GNcareers, from Gulf News

What constitutes teamwork?

What constitutes teamwork?Image Credit: Supplied

Teamwork does not mean that everybody should be doing the same task, or is capable of accomplishing each other's job. It is more of a synergistic way of working, where the sum is greater than its parts.

Why is teamwork important? There is role effectiveness if employees work as a team. In fact, most of the job accountabilities are implemented through teams. Therefore, the management must encourage assessing team performance not individual performance, but without discounting individual contributions.

Quality guru W. Edwards Deming suggested breaking barriers between departments so that people can collaborate. He stressed about eliminating targets, wherein employees are urged to achieve certain numbers/quotas rather than putting in quality work. He also encouraged eliminating exhortations, wherein the management gives unreasonable orders without providing employees with proper systems and resources. These methods push employees to work for performance ratings rather than organisational effectiveness, hence should be discouraged.

Teamwork makes any role transformation effective and quick, and puts everyone to work on it. This makes department objectives more important than individual objectives. Organisational structures are created to depict level and reporting relationships, but in reality, people work in teams to complete the functional aspects of their positions along with their colleagues in the same organisational unit. For instance, a sales department has several team members who aim to achieve the overall revenue target. You do not consider individual results to give rewards because reaching the target is everybody's job. The management must, therefore, encourage excellent team head performance, which reflects the team's overall performance.

Generally, 70% of individual tasks overlap. What the management can do is develop a job family model that indicates individual and team roles. Most tasks should be done as a team, whereas responsibilities must evolve in line with organizational objectives.

Handy Hints:

• HR should plan for changes to bring about improvement

• Supervise employees to work effectively for the company

• Management, leaders and individuals must work together

Find out how a workplace can impact productivity

Source: Dr. Pon Mohaideen Pitchai, Special to Jobs & Careers

The writer is a Dubai-based HR and Management Consultant