Since completing university, Paul has worked as a librarian, teacher, and freelance writer. Born in the UK, he currently lives in Florida.
As most proficient managers and employers know (or should know), there are many advantages of teamwork in the workplace. When it comes to maximizing the effectiveness of an organization, no matter how big or small, teamwork can improve just about every aspect of performance.
It can raise levels of morale, expertise, efficiency, initiative, learning, planning, creativity, and the quality of customer service. It can also produce more motivated members, a more effective day-to-day performance, a sense of ownership, better end results, and ultimately, bigger profits.
Below, the 15 most important advantages of teamwork in the workplace are listed. Each is discussed in detail in the sections that follow.
15 Benefits of Teamwork and Colleague Cooperation
- Maximized Involvement
- Shared Information
- Increased Problem-Solving
- Shared Goals
- Wisdom of Crowds
- Improved Outcomes
- Sense of Ownership
- Sense of Security
- Greater Risk-Taking
- Decision-Making Transparency
- Greater Aptitude for Complex Problems
- Faster Resolutions
- More Involvement With New Ideas
- More Inputs Mean More Creativity
- Greater Motivation and Morale
Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.
— Michael Jordan
1. Maximized Involvement
Good teamwork utilizes everybody’s strengths and areas of expertise and distributes workloads and responsibility to all. When individuals are part of a team that values individual contributions, everyone feels motivated to speak up, participate, and share what they know.
2. Shared Information
Information is shared among the team members, maximizing levels of knowledge and learning for the whole organization. The stronger team members effectively improve the weaker.
3. Problem Solving
A good team can produce a wide range of possible solutions for each specific problem and then work together to ascertain the most effective one, with collective input and interaction. Individuals will tend to be more limited in the solutions they can conceive.
Collaboration, it turns out, is not a gift from the gods but a skill that requires effort and practice.
— Douglas B. Reeves, "Transforming Professional Development Into Student Results"
4. Shared Goals
Teamwork can give people shared goals to aim for. It also gives individuals an interest in and incentive for encouraging and aiding the other members of the team to achieve those shared goals.
5. The Wisdom of Crowds
A team often produces more accurate, innovative, and practical solutions to problems than an individual could. This phenomenon has been expressed using terms such as “collective wisdom” or “the wisdom of crowds.” Individually they may all be experts at their jobs, but as a whole, the group's collective knowledge can be larger, deeper, more varied, and more dynamic than any single, individual understanding.
6. Improved Outcomes
Teamwork in general produces better end results. When teams function effectively, they elicit better-quality performances from individual members of the team, and with so many participants thinking, acting, and working in unison, higher goals can be attained.
Great teams do not hold back with one another. They are unafraid to air their dirty laundry. They admit their mistakes, their weaknesses, and their concerns without fear of reprisal.
— Patrick Lencioni, "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable"
7. A Sense of Ownership
Teamwork encourages a wider sense of ownership of the organization's objectives, both collectively and individually, imbuing each team member with a sense of personal responsibility and making everyone feel more enthusiastic about the shared goals.
8. A Sense of Security
Working on your own can be a lonely experience, one that leaves an individual feeling isolated and wondering if they're doing a good job. Workers are more emotionally positive and better at sharing knowledge and responsibilities when they experience the personal security of being part of an effective team.
9. Greater Risk-Taking
Individuals are more likely to take risks when they securely belong to an effective team. The support and reassurance they receive from the group gives them mental freedom to think larger and take more risks. This makes more creative and innovative solutions more likely.
Even the strongest, most well-built team will, at times, be met with adversity. What makes us great is not that we should anticipate less adversity the stronger that we become, but rather that in anticipation of adversity we become stronger.
— Michael Joling
By utilizing teamwork, an organization’s decision-making process can be much better understood by its members. When group members participate equally in discussions, they all feel ownership for and buy into the decisions made.
11. Greater Aptitude for Complex Problems
A group can sometimes deal with complicated, difficult, deep, and involved problems more effectively than individuals can. That's because the wider, more diverse range of skill sets and experience can tackle larger and more difficult problems.
12. Faster Resolutions
By generating multiple solutions in a short period of time and through the effective allocation of human resources, teams can complete tasks and solve problems more quickly than individuals.
Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it.
— Bill Bradley
13. More Involvement With New Ideas
New ideas and measures can be more effectively introduced through effective teamwork with the whole organization having a sense of involvement.
14. More Inputs Mean More Creativity
More people inputting their thoughts means a wider range of ideas and a greater chance of varied, playful, creative, unusual, and innovative solutions.
15. Greater Motivation and Morale
Last but not least, effective teamwork is fun for the people involved and this can raise motivation and morale for the entire organization.
Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities or make the money that you want without becoming very good at it.
— Brian Tracy
What Is a Good Definition of Teamwork in the Workplace?
Teamwork is the idea of a group working together cooperatively on a task with common purpose. Within a workplace, this means people with differing skills, experience, and viewpoints combining effectively and efficiently to achieve a shared goal.
What Are Teamwork Skills: Definition and Examples
Teamwork skills are particular abilities which when put together enable an organized group to achieve its goals effectively and efficiently.
Examples of teamwork skills include:
- Being punctual and reliable.
- Showing commitment to the pursuit of common goals.
- Helping and guiding other members of the team.
- Sharing information and resources openly.
- Willingness to listen, discuss, and where necessary, persuade others.
- Sharing responsibility.
- Working for the good of the group.
- Respectfulness and tolerance of others.
What Are the Benefits of Helping Coworkers and Other Team Members?
- Helping others will help you build better and stronger relationships at work.
- Your coworkers will likely return the favor and offer you help in the future.
- You can never have too many friends at work. If you have your teammates' backs, they'll have yours, too.
- Being known as a supportive team player has its benefits. They'll be more likely to praise and recommend you, which will look good on your resume and will certainly work in your favor next time you're up for promotion.
7 Ways to Improve Teamwork in the Workplace
- Set specific goals. Ensuring that everyone in the team has a clear understanding of desired outcomes enables everyone to pull in the same direction. Confused or non-existent goals cause confusion and demoralization.
- Encourage social activities. Forcing people to participate in or attend formal team-building exercises often doesn't work and can even have a negative effect. However, encouraging low pressure, informal social events to develop organically can help team members to form deeper bonds.
- Promote good communication. Open communication between all team members, whatever their status within the organization makes everyone feel important and allows management to gain useful feedback and ideas.
- Celebrate individuality. Everyone in a team has their own strengths and weaknesses. Different people have different ways of working. A culture of respect for the individuality of each worker, along with flexible working practices can enable a diverse group to flourish.
- Involve team members in hiring. Reserving hiring decisions solely for HR and senior management can be disastrous for a team's cohesiveness. A new member who is divisive or a poor fit will pull the team apart. For this reason it's better to involve team members in the interview process and decision making.
- Set clear roles. Individual team members, including leaders, need to know exactly what they should be doing. Otherwise, arguments can develop over who is responsible for what, and workloads can be delegated unfairly, sparking resentment.
- Resolve disputes quickly and fairly. Minor disputes can be settled by the group without management interference, but bigger disputes, if allowed to grow can split a team apart. A good leader knows when to intervene and how to mediate effectively.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: What are the benefits of helping other team members?
Answer: Examples of teamwork benefits might include:
1. The sharing of skills and information that can improve the overall knowledge of the team.
2. Being able to utilize the strengths of individual team members properly.
3. The creation of shared ownership and purpose.
4. A boost of team morale.
5. Confidence building.
6. Faster resolution of problems encountered by the team.
7. Fun and satisfying results for all involved.
8. The helper can learn from the experience through feedback from the person being helped, or through re-evaluating the issue.
Question: How do you explain the popularity of teams in today's workplaces given how corporate culture placed such high value on individualism and individual effort in the past?
Answer: Teams provide dynamism, not just because they draw ideas from numerous sources, but also because ideas can be further developed through discussions and feedback. In addition to opportunities, potential problems can often be better identified by a team. Many people also find teamwork more fulfilling than working alone. Corporate culture can be cyclical, however, so it can't be ruled out that the wheel may spin back in favor of individualism at some point.
© 2012 Paul Goodman
Nar bahadur gurung on June 17, 2020:
This is a great article on teamwork.
Thembo hemed on April 22, 2020:
Team work is so so good if at all it consists understanding Team members.
Dwinky LaShort Chick on March 24, 2020:
Shout out to teamwork
abdurahaman basin on December 20, 2019:
Add Your Comment..Greta definition
shaikha on May 19, 2019:
if your team only want you to do all the work and you did every possible thing wha should you do
very great job excellent
Anubhab on December 11, 2018:
Great article by u
Daisy M.B on February 22, 2018:
Great article. Thanks. I love well coordinated teams. They are so rewarding.
Monique Calbet on November 05, 2017:
This is a great article on teamwork.
benjamin banjoh chikwiriro on October 29, 2017:
great thoughts on advantages of team work
DEE on April 20, 2017:
good write up
fatumah bruhan on March 15, 2017:
indeed teamwork is fun as the last point says! imagine working alone every time your face will always be grimy without any smile. thx for sharing.
Jatinder Joshi from Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada on September 03, 2013:
Great thoughts on advantages of teamwork in the workplace. Thank you for sharing.
pmccray from Utah on January 14, 2012:
When needed team work is very effective in the work place. I'm always a team player, but prefer to work alone most times. Voted up, marked useful and interesting.
wonderingwoolley from Madison, WI on January 10, 2012:
I really love this hub, because it hits the core of the issue. Teamwork makes the day go by faster, it gets work done faster, and increased fellowship between co-workers makes everyone more productive because they are motivated by more than just the paycheck. You did a great job showing this, and I'm going to share it with my office (who could stand to learn a few of these tips) Thanks so much!!
tarajeyaram from Wonderland on January 09, 2012:
I love team work. Team work makes work load managerial. Team work rocks! It only gets harder when one person does all the work. Thank you for posting this hub. Voted up and useful.