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"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." (Andrew Carnegie, Aviano Air Base, Italy, 2007)
Teamwork is a process of working together and achieving common goals. In order to understand teamwork better, we need to differentiate between teamwork and group.
Distinction between Teamwork and Group
A group is just a collection of people with something in common, such as being in the same place or having a shared interest. In a group, members work independently and do not trust other members. Moreover, they do not share their knowledge with each other.
In a team, people work together for specific goals and usually with particular roles for different members of the team. In Teams, people work interdependently and they know they can accomplish goals by mutual help. Moreover they trust each other, and share their knowledge.
In short, team helps people to accept the idea of working together, following the rules and achieving mutual goals, instead of working on independent goals. Therefore, team helps people share ideas which ultimately lead them to innovation and better opportunity.
IMPORTANCE OF TEAMWORK:
According to a Chinese Proverb "behind an able man there are always other able men". To achieve success in life, we have to work together because teamwork is the heart of great achievement.
Teamwork involves more people, which means more ideas, resources and energy than an individual would have. There is always a team behind every successful individual or organization. If we take examples of political leaders, pop culture icons, business innovators or spiritual leaders, they always achieve success with the help of their team.
Teamwork shows selflessness and determination. One of the biggest advantages of teamwork is learning. People tend to learn faster when working with other people.Â There is always a healthy competition in teamwork because if someone wants to excelÂ over another team member, then the task will be completed above and beyond expectations.Â
Another advantage of teamwork is that it enhances creativity. While working in a team everyone hasÂ different ideas and concepts to share. This brings new and innovativeÂ ideas to the organization.Â An impressive view in this regard could be finding an individual who is perfect for a specific designation e.g. a managing director of a company who ought to have certain peculiar traits within him , but no one is perfect even if its about the position he is assigned for. Therefore, this dilemma of not having such an ideal individual in any organization can be overcome by making a strong team where the individuals gather to work simultaneously for a mutual benefit.(R. M. Belbin, Management teams, page ix)
Every organization gives more importance to team work because they know this is the key to success. An increasing number of companies are using teams to respond quickly to changing conditions in an environment of intense global competition and increasing complexity. Changing an organization to compete in a highly unpredictable business environment usually requires multiple and continuous innovation. Achieving flexibility and innovation requires teamwork.
Organizations expect individual commitment and performance above the standards. Only this way they make the profits that permit them to seek their other corporate objectives. Each employee can and must make a difference. Organization however focuses on making an individual work with constant dedication, motivation, and enthusiasm and usually fail to understand that it is wiser to concentrate on making a good and effective team.
The members of a team may work on voluntary basis. People who are zealous, innovative and have a clear vision about certain things may unite together and pursue to achieve certain goals. They understand the requirements of a task and the expectations from them and their own expectations from other team members.
Many times, if the team members are passionate about their goal, they will meet employer's expectations easily. And they can perform well despite of circumstances. By the definition of teamwork, it is a group of individuals with different personality traits, who can contribute to diverse point of views and better approach to the problems at hand. The team members know the strengths and weaknesses and they understand how to work with each other. They know that in a group, competition may arise, but they can set that aside so that they can work together. The members know the weakness of others, so they offer the help to team mates that they can offer to them.
Instead of motivating a single individual there is need to focus on selecting team members, the attitude of them, how to train the members, a constant appreciation, provision of equal promotions, other incentives like car, laptop etc. Unfortunately there is a lack of knowledge about construction of a team and its collective effort.( R. M. Belbin, Management teams, page x).
Team Role theory:
Team role may be defined as, "A tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a particular way."(Dr. Meredith Belbin, 1970).
This theory was established after a research conducted by a team of Dr. Meredith Belbin at Henley Management College, where teams were formed and their performance was observed. It was then concluded that an effective performance of a team and its efficiency depends mainly on the behavior of the individuals rather than the intelligence.
This theory mainly describes a common human nature. Like an individual is beyond any shadow of doubt is a idle and sluggish in attitude, does not want to work, relax, stay away from responsibilities and everyday jobs, a self-absorbed person and does not want to bring any change within the organization he is working with. This theory is conventional and cynical. (Douglas McGregor's - Theory of Motivation).
A normal human is willing to work and believes in becoming successful in life through motivation and hard work. He is ready to take challenges and tends to strive for the betterment of organization as a loyal employee. An individual is flexible enough to adjust himself in any environment and accepts the burden of responsibilities. He thus wants to work for a mutual benefit. This theory is positive, vibrant and revolutionary. ( Douglas McGregor's - Theory of Motivation)
HAWTHORNE THEORY(OR EFFECT):
This theory relates to the productivity of an individual when working atmosphere is affected like illumination, moisture and temperature and later on focuses on the mental and emotional features like work pressure, strength of individual, attitude, team building abilities, etc. It says individuals may work with more zeal if they are appreciated and told that they are as an important segment and an asset of the organization.
IMPORTANCE OF TEAMWORK TO CONTEMPORARY ORGANIZATIONS:
It takes all of us to win. Teams support each other and share the victories and rewards together. Teams are passionate about what they do.
Apple Inc. : One of the biggest focuses of Apple Inc is its team work. In its mission statement, Apple says that its main desire is to workÂ together and improve theÂ environmentÂ by workingÂ togetherÂ with its employees and the rest of the world.
Apple Inc holds its own expos, keynote speeches, and other presentations. These are not only meant to keep the public informed but they also inform the different departments about the happenings within the company.
Abbott laboratories: There is an effective teamwork in pharmaceutical industries like Abbot e.g. in a production area a team of members work under production supervisor and their combined effort makes the process of manufacturing a drug substance faster, smooth and leads to timely production.
Emirates Airlines: Emirates Airlines also makes use of strong and efficient team members whether it is the ground staff, on board, technical or located at airport. It is a team effort that it holds the position of one the most hospitable airlines.
Toyota motors: This company believes in moving forward and spend millions of dollars every day on itsR &D to ensure that their team works with full zeal in minimizing the vehicle emissions keeping the faith of its customers and believes that sky is a limit when you think of green.
Every big goal to be achieved seems smaller and easily accessible when there is a team that unites as one to accomplish something. Every large or small organization has different levels of expertise, and teamwork acts as a bridge to connect these dissimilar levels.Organizations are focusing more on teamwork as they know that teamwork is the platform for new and fresh ideas. Effective teamwork is essential for organizations to realize their full potential and to meet certain goals. Teamwork is essential for a success of any organization, as sometimes the tasks are too immense to be done by any one person. Individuals are encouraged to interact at all levels of management, sharing ideas and suggesting ways to improve the effectiveness and quality of products and services. Hence, teamwork is needed for organizational success.