Businesses Need Teamwork Now More than Ever

Building effective, results-oriented teams have always been a top business priority. But with the business climate undergoing such profound change, knowing how to foster teamwork is more important than ever.

We take group collaboration and teamwork very seriously here at Baillie. Teamwork plays a key role in every process, from our green hardwood lumber buyers to service personnel and our lumber traders to kiln supervisors. The many elements that constitute a high-quality customer experience grow directly out of the teamwork we practice daily.Teamwork

Times change, but the principles of teamwork remain the same. Here are a few tips for boosting collaboration within your workplace that we found helpful. Maybe you will as well.

Establish goals for the team. Teams, like individuals, work better when clear-cut goals are there to direct them. Business News Daily advises implementing “timelines, plans and structured content that clearly define current and future goals.” This helps “ensure that everyone understands the goals and what part they specifically play in achieving those goals.”

Encourage a free exchange of ideas. Effective teamwork grows out of a collaborative environment, where employees’ ideas and suggestions have as much validity as those on the executive team. It’s important to state outright that there are no “bad ideas,” and that brainstorming often leads the way to innovation.

As a leader, notes Lehi Free Press, you should give employees “the opportunity to share [ideas] with you rather than discourage them.” Even if “not all ideas will come to fruition, all that matters is that it’s had its chance to be heard.”

Keep the big picture up-front and top-of-mind. Employees who understand the big picture are generally more motivated to be high-functioning members of the team. Whenever possible—at staff meetings, in companywide emails, etc.—“demonstrate a clear link between team projects and your organization’s broader goals,” thus helping people “understand that the roles they play have a direct bearing on the company’s overall success and growth.”

Always be communicating. Facilitating communications across all departments is another essential element of effective teamwork. With so many communications tools at our disposal—email, text messaging, chat, etc.—there’s really no excuse for failing to keep everyone on the same page within the organization. And the more open communications are, the more motivated team members will be.

Focus on employee development. Employees want to feel they are growing, both as individuals and as part of a high-functioning team. It’s a good idea to help them achieve this goal, through sponsorship of a group class or seminar.

Team members “appreciate on-the-clock professional development because they get paid to learn and give up less of their personal lives,” notes TeamBuilding, adding that when employees have the tools to grow, “their improvement feels like a team project versus a lone effort.” Also, undertaking professional development in a team format helps enrich relationships within the team—often leading to a higher degree of performance in terms of company projects and initiatives.

Recognize and reward achievement. As with individual performance, recognizing and rewarding outstanding team achievements also strengthens the idea of teamwork in the workplace.

Types of recognition and reward can vary, depending on the situation and company culture. Sometimes, “managers hand out restaurant certificates, monetary bonuses” notes Business Management Daily. Other companies "turn to experiential rewards for team performance, such as a catered lunch, or a fun and interactive group outing." These positive experiences go a long way toward inculcating a teamwork environment within the business.

The benefits of teamwork to an organization are clear-cut and worthy of special attention. Boosting participation will likely yield just the kind of results every business seeks—high performance, motivated employees, and team initiatives that drive the organization forward.

The hardwood lumber business, like most others, relies on teamwork. Whether it be a forester working with a landowner to harvest the Red Oak, White Oak, or Hard Maple on their land, or a truck driver picking up a load of kiln-dried lumber from one of our yards, the more we work together the better the process becomes, as teamwork is essential for a seamless experience for our customers.

Have you promoted a culture of teamwork at your organization? What methods did you find effective? We would love to hear your thoughts! 

Brett Del Prince
Baillie Lumber
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