For the good of the group: The many benefits of teamwork

While working in a group can have its challenges, bringing together your employees can bring some major advantages to the table.

How can you ensure your HR policies are aligned to spur effective teamwork, keeping your staff on the right track for maximum performance? 

How can managers encourage effective teamwork?

According to research from the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, firms that encourage team-related rewards and working for the good of other employees are likely to see more payoff from their employees. Workers who felt compelled to achieve outcomes that benefited other people in the group reported higher levels of satisfaction and were also more likely to be successful and long-lasting within the group. 

Business leaders need to take the lead in fostering an empathetic and supportive environment.

Assistant Professor of Management Jasmine Hu explained that business leaders need to take the lead in fostering an empathetic and supportive environment.

"In line with our results, management attention should be directed toward enhancing motivation to benefit others, as teamwork is a coordinated action and showing concern for others may bring about smoother interactions and more effective cooperation within the team," she stated.

Another key way that leaders can successfully achieve outcomes is through encouraging team reflexivity. As explained in the book Effective Teamwork by Michael West, this concerns the ability of teams to draw on past experiences whilst maintaining the capacity to adapt to different situations. For managers, the appropriate leadership and team structures are completely dependent on the situation and context, meaning there is no "one-size-fits-all" approach to successful team management.

Getting your employees active can improve team performance

Providing healthcare initiatives to employees can unlock an array of benefits, and recent research from the University of Oxford found it can even strengthen relationships within your workforce.

Exercise can strength the ties between team members.Exercise can strength the ties between team members.

Lead Author Dr Emma Cohen stated that the advantages of group exercise are often overlooked but can be widely applied to great effect across a range of different contexts. 

"The physical, emotional and cognitive benefits of exercise are increasingly understood, but participants often report experiencing meaningful social benefits when they exercise together with others, whether they are dancing or running in an urban marathon," she said.

Back at the workplace, enacting your own exercise programs among your team members has two clear advantages. Your employees will see the benefits of better health and feel closer to their co-workers.

Through these methods, possibly aided by HR consultants, firms can encourage tightly knit  teams that bring success to the company.