises workers from several departments carrying out various tasks while cooperating to achieve organizational goals. Self-managed teams frequently perform at a very high level.
Self-managed teams are frequently established to modify or enhance a process. A team formed to address a company's product's delayed shipment is an illustration of a self-managed team. The team in this illustration would probably consist of individuals from manufacturing, supply, information technology, and shipping.
Cross-functional teams consist of members from several departments with different types of experience. Since members of these teams are often not accustomed to working together, they are frequently the most difficult to manage. Cross-functional teams are assembled for varying amounts of time depending on how rapidly the goal needs to be accomplished. The members of this work team must quickly learn to get past differences in personality.
Product and project development teams are two of the most prevalent instances of cross-functional teams. For instance, employees in design, information technology, marketing, manufacturing, and sales may be involved in product development. To produce the ideal result, each of these sections must collaborate.
What are teams? Benefits of Working Together as a Team
Teamwork increases work efficiency
According to statistics, teamwork allows employees to complete jobs far more quickly and effectively than when they work alone. Working in teams allows for the sharing of tasks and ideas.
Teamwork increases learning opportunities
Teams can communicate with one another within a project through collaboration. As they get to learn skills from more seasoned team members, this contact is a fantastic learning opportunity for new team members. Additionally, it enables inexperienced and seasoned workers to question one another's ideas and methods and, in the process, develop a workable resolution to finish the tasks at hand. New hires might also provide more seasoned personnel with new and creative ideas.
Teamwork leads to increased accountability
Teams are very advantageous for businesses because they allow people to work more productively and efficiently, which results in projects being finished ahead of schedule. With collaboration, confidence is maintained since no member wants to let the group down. Everyone is held accountable while working in teams, especially if surrounded by seasoned, well-respected personnel with a track record of diligence and responsibility.
What are teams? Collaboration in teams
Collaboration refers to working with one or more others to finish a task or project or create new methods or ideas. In the workplace, collaboration happens when two or more individuals work together towards a common objective that benefits the team or organization. Such cooperation needs interpersonal skills, communication abilities, information exchange, and planning. Workplace collaboration can occur in a physical office or online between team members.
Greater productivity is generated by teamwork, which also promotes positive interpersonal interactions. Employees are frequently more productive and efficient when they work together than when they work alone.
What are teams? Collaboration skills examples
Here are two examples of collaborative working:
Example 1: Brainstorming as a group
As you approach a decision, getting together as a team to exchange thoughts and queries is a fantastic chance for cooperation. You may benefit from many areas of expertise by gathering ideas from many sources.
The open discussion allows each team member to contribute and ensures that all ideas are valued and respected. Instead of one person lecturing the rest of the group in a meeting, joint discussion requires each team member to participate and share their thoughts and opinions. This setup breaks down the boundaries of hierarchy often found in the workplace and keeps everyone engaged. Meetings are effective when all participants have something to gain from the discussion.
In Conclusion, working in teams allows team members to gain knowledge and advance their careers. This article explored what it means to work in a team, different types of teams and the advantages of teamwork.
Ashleigh Masiko is a Business Consultant (Student Intern) at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a business management and human resources consulting firm.
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