Last week, we examined how communication is what maintains alignment and consensus within the workplace. Today we’ll see where communication naturally leads an organization; in other words, what happens next when people are already on the same page?
THE SECOND CONSTANT: TEAMWORK
Working together is one of the best ways to accomplish considerably complex or large-scale tasks. Cooperating to achieve company-wide goals is no different, demonstrating that teamwork is an essential value within the workplace.
How extensive is this impact that teamwork has on an organization’s success?
It starts when there is alignment and consensus, which is related to what has been discussed earlier: communication promotes transparency and unity. It’s what enables people to cooperate towards common goals despite individual differences and agenda.
Being on the same page, however, is only the first step. Unity must translate into action in order to be counted as the team’s “work” or teamwork. And here is where the value of unity really shines.
Normally, people do what they believe is necessary to succeed based on their own ideas. The problem with this is that not all people think exactly alike. Within any given organization, there will be differences between various employees’ recipes for success. If everyone decides to act on their own ideas, there’s no guarantee that there will be synergy between the results. This could prove to be unproductive, or worse counter-productive.
But with a strong sense of unity born of transparent communication, members of an organization will have the motivation to do things in alignment. Instead of prioritizing what they individually think is best, they come together to coordinate their plans and follow a unified strategy. Working within such a strategy can help collaborating professionals to minimize the negative impact of contradictory actions and the risk of uncontrollable variables.
Teamwork makes such a difference to an organization that some have even collapsed for not having it. Such a scenario is similar to playing tug of war with a single thread; pulling in opposite directions will just break the fragile strand. Carrying the thread in the same direction, however, will keep it intact while moving it successfully from one point to another. In other words, there is progress without compromising stability. An organization that adheres to teamwork will not be at risk of tearing itself apart because of clashing interests and actions, and will remain intact even as the conditions for success change.
And perhaps most importantly, teamwork in the workplace is not just professionals coming together to do something good; it’s also about those same professionals staying together after the job is done and planning their next accomplishment. It’s not a temporary or transitional phase. It must remain the way that members of an organization do things, and it must be ready to move ever forward.