Over the years the concept of teamwork and leadership has evolved greatly within the corporate world. As millennials are taking over the business world, the boss-employee culture is slowly dissipating, making way for a more collaborative and communal workplace environment. In today’s world, many famous companies- Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Chevron, Twitter, to name a few- are adopting teamwork as their modus operandi, breaking hierarchies and age old set rules.
However, the implementation of effective collaboration requires effort and to say that the entire corporate world has got it right would be an overstatement. Formation of effective teams is something many companies are still struggling with. In order to make collaboration as an effective strategy, companies are over the world are using technology as an appropriate solution. The use of online collaboration tools such as Workspee, are designed specifically to assist companies in teambuilding. A software program of such kind open channels for communication and brings all the employees of an organization under one platform where sharing of ideas, collaborative projects and meetings can become easy and seamless.
The stages of team development
The formation of any team isn’t linear. Just like any other human relationship, team building is a gradual process that goes through different stages. In 1965, Bruce Tuckman, a psychologist at Ohio State University, came up with four stages of team development. These stages were: forming, storming, norming and performing. Later in 1977, he came up with a fifth phase that he called adjourning.
When a team starts to form, the team members are directionless and don’t really have a purpose. This beginning stage that Bruce calls formation, is about the team members getting to know each other, assigning roles, sharing of ideas and finding the right direction.
Once roles are assigned and the team has a set direction, the second phase of team formation starts which is called storming. Short for the word, brainstorming, this phase is very critical in determining how the team will perform. As ideas are pitched, conflicts may arise and the team members may start to disagree with each other. There might be personality clashes between the members and fights and arguments may arise.
If the teams surpass the storming phase, they enter the third phase which is called norming. In this stage, the members are well aware of each other’s personalities and goals. Conflicts are resolved at this stage and the members begin to find a more common ground to work.
The fourth and the final stage of Bruce’s initial model of team formation is called performing. This is the stage where the members have gone past their differences and are finally in sync with each other. The goals are well established and the members are working towards a mutual goal. The execution of ideas also starts occurring at this stage.
The adjourning stage that is sometimes called the fifth stage of team development refers to the breaking up of teams once their ultimate goal is achieved.
Role of a leader for effective teamwork
A team leader plays a crucial role during all the stages of team formation. The attitude of leaders and managers is extremely important in determining the fate of a team. If the manager is positive the team members will also be more positive and eager to work, whereas a negative mindset of the leader can ruin the team’s performance. Good leaders not only serve as a guiding force for their team members, but they also motivate them and lift their spirits when needed. They are impartial when it comes to conflict resolution and treat all their members equally. They give all the team members a chance to express their opinions and do not shy away from giving positive feedback and pat of appreciation on their team members’ back.
Moreover, good leaders understand the difference between a boss and leader. Instead of dictating their members what to do, their leadership style involves facilitating and guiding their team members. They trust their team members completely and help them in reaching their full potential.
A team can only be successful in achieving its goal only if they have a positive leader guiding it. Workspee has all the features that are required for effective team building. Using it as a tool, leaders can help in development of teams and provide channels for communication and collaboration.
The advantages of teamwork and collaboration
There are tremendous advantages of collaboration and teamwork at a workplace. It allows employees to establish a strong relationship with each other and helps in creating a positive workplace environment. When people with varying ideas, thoughts and experiences join their heads together, they give birth to more creative and innovative ideas.
Collaboration also increases employee productivity and engagement. Moreover, it makes employees more responsible towards their job. All of this contributes towards the ultimate success of the company.
Teamwork paves ways for potential leaders
One of the biggest advantages of teamwork is that it allows employees to explore their potential. It helps them grow professionally as well as personally. It makes them more proactive, improves their communication skills, and teaches them to be more accepting and patient along with conflict resolution and time management. All of these attributes define good leadership. This means that teamwork can serve as a platform for potential leaders to thrive.
How teamwork affects leadership at a workplace:
When a company has self-reliant workers and a culture of teamwork, it eliminates the ‘boss’ culture and makes a workplace more employee centric. When employees are given opportunities for professional development and promotions, the managers and executives may feel threatened. They feel that their position will be in danger if employees working under them are promoted. Probably because of this, many companies still do not implement appropriate teamwork strategies and constrict employee development. On the contrary, many managers prefer teamwork as it shares the load and divides responsibilities. They promote a collaborative culture at their workplace, understanding the long term positive effect of it.
As a leader, one must think of their companies’ benefit rather than their own. Teamwork and collaboration is indeed a very powerful business strategy that benefits the employees as well as the company.