We explain what teamwork is and its importance. In addition, we explore its main characteristics and the Five C’s of Teamwork concept.
What is teamwork?
Teamwork is the synergy of the different tasks performed by a group of people to achieve a certain objective.
Working collaboratively involves various responsibilities and skills from each member to achieve goals, including: commitment, respect, empathy, creativity and problem-solving skills. The figure of the team leader, whether natural or selected, usually stands out in a team, being the person in charge of consolidating ideas, coordinating activities, and ensuring that everyone advances in the same direction to achieve a goal.
- See also: Entrepreneur
Characteristics of teamwork
Teamwork is characterized by:
- Defined objectives. These are the goals that give purpose and guide people in their specific tasks. Objectives should be clear and known to each member in order to optimize efforts.
- Own identity. It is the set of common values shared by team members that gives them a sense of belonging to strengthen the unity of the group.
- Diversity. It is the coexistence of individual members of different cultures, genders, languages, abilities, ideologies, among other differences. The plurality of members in a team provides a multiplicity of experiences and perspectives to approach a problem, besides being a source of creativity which benefits the final outcome.
- Planning. It is the design of a plan or work guidelines to be followed by each member of a team, which allows meeting objectives in a coordinated way and respecting deadlines. Planning includes a detailed analysis of the necessary means and a forecast of potential problems or risks.
- Motivation. It is the engine that keeps the team on track in its daily activities and drives it to reach its goals. Motivation is usually encouraged by the team leader and by the organization working conditions, like salary raise, bonuses or the possibility of promotion and career growth.
The 5 C's of teamwork concept
The five C’s proposed by writer Tom Peters make up a set of key characteristics that an organization should take into account to organize and manage its work teams and ensure effective team performance:
- Communication. It is the main feature for a team to work in an orderly way and optimize tasks. Communication channels should provide feedback. They can be of several types, including face-to-face meetings, video calls, e-mails or internal messaging systems.
- Commitment. It is both the agreement and responsibility of each team member to ensure work synergy. Commitment may vary from person to person according to their personal interests and motivations, their situation within the organization, and team leadership.
- Confidence. It is a key value that provides the basis for a team to endure over time and achieve success. Confidence or trust requires time and is achieved through words and, especially, through deeds and actions.
- Coordination. It is the planning of tasks and the hierarchy of the team's priorities in a given period of time. It implies taking into account the skills of each member to maximize group performance.
- Complementarity. It is the leader's or organization's ability to select people who add value when working collaboratively, and who integrate harmoniously both in character and professional aptitude to work with other people on a team. Each team member needs the other members to meet the objective set.
Importance of teamwork
Teamwork is key, as it allows achieving multiple improvements, such as:
- Benefitting the final outcome thanks to the contribution of different perspectives and knowledge.
- Strengthening the ability to handle and resolve conflict.
- Supporting team members throughout their work performance, in stressful situations or personal problems that prevent them from carrying out their tasks.
- Achieving more ambitious goals than when working individually.
- Torrelles Nadal, C., Coiduras Rodríguez, J. L., Isus, S., Carrera, X., París Mañas, G., & Cela, J. M. (2011). Competencia de trabajo en equipo: definición y categorización. Profesorado: revista de currículum y formación del profesorado, 2011, vol. 15, núm. 3, pp. 329-344.
- "Trabajo en equipo". Economipedia. Peiró, R., (2020)
- Vera, J. M. A. (2011). Trabajo en equipo. ESIC editorial.