Tips for Effective Teamwork in 2021

There’s no doubt that teamwork is an essential skill for every workforce and an integral part of many credentials. Take ITIL 4 for example; the guiding principle ‘collaborate and promote visibility’ promotes the removal of silos to achieve business objectives. 

However, in 2021, teamwork is one of the most in-demand skills. Especially after the pandemic reduced/eliminated face-to-face interactions and collaborations. That’s why it’s vital that you acquire this skill or brush up on it. 

Here are some tips that will help update your teamwork skills to match the new normal. 

Push for Team Building Events to Foster Teamwork 

For many organizations, 2020 lacked team building activities. However, without these, it’s difficult to get employees excited about work. The workforce also misses opportunities to practice collaboration, communication, and creative and learning skills. 

2021 doesn’t need to be the same. You can suggest team-building activities that cater to your objectives. Even if you can’t have a traditional event, you can have a virtual team building activities using surveys, polls, or virtual hosting platforms. 

You can also have training sessions delivered either at your preferred location or virtually. Not only will this break the usual routine, but teammates will also bond while learning new skills. 

Ensure You (and Everyone) Understand Your Role within the Team 

Defining team roles and responsibilities is vital for success. Not only does this process reduce the chances of duplicate work, but it also prevents finger-pointing and enhances performance. 

Therefore, you and your team need to be clear on the role you play in achieving business goals. At the same time, you need to know how you can share duties and help others to complete tasks on time. 

Most likely, your specific role will be detailed in your job description. While it may change slightly from one project to another, your core duties will remain the same. If you’ve been working for a while, you can check your manager’s performance expectations and use that to define your role as well.

Start Teamwork Early with New Recruits 

If your team is growing in 2021, you need to ensure new recruits are onboarded on EVERYTHING. In addition to the nature of work, they need to understand how things work around the office. 

The buddy system has proven to be highly effective for this purpose. Veteran employees guide new hires and answer any questions they have which don’t merit the manager’s attention. They also allow new employees to embrace company culture faster. 

However, the major benefit from the buddy system is effective teamwork. Paired employees learn about each other’s work styles. That way, they can become better collaborators and promote teamwork across the organization. 

Establish a Protocol to Resolve Any Conflicts that Arise 

The unpleasantness of conflict can break your team. However, it’s important that you address it rather than ignore it in hopes that it would go away. Otherwise, a conflict will interrupt the workflow and damage relationships in the workplace. 

Having a plan for addressing conflict will prevent it from escalating. The plan can also be used for deep team building, ensuring that issues are remedies before they become too distracting. 

To create a conflict resolution protocol, consult with a few trusted team members and then share your plan with the team. Just remember to fine tune this plan as conflict arises. 

Work on Your Team’s Listening Skills along with their Communication Skills 

Miscommunication is a major productivity killer. Around 28% cite poor communication as the reason for not delivering their work on time. Moreover, communication gaps can cost companies thousands. In fact, a company with 100 employees can lose $420,000 per year due to miscommunication. 

One skill you especially need to work on in 2021 is your listening skills. This contributes towards effective teamwork since team members will start listening to each other. That, in turn, ensures better idea generation and successful projects. 

To pull this off, turn your next brainstorming session into a listening brainstorm. You’re probably doing this already if you’re working remotely. However, you can improve this further by ensuring someone else summarizes the initial speaker’s idea and provide their feedback, be it in favor or against the idea. 

Here’s to a More Collaborative Team for 2021 and the Future

Make sure to try each of these tips to cultivate teamwork even while your team is remote. If you need further help with setting up training as your next team building activity, our Training Advisors are just a call or email away. 

About the Author

Maha Khursheed is Manager - eLearning at LearningCert. A software engineering graduate, she has over 13 years of copywriting experience. Find her on her LinkedIn

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