Prioritizing Team Collaboration
Updated: May 17
My middle child loves all things sportsball. With various playoffs and drafts over the past weeks, it has led him to call out some interesting observations:
"Why didn't the team with a group of all-stars win their series?"
"Why did that team not draft the player with better stats?"
Teams, organizations, and companies win not on what one person can accomplish but what the team can do together. Teamwork is essential in any organization as collaboration can lead to more creativity, innovation, and better outcomes.
Yet, we work and live in a world where we praise and reward individual achievement. We look for the hero when things go well, and point out a person to blame with a group fails.
Team building is such a significant component of driving a company to successes and reached goals, but can't be relegated to beers on Friday or awkward icebreakers. To truly build a team, the leader must:
Encourage shared success: Encourage the manager to create a culture where success is shared and celebrated as a team. Recognize and reward groups for their collective achievements, rather than singling out individuals. Acknowledge the contributions of all team members and give credit where it is due.
Reinforce collaborative behaviors: Set clear expectations for collaborative behaviors and reinforce them through regular feedback and recognition. Encourage team members to share knowledge, offer help, and provide support to each other. Reward behaviors that promote teamwork and recognize those who go above and beyond to help their colleagues.
Align incentives: Ensure that the incentives and rewards offered by the organization are aligned with collaborative behaviors. For instance, you can reward teams that work together effectively or offer bonuses for achieving shared goals. This can motivate individuals to work together and foster a more collaborative culture.
Lead by example: Managers must model collaborative behaviors, encourage participation, and demonstrate the benefits of working together. When team members see their leaders valuing collaboration over individual achievement, they are more likely to follow suit.
Team building is an ongoing process, and managers need to consistently provide feedback, recognize achievements, and address any issues or conflicts that arise. By doing so, managers create success not only in individuals but as a team.