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Building a Culture of Teamwork

Teamwork by Leadership Development Training Providers

At Integral Development, we have incorporated Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory into all of our executive coaching and leadership development training. Our flagship Integral Leadership Program, taught on our Perth campus, is a perfect example. One of the core concepts of all of our leadership courses is that any organisation must function as a team to maximise its potential.

Many organisations pay lip service to the concept of teamwork but foster a culture in which employees and executives spend more time competing than cooperating. A culture of teamwork is essential if any organisation is to experience sustainable, long-term success.

Here are a few ways to foster a culture of teamwork in your organisation.

Communicate the Expectation of Teamwork From the Top

Executives in leadership positions must communicate a clear message that they expect collaboration and teamwork. The “old-school” practice of of one employee “owning” an entire process and refusing to communicate, cooperate or collaborate with employees from another area of the company can no longer be tolerated.

Business is too competitive and margins are too small to allow any employee or department to keep itself isolated from the rest of your team.

Leadership and Role Modelling

Executives must practice teamwork publicly and act as role models in creating a culture of teamwork. Executives who talk about teamwork but don’t practice it are seen as disingenuous and hypocritical. This sabotages any attempt to create a true culture of teamwork.

Reward and Recognise Teamwork

If executed correctly, this concept may produce the best and fastest results. All human beings like to be rewarded and acknowledged for their achievements. If teamwork becomes the achievement that is rewarded and acknowledged the most, everyone in your organisation will gravitate toward it.

If bonuses, rewards and compensation are geared more toward team accomplishments than individual accomplishments, teamwork becomes the preferred method of achieving goals.

A Formal Statement

A formal statement from the executive staff which states that teamwork is the top priority will encourage teamwork. If executives talk about teamwork and demonstrate it often, it tends to “seep” into the group culture.

Company Folklore

Every organisation has its stories and folklore. The stories should gravitate toward team accomplishments and away from individual accomplishments. One efficient way to accomplish this is to make sure that the people who are granted promotions within the company are those who are well known as team players.

Imagine a workplace where water cooler talk is about teams and not individuals.

Form Teams Immediately

The sooner you start encouraging teamwork, the sooner it will happen. If your company has any pressing problems, form teams to help solve them. Then, keep them focused on how to solve those problems. This can be enhanced through appropriate coaching.

Hold Department Meetings

Make sure that the meetings are team-focused. They can review the progress of team projects and help coordinate those processes which are shared. If there is any discord, try to examine the process instead of the personalities. Once everyone agrees to a process, it is easier to execute and troubleshoot.

Have Fun in Groups

Team or group outings usually improve morale. For example, you can take a team to a sporting event or a restaurant. Outings to parks or recreational events can be a lot of fun. Your organisation may even want to sponsor a recreational sport team and encourage employees to attend the games.

Teamwork is easier if people like each other and know each other socially. Group outings are an effective technique for encouraging teams to know one another. This helps encourage one team instead of a smattering of cliques.

Celebrate Team Accomplishments

Make teams the most important “people” in the workplace. Celebrate successes with commemorative shirts or hats. Award gift certificates to teams for accomplishments. Make sure that everyone in the workplace knows how important teams are and how much they are appreciated.

Integral Development Programs

At Integral Development, we offer a leadership development training programs, executive coaching and a plethora of courses, workshops, seminars and programs that are designed to help your organisation maximise its performance. We can teach them from our Perth campus or we can visit your business.

All of our training programs are based on Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory, which incorporates techniques and ideas spanning more than 6,000 years of human inquiry. The Integral Approach is unique in that it doesn’t require anyone to make radical changes. Rather, it helps them uncover potential that they already had but weren’t previously able to access or express fully.

The holistic focus of Integral Development produces connection between people and ideas on such a high level that teamwork happens naturally among members of any staff that has taken our training. Call (08) 9242 8122.

Ron Cacioppe

Ron Cacioppe is the Managing Director of Integral Development and holds a BSc, an MBA and a PhD. He has taught in the Graduate School of Management at Macquarie University, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia.

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