What makes a group of people who work together function as a team? Just because people are employed by the same company does not mean that they see themselves as a team or that they engage in teamwork. It's a fact that working together is not the same thing as teamwork.
It’s important for managers to understand the difference between the work of teams and the concept of teamwork. When the people who work for your organization carry out the essential functions of their jobs, they are completing the work of teams. They may or may not be working together in the cooperative and collaborative manner that indicates that they are truly functioning as a team.
What is a Team?
By definition, a team is a group of two or more people who interact with each other and coordinate their work efforts in pursuit of a common goal. In most companies, work teams are the norm for how the day to day operations of the business are conducted.
Why Does Teambuilding Matter?
Teams are here to stay in the work environment. Good, bad, or indifferent -- it is a fact that most businesses will continue to utilize work teams throughout their ranks for the foreseeable future. Things can go two ways with teams: they can be functional or they can be dysfunctional.
Actively engaging in teambuilding efforts is an important tool for helping your workforce to come together as a functional team, which is in the best interest of the organization at every level. The primary purpose of teambuilding activities and training within your organization is to develop cohesive work groups made up of individuals who treat each other with respect, understand their roles in the workplace, and pull together for the overall good of the company.
Where Does Teambuilding Start?
Teambuilding has to start at the top of the organization. Whether they like it or not, managers set the tone for acceptable behavior within their organizations. When employees see their company’s management team members pull together as a cohesive team, they will be much more likely to exhibit similar behaviors themselves.
Managers have a responsibility to model the appropriate attitudes to employees, and to provide employees with the training that they need in order to develop from a group of people who happen to work together to a team that can accomplish amazing things on behalf of the company.
Mary Gormandy White, M.A., SPHR
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