A team is typically formed for a limited time and to address a particular issue. Ron Ashkenas, Dave Ulrich, Todd Jick and Steve Kerr, authors of “The Boundaryless Organization,” conclude that a team with an established shared view of goals, an agreed-upon method of working together and a way to measure the success and results of their efforts will be one that can achieve much more as a group than an individual can alone.
Productivity and Innovation
Combining resources of several individuals can help a group be more innovative and get better results, says Stephen P. Robbins, author of “Organizational Behavior.” While one person may excel in product design, another may specialize in engineering and with a marketing professional added to the mix, a new product line is launched. More companies are moving from hierarchical structures to team-based models to facilitate better communication across departments. Networking through communication technologies such as social media encourages global collaboration.
The Viral Effect
Teamwork can help solidify organizational culture. Removing hierarchies gives teams the autonomy and freedom to accomplish their goals. To be effective, team members must subscribe to the group goals and behaviors and adopt a positive attitude to the work at hand; not doing so risks rejection and alienation. In some companies, reward systems that encourage full commitment from all employees and an attitude of working toward a common goal are replacing traditional promotions.
Flexibility and Support
Team work provides employees with support and flexibility in their working and personal lives. An article in the “Wall Street Journal,” dated May 2012, writes that careful planning around the personal obligations of team members, such as child care and doctor's appointments, can ensure results and met deadlines. Flexibility and good communication can ensure that the project continues with minimal disruption through shared shouldering of responsibilities.
Leadership and Employee Enrichment
Leadership is important in team dynamics. Whether the leader is appointed by the group or becomes apparent during preliminary team discussions, an effective positive attitude can develop trust in all members. Inc. magazine recommends having a team review every month to measure performance against company goals. A strong team provides the opportunity to learn from others and constructive feedback can improve skills and processes. A company that can use employee diversity and teach employees to work productively together will add substantial value to its human capital.
Caroline Banton has more than 14 years of experience in the communications and publishing fields, working in global development and finance. Her articles have covered business, economics and recruitment, among other topics. Banton holds an M.B.A. in marketing management.