Teamwork is the accomplishment of a universal goal by individuals who work together.
The use of the word teamwork seems to originate sometime in the 1920’s. The origination of the word in the 1920’s does not mean teamwork began in this capacity. Early civilization began with hunters and gatherers each playing a necessary role as a member of the tribe. When there were more members, groups could attain greater achievements. As groups grew in size, there was a demand for specialization to avoid duplication of work.
Teamwork occurs in primates like the chimpanzees. Chimpanzees will work together toward a common goal, even distributing and sharing resources as necessary to achieve a goal such as acquiring food or defending their territory.
There are different theories about teamwork that evolve around employee motivation, workplace culture, team development, and value of rewards and recognition. There are four core concepts in understanding teamwork so one can get the most out of using teams.
1. Leadership and follower interactions influence output.
When leaders have good working relationships with their followers, followers have increase in self worth. The thinking is that these interactions encourage followers to produce more in an effort to enhance their self worth and status within the team.
2. Organizational norms influence production.
Social norms set the standard for acceptable work. Therefore, high functioning teams continue to perform at high levels while poorly functioning teams continue to struggle.
3. Environments have traditions.
Members face both internal and external demands on performance. These demands shape the manner in which members achieve results thus creating habits.
4. There is an intrinsic need to receive support.
Members receive support through recognition, team security, and the emotional connection that accompanies belonging.
Teamwork begins with clear and open communication. Members should feel free to participate in the discussion and decision making process. This also means that as one person is talking the other person is present and listening to the other individual.
A team leader does not focus solely on their responsibilities but also the responsibilities of the other members. The leader provides the team with direction and helps remove distractions to that the team can focus on achieving the goal. Leaders should empower members to participate and encourage them by providing support, which leads to trust.
Empowerment can occur by providing team members with the opportunity to leverage their unique strengths. Allowing members the chance to work on unique projects provides them with an occasion for special recognition and emotional support.
The team objective must be a goal that unifies the team. As the team works together toward the unifying goal, it brings members together. This togetherness helps to unite the team and bring them closer together as they learn from one another.
Leaders should recognize wins and individual performance. Work relationships do not always look like a bed of roses. Sometimes the only way to get people to work together is with the use of incentives. Members need to know the value and reasoning why they should put forth effort. Note that monetary rewards are not always necessary. Leaders need to take the time to identify what motivates a person and use that knowledge to their advantage to achieve a team goal.
Reevaluate progress and set new goals or develop manners to achieve existing goals. As new information is available, existing plans may need to change. Internal or external demands may influence the performance of an individual. You should always include a review period into any group work.
In order to encourage teamwork, here are some motivational quotes concerning teamwork.
Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results. ~Andrew Carnegie
“Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success.” Unknown
“Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results.” Ifeany Enoch Onuoha
“The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison.” James Cash Penny
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” Michael Jordan
“Good teams incorporate teamwork into their culture, creating the building blocks for success.” Ted Sundquist
“Teamwork. A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.” Justin Sewell
1. The planning and synchronization of resources for the achievement of a goal. The resources can include people, machinery, materials, as well as capital.
2. The course of changing resources into something useful.
3. Utilization and connection of responsibilities to organize, plan, control, and direct as necessary for goal attainment.
Origination of the term manage stems from the Italian word Maneggiare meaning, “to handle” in the 1560’s. Using this term occurs generally with horsemanship. This term was expanded in the 1570’s to include objects or business. In the 1650s, the term was slang for “get by.”
The historical development of management began with Frederick Taylor and scientific management. Scientific management consists of careful consideration toward the development of a job description accompanied by job responsibilities. Once the job expectations are clear, the manager could incentive an individual to enhance performance.
Another development important to management is the administrative approach by Jules Henri Fayol. According to his view, management is necessary in occupations. The basic functions of a manager consist of planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. This perspective opens the door to learning the necessary skills to be a manager.
Max Weber introduced the bureaucratic approach to management. Bureaucratic approach is the perspective that divisions and hierarchies are necessary to establish authority. Different positions possess different levels of control and require different decision-making capabilities based on importance.
A significant approach toward management is the human relations movement brought forth by Elton Mayo. His focus was on understanding motivation from the individual perspective. His research was on the connection between emotion and productivity. This approach shifted energy from job requirements to helping individuals appreciate their work and obtain more involvement and connection with the outcome of their efforts.
There are a couple of similar themes found in managerial work. First, a manager will have a set of regular duties they typically fulfill each day. However as new information comes to light, which is typically the case, they must adjust their plans accordingly. Second, work is usually brief as they delegate responsibilities and there is variety to the workday as problems or concerns arise. The skills necessary for managerial work consists of interpersonal skills, knowledge management, and decision-making.
Different people have conceptualized the management roles in different formats. Some of the influential people in this area include Mintzberg and R. L. Katz.
Mintzberg’s list of managerial roles:
C) Resource Allocator
Three different skill sets that managers need to be successful according to R. L. Katz:
Conceptual and Design
Both models of managerial roles include planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling. Planning consists of the formulation of a strategy to achieve a set objective. Organizing involves acquiring the necessary resources including people and materials. As necessary a manager will recruit, select, train, and develop people under the category of staffing. To ensure the requirements of the job are being met the manager must serve as a leader. Finally, the manager needs to evaluate progress and take corrective action by controlling the process.
An individual can acquire management skills while attending a college or university. The curriculum pertains to technical, human, and conceptual skills to enhance competency. The American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) encourages schools to offer courses in leadership, self-objectivity, analytics, behavior, communication, and tolerance.
There are three different levels of management. Top-level managers focus on organizational oversight. An example of top-level manager is a CEO. Middle-level managers implement executive directions according to organizational policy. A general manager would be an example of a middle-level manager. Lastly, low-level managers should concern themselves with controlling and directing direct reports. A low-level manager would have a title such as supervisor or lead.
1. An individual who holds a position or operates with the purpose of steering or motivating others.
2. Possesses the aptitude to guide or be in the front of something.
3. An individual who can take action and inspire others to follow.
The following is a list of historical leaders based on the three definitions of the word. Some of these individuals may be controversial but they meet one or more of the definitions regardless. The point is not to promote their particular philosophy but instead provide instances of individuals who may be leaders in your environment.
Other general places that one could reasonably find an individual who may be a leader may occur on a tour, race, religious establishment, military, a company, musical band, or an article found in a newspaper or magazine.
Examining the origin of the word, one can find traces that date back prior to 900. An example of this word can be found in English with the use of leden and lǣdan, Dutch and the term leiden, and the Germans along with their use of leiten.
This historical context helps to highlight the reason why the term continues to be an important concept today. Certainly, there are synonyms for the word like take, direct, conduct, and guide. However, the term seems to be a touch more personal.
There are jobs where one can serve as a musical conductor or tour guide. When you look at the specifics of such a position, you will find they all possess an element of leadership. Using this word appears to be the most desirable term in an effort to humanize this role.