Teamwork what do we really really want

Nearly everyone I talk to agrees that Teamwork is high on their priorities of a must have at work whether that’s a new employee, a long standing colleague, a team manager, director or business owner.  So wherever you are in an organisation Teamwork matters.  The trick is being able to understand when talking about  Teamwork what do we  really want


Aligning what the ‘business’ needs with the individuals needs

From the business perspective it has to be about individuals pulling together and  working across teams to produce the results the business needs in the most cost effective way.  So whether an individual is designing, making, delivering, selling or involved in some other way in getting  the product or service to market they are an integral part of the team and therefore integral to delivering  that result.  If Teamwork is what we really really want and key to delivering that results its worth investing effort in understanding what everyone means when they say Teamwork. How do we  achieve  it?  For me its quite simple you have to focus on the individual and don’t be shy about it. That means  really understanding what  individuals want. They will  all have their own unique tick list of what makes the perfect team environment and therefore different requirements to help them function at their best within the team

Is it about the environment or the people?

Most companies take a lot of care providing a cohesive office environment that reflects their brand, with ergonomic chairs and water coolers usually as a minimum.  Often there are slogans and art work on the walls cleverly defining the company values and an array of certificates and awards showing how successful the business has been.   There will almost definitely be  a well thought out interview and on boarding process, a review  and meeting structure.  Progressive businesses may even have a rewards system that allows individuals to ‘pick’ their own rewards.  Does all of that really lead to great Teamwork? Is that what people really really want? I’d suggest these are just the hygiene factors. The staples required to reach base camp.

To attain a truly effective team and importantly see that team in constant performance mode focus on the individuals is key. Its definitely more  about the team  feeling valued, understood, listened to, considered as individuals. They want to know that they really do make a difference, that their opinion counts. That their hard work is noticed.  Having a tuned in  managers and directors who pay attention to all this stuff is a  great start. You know what I am going to say now ….. BUT! You have to go further

Its a matter of investing time into Team!

I believe to make a team really work and for people to get what they really really want from Teamwork you have to set aside  real time.  Invest time to  understand what’s really important to individual team members. What they need in team meetings, in the structure of their role, how people can communicate better with them, what support they need developing themselves and the relationships in the business.  What do they need to help them do their job better, how can the business help the work better as a team.  Taking the time to understand the differences in personalities, behaviour and communication styles will add richness to your teams understanding of each other and by the way add to your bottom line!

Im a passionate believer in making time to invest the individual and team, it makes sense purely from a results perspective and when you add in higher retention and employee satisfaction it’s a no brainer.  I believe at Lifeworks we can really help you understand what your people really really want and would love the opportunity to talk to you more about this :


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