We know teamwork is important, but how important?

Being a master of one or a jack-of-all-trades in today’s world does not bring about success if you are unable to work as part of a team. The importance of teamwork cannot be stressed enough. In the current economy, most of our jobs involve interacting with others, so, being able to perform well with your colleagues is key to attaining growth and success. In every aspect of our business at Yale, the diverse skills of our teams are needed to achieve success. Teamwork is an essential skill to help us accomplish our organizational goals and objectives.

Here are 5 reasons why teamwork is important and why it matters to you:

  1. Teamwork benefits from differing perspectives and feedback.
    A team environment allows individuals to bring their diverse perspectives to problem solving, which in turn increases their success at arriving at solutions more efficiently and effectively. The contributions of everyone are more valued when solicited in team meetings. The improvement in “Group IQ” is gratifying and shows up in decisions affecting the team. When all members of a team operate without undue hierarchy and encourage everyone’s feedback, people tend to be more open about their ideas. If you feel a sense of safe connection with your teammates, you will be more likely to confidently share your opinions and thoughts without fear of judgement, even when views disagree. Research suggests that such a climate of “psychological safety” in teams results in more engagement, creativity, and innovation.
  2. Teamwork leads to learning.
    Individuals have their own set of skills and strengths.  When the whole team works as a unit, everyone has an opportunity to learn from each other.  This process leads to resource building and enables the team to become better equipped to deal with new challenges.
  3. Teamwork can improve efficiency and productivity.
    One person working on a project is always going to take longer to complete it in comparison to the collaborative efforts of many. Efficiency rules when work is appropriately divided within a team, responsibilities are shared, and tasks are more likely to be finished within a set time frame. Good teamwork also enhances group outcomes and the measurable effectiveness of organizations.
  4. Teamwork cultivates communication and strong work relationships.
    Teamwork can be effective in building great work relationships. We do not mean that team members must be the best of friends. Rather, a great working relationship flows from the right frame of mind where you collaborate with positive intent, with respect, and active listening. Great team communication is founded on a desire for mutual understanding and trust. When working together on a common goal or deliverable as an integrated whole, individual members consistently encourage and support each another. Indeed, one of the most prized benefits of good teamwork is a reduction in perceived work stress. Camaraderie and a sense of friendship among team members are associated with the highest levels of morale and job satisfaction.  
  5. Teamwork brings an expanded sense of accomplishment.
    When a team works on a project as one unit, the sense of accomplishment we experience expands beyond our individual achievements. Teamwork can fulfil the human desires for belonging and contributing to something greater than ourselves. This is yet another reason why developing teamwork skills is worth everyone’s investment.

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