Teamwork is a process in which a group of people participate; these people share similar objectives and their knowledge complements each others, with the purpose of reaching common goals. The non – fulfillment or irresponsibility from any of the members of the work group affect everyone else’s work.
At the beginning of mankind, men discovered that he could not hunt big animals by himself; he needed the help of other men. Today, thousands of years later, we know that the most successful companies and projects are the result of teamwork.
Teamwork is the union of a group of people with different skills and capacities, which is in charge of performing different skills that are integrated between each other, making possible the achievements of common targets. It is not about individuals following different goals. It is about a group of human beings chasing a common goal.
The best example to describe teamwork is the one that is performed in the operation room (O.R.) of a medical installation, when a group integrated by doctors of different specialties, nurses and technical staff perform a surgery. The common goal of this group of individuals is to save the patient’s life.
Now, it is important to differ between work team and teamwork; these are two different concepts. A work team is a group of people that perform their functions individually, mostly in the same area, depending of the same boss or superior, to which they have to report individually, as well. Teamwork also requires a group of individuals, but in this case, the group follows a determined work plan, which implies the developments of activities that complement each other, with the purpose of getting the same result.
Teamwork is based in the five “C”’s explained as follows:
- Complementarily: each member of the work team is in charge of developing a part of the project, according to his or her knowledge and skills.
- Coordination: each and every single individual that takes part in the team has to report his or her activities to the team’s leader. Besides, they follow a work plan, which has a program of the tasks they have to develop in an established period of time.
- Communication: it is important that there is permanent communication between all the integrants of the team, in order for the project to success. The team must be informed of the advances, modifications and feedback elements. In this way, mistakes that delay the work plan’s execution will be avoided.
- Confidence: for a work team to achieve their goals there must be mutual trust among all the people who integrate the team regarding the role each one of them performs in it.
- Commitment: there must be a good dose of commitment among the members of the work team if they want to achieve a goal.
Nowadays, companies achieve their corporate objectives based in teamwork. The participation of groups of individuals with different knowledge, experiences, ideas and dispositions allows a company to reach success.
The communication between its integrants, the will to fulfill objectives and the type of leadership practiced by the team leader, are the key in teamwork. The leader must be able to identify skills, connect knowledge and different abilities, but that complement each others.
There is a series of criteria that must be considered to carry out teamwork:
- Every time there are inconvenient or problems in the organization or company, they must be solved as a team, because one single person will not be able to see what is best for the company.
- The members of a team must have in mind that the main objective is the company’s goal and not standing out by themselves.
- Teamwork is useful for every integrant of the group to show their knowledge and skills, by developing the tasks he or she has been asked to do.
- The leader or team boss has the initial objective of identifying the right people to be a part of the work team.
- When discussing about the execution of the entrusted project, teamwork enforcing attitude.
- Working in a team implies working with people that are able to be some sort of “locomotives” when performing the work plan, pushing the rest of the team towards the main goal.
- Teamwork requires a leader who is able to establish goals and share them with the rest of the team.
- Humility, understanding, forgiveness and talents are key ingredients in teamwork.
- It is important for the members of the work team to trust each other.
- Finally, working in a team requires willingness, sacrifice and devotion from each one of its members in order to achieve the set goal.
Summing it up, teamwork requires the integration of people with different skills to form a work team, which will chase a common goal.