11 easy ways to increase teamwork in small businessesWe’ve all heard the phrase, ‘teamwork makes the dream work’. When it comes to organisations, large or small, keeping the team motivated and focused on tasks is a challenge that needs to be tackled efficiently. Being at a managerial position, it is important to realise that every member of the team is different and what motivates and inspires one may not work for the other. Even though individual players make you stronger, without teamwork it is hard to achieve the desired goals.

Here are 11 easy ways to increase teamwork in small businesses to deliver miracles in the process:

1. Be the Perfect Example

There is nothing more destructive for a company than a leader who follows the philosophy, “Do as I say, not as I do”. Unless you get your own self in order and exhibit good leadership and time management skills, your team will lose enthusiasm and goodwill as they will feel betrayed. Being in a leadership position is a huge responsibility on your shoulder as the team looks up to you for support and guidance. So, lead them with your own actions. Show them that you make time for work that matters because if your team can’t trust you, you will never be able to lead them to greatness.

2. Set Realistic Goals

The first question managers need to answer is what the goal of the organisation is and how can that goal be achieved. A team without a goal is like a house without a foundation; it will fall apart. Every member of the team needs to know their goals and role in the team and as an individual. It is essential to keep the goals as realistic as possible and keep a check on the team to make sure they aren’t losing sight of what is important. A result-oriented structure needs to be implemented to encourage the team to perform better.

3. Be Proactive

If you are going to be a leader, be a proactive one and focus your efforts and attention on long term goals and growth. Employees desire their leaders to be proactive and capable of making independent decisions. They want their leaders to be able to understand all the constraints and then decide on a constructive way forward. Work with your team to actively analyse projects, carry out reviews on a one-to-one basis, build relationships with players on the project and build the culture of learning to improve work quality. Don’t perform your duties just because you have to; do them because you understand that a better project management process will give you a better chance to succeed.

4. Be Flexible

Being flexible allows you to deal with change and it can get you far; especially if you are a small business owner. Internalising flexibility allows you to deal with change and learn new approaches on how to tackle tricky situations. Even though most managers are concerned that being flexible may cause performance to suffer, there are ways to minimise this. Embracing change can expand your opportunities, help you strike a workable balance and make you more responsive to change. It is a win-win situation as it builds employee trust and commitment, and drives the team to perform better.

5. Trust Your Team

The foundation of a successful team is built on trust and unless each member can trust one another and strive towards a common goal, success is impossible. Respect and trust between an employee and employer is the foundation of collaboration and it is through this that leaders can manage performance, understand issues and find solutions. When a team realises what is expected of them, they can foster a collaborative environment with healthy competition. It truly shows when leaders establish trust in their team, the members feel secure in sharing their ideas and opinions without fear of judgement or retribution. The result is a highly motivated and productive workforce.

6. Use an Online Team Planner

If you have a large workforce and are having trouble deciding how to manage all the projects at hand, a team planner is your solution. You can find a team planner which supports the drag and drop functionality which is not present in Excel. It makes scheduling easy with a click of a button and the teammates are more involved in resource planning. This not only saves a lot of effort, but also keeps everyone up to date at the same time and boosts communication both ways. Online team planners are accessible online and on several devices so that you can stay informed anytime and everywhere!

7. Use Collaborative Technology

A fundamental requirement of collaboration is effective communication. The use of technology aids this by providing various platforms for sharing information. Team leaders can better facilitate communication, which reduces the time and expense involved in group work. People with different schedules can work together and avoid conflicts and mismanagement. The use of collaboration tools should not only be about sharing information, but also about improvement and speeding up people’s efforts. As you progress in your career, your ability to use technology and lead groups will make you a more valuable asset to test tools that suit your business and discover what is best for your overall success.

8. Encourage Communication

No team can exist in a vacuum and in order to work effectively, it’s essential to communicate with each other and with the leaders. Conversations should be an honest dialogue. Asking employees about the challenges they are facing can help you allocate the tasks in an efficient manner without having to compromise on quality. Offering new ideas, sharing information, offering suggestions and solving problems should be encouraged. Being a team leader, it is important that you recognise, support and encourage the efforts made by the team as at the end of the day, motivated teams are productive teams.

9. Create a Motivating Working Environment

The overall vibe of the workplace has a huge impact on a team’s performance and happiness. A positive work environment exhibit traits that foster brilliance, productivity and amity. Smart businesses know that a good work environment begins with hiring the right people who are professionals and can work as a team because one bad apple can spoil the bunch! Going a few extra miles to make the office environment warmer and vibrant can ensure higher productivity, leading to continued success and growth for the company.

10. Organise Teamwork Workshops

Workshops and in-house training during regular work hours helps boost the team’s morale. Teams can learn how to polish and use their strengths and work on their weaknesses by discussing them with each other. Get to know your team members and hold various ice breaking activities to make the team more comfortable with each other. They can then be placed in roles that align with their strengths.

11. Appreciate Your Team

People always do more for those who appreciate them as there is nothing worse than giving your best and not being appreciated for hard work, especially in a workplace. Even though leaders widely recognise the need for appreciation, it normally tends to be a blind spot. Find ways that are natural and comfortable to demonstrate your appreciation in an authentic way and it will do you wonders.

Teamwork has a great influence on the performance of a company and implementing these few tricks can help your company bring its game up and outshine competitors.