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In the words of author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek, “A culture is strong when people work with each other, for each other, and weak when people work against each other, for themselves.”

In a sentence, this sums up the critical importance of hiring for and building a culture of teamwork at your company. Teamwork builds morale and ultimately, productivity and profitability. Problem-solving is easier as even people with different skills, knowledge levels and personalities synergize to produce creative solutions.

On the flip side, if teamwork fails, your business suffers. In one recent survey, 86 percent of employees and executives stated that workplace failures were the direct result of a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication.

Be Known for Teamwork

When a candidate considers working for your organization, they will pay close attention not only to the specifics of the job itself, but also to your company culture and your reputation as an employer. So, you need to keep your brand strong in order to attract and retain top talent.

  • Hire for teamwork. Take a 360-degree approach during your interview process, involving not just managers, but also employees who would be working with and for a candidate if they were hired. A senior or HR manager may look for very different criteria than would a new hire’s peer. Even more importantly, any potential personality clashes can be spotted at an early stage, preventing a costly mis-hire.
  • Clarify roles. Erase any ambiguity about roles and responsibilities, and prevent any situations where people may unfairly delegate work to others. Use a handbook, your company intranet or other tools to document this information. While it’s not essential for people to know the exact responsibilities of every employee in your organization, everyone should be perfectly clear about those of their immediate teammates.
  • Specify goals. All employees should know your company’s short and long-term goals, and be aware of their role in achieving them. Cover this during hiring and onboarding, and reinforce it regularly through town hall and other employee meetings. With larger organizational goals set and clarified, you can then set goals for individuals and teams. Make sure all of the above are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.
  • Reward and recognize teamwork. Formal acknowledgement of a job well done is one of the most effective ways to build camaraderie in the workplace. Reward employees appropriately for helping others, as well as for their individual milestones.
  • Curb micromanagement. Managers should give employees the tools, resources and support they need to perform at their best levels, and then leave them to it. People who are micromanaged are less likely to work effectively and more inclined to become demotivated and disengaged. Base your culture on trust, respect and honesty.

Keep people working with each other, for each other. To once again paraphrase industry experts: “If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.” And if you need additional expert guidance in making this happen, consider partnering with the talent development experts at TRC Professional Solutions. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.


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