Business Management: Benefits of Teamwork
You should now understand the importance of teams for the emotional and psychological health for individual team members. However, the justification for the use of teams does not stop there. Obviously, if you run a business, organization, or some other entity, you should want your employees, board of directors, or other involved parties to have the best emotional and psychological health possible. This is, as previously discussed, one of the key reasons that it is so important for positive and productive teams to be built and receive ongoing attention. Doing this will obviously net your group a tremendous number of benefits in and of itself. Nevertheless, you will be pleased to know that almost every type of group that is forged into a real team can receive numerous other benefits in addition to the psychological well being of the team members.

As mentioned before, happy, healthy individuals are more productive. They are also more likely to stay with their current company or organization if they are having their needs met at that location. These results in less turnover, which, as any business owner can tell you, can save much money and bolster the business's reputation. Moreover, teams are often able to develop new theories, engage in creative problem solving, identify potential issues or conflicts, and so forth. Unfortunately, it is not enough to just throw people together and ask them to engage in these tasks; teams do have to be cultivated carefully. Moreover, when they are, they can achieve some impressive results.

The benefits of teamwork are far reaching and can revitalize or save a business or organization. Depending upon the use and intended purpose of the team, potential rewards are many and may demonstrate a wide variety of possible outcomes because of the teamwork. Some of the most common benefits of teamwork include the following.

Brainstorming. Certainly, psychologists and sociologists have gone back and forth regarding the potential benefits of brainstorming. Some researchers believe that they can have a positive effect in almost every situation (assuming there is still someone who has the final decision making ability). Other experts hold that it is only helpful in certain circumstances or in scenarios with a specific number of team members. Generally speaking, small teams (or a small sub-team derived from a larger team) will find the most benefit from brainstorming sessions. This is especially true when there is at least one team member who shares a completely different perspective on an issue or problem (such as someone from a different department, a different level in the company hierarchy, or someone who has a different objective agenda, or different ideas). Brainstorming can be a great way to come up with new ideas for products or services, identify strengths and weaknesses within existing or potential plans or goals, and so forth.

Problem solving. Problem solving within a team setting may occur through brainstorming or other team activities. However, there is no doubt that team based problem solving can be one of the best possible uses of any team, even amongst children. Outside of a team setting, an individual brain is unable to bounce ideas off another brain and is limited to its individual perspective as determined by physiology, education, experience, and more. Some brains are naturally more creative than others are, some of them are better at comprehending mathematics, science, or language; some are able to recognize moral or ethical concerns, and a thousand other different ways that means that no two brains are exactly alike. When solving a problem, it is important to understand effectiveness and efficiency as well as ethics; this wide variety among human brains means that the best ways to solve problems often use some collective tool such as a team. Of course, while two heads are better than one and three heads up are better than two, be careful not to make a team too large as that can result in groupthink and other negative psychological and sociological results.

Interested in learning more? Why not take an online Team Building course?

Relationship building. Those who work together in a team on a long-term or consistent basis are able to develop healthier relationships with other members of the team. Not only does this help prevent employee turnover among businesses, but it can also help form bridges between employees or teammates who have had interpersonal issues. When engaging in team dynamics, individuals often are able to recognize some of the benefits or skills of coworkers or teammates that they previously disliked or distrusted. They are also more likely to understand the role that their teammate plays in the success of the team and can act more appropriately moving forward. It can also help prevent potential conflicts and promote a more professional working environment. Of course, with any group or a team, it is important to have realistic expectations of the degree to which this may work, expect progress, not perfection.

Competition. Healthy competition amongst the members of a team has the potential to yield some interesting and impressive results. We all have a need to be respected and appreciated by our peers as well as to have confidence and respect for ourselves; this psychological need can be infinitely helpful when combined with a little healthy competition amongst teammates. When teammates have a sense of competition that is meant in good fun but will earn them a certain measure of extra or additional respect, it can be used to motivate individuals (or sub teams) and to help the overall team excel. Of course, the teams that are competing with whole other teams have even more potential for motivation.

Response to Community. In any given scenario, it is possible that a client, customer, or other person that interacts with one member of your team will have some kind of conflict with that team member. Whether the reason is good or bad, in the business world we oftentimes have to make allowances for things that we may not understand or agree with. In a situation where something like this may occur, it will result in less stress and less financial challenge when another member of the team is able to take over that particular client, account, or whatever it is. When teams work well together, they often develop more established methods of handling certain situations or define what the expectations are which consequently makes a transfer like that smoother for everyone, saving a business or an organization money and reputation.

Consistency with the Team. Clients and customers are not the only individuals who respond best to consistency; when a team member leaves the team, for whatever reason, the team as a whole will struggle with growing pains as it continues to move forward. Moreover, with a normal pattern, policy, or procedure in place, these growing pains can be lessened while someone new becomes acclimated to the situation. Because most teams do operate with some level of normalcy or pattern, it will be easier for the remaining teammates to identify what tasks they may need to take care of in the interim. Likewise, the new team member replacing the person who left will be better able to step in and get up to speed more rapidly when this is the case. Alternatively, where an individual that does not operate within a cohesive team unit can oftentimes cause extensive difficulty for coworkers during periods of turnover.

Consistency within the Business or Organization. Sometimes when an individual leaves their regular team, it may be that they have not left the company; it may be simply a change in position within the company. However, what happens if that employee discovers that something that they believed to be a company policy was simply how their old team or supervisor preferred to do things? Certainly, in some cases, that may not be an issue, but many times it can be. Even a new employee coming into the company may generate some conflict through no fault of their own because of inconsistency in policy.
For example, a particular company may have a marketing department, which acts like a team together to achieve their marketing goals. One member of the team leaves the marketing department to make a supposedly lateral move into the customer relations department only to find that an introductory position in that new department pays $10,000 more a year than an introductory position in the marketing department did, even though everyone assumed it was the same. That individual then tells their friend who recently was hired to fill their position in the marketing department that they should ask for a $10,000 raise since their position is supposedly the same as in the customer relations department. Rapidly, everyone in the company is now upset and employees are threatening to leave if they do not all receive whatever income they have decided that they should be getting.
While this may seem farfetched to some, other people have certainly seen it occur in their workplace. While the marketing department may be its own team, led by its supervisor, that supervisor should (if company policies are not comprehensive and clear) also participate on a team with other managers to share information, ideas, and policies that can help prevent a companywide upset, even if introductory customer service employees continue to make $10,000 more than introductory marketing employees. Operating as a true team and communicating within that team allows each member of the team to then communicate efficiently with the members of every other team, of which they may be a participant.