Often it is said that “teamwork makes the dream work”, however, the challenges that teams face can make it difficult to achieve a set goal.
By HEIDI ROSENBERG
Teamwork is great because it fosters creativity, boosts staff motivation, improves morale, and enhances productivity. To enjoy these benefits, it is ideal for you to first identify the challenges faced by teams today, how to address them, and finally how to overcome them. Here are common problems among teams:
1. Trust issues
In any working environment, there exists office politics where some employees tend to backstab their colleagues to look good before the boss. Mostly, this happens so that employees can get limited promotion opportunities. It is such activities that contribute to a lack of trust among team members. When people do not have faith in one another they tend to misunderstand each other which can lower their productivity immensely.
What can you do in such cases? The ideal solution would be confronting your colleague calmly. Do not go shouting at them angrily and only contributing to the workforce negativity, instead try to turn the tide. Make a genuine attempt to connect with the one who talked behind your back and ask them what’s wrong. Chances are they might open up to you for the real reasons that they acted that way and you might end up becoming friends. For the sake of the truth, this is not always the case. When you fail to make peace, just silently move away and mind your own business.
2. Failure to share information
Despite the numerous inventions and advancements in technology we have these days, some team members still fail to share information with others. There is a need for people to share their knowledge, skills, and experience so that the project they are working on can be achieved. Therefore, as a leader, you should encourage the sharing of information among teams for them to work well together.
One of the ways to solve this problem is to have teams share zip files of information among themselves and then convert them to PDF from other file types. The advantage of compressing files is that they leave you with sufficient storage, there is a possibility of encrypting files and they can be shared easily and faster among teams. For this reason, you should encourage information dissemination among team members to avert challenges. If they have the right tools, employees will be more willing to share information with one another. The key to it is asking one another kindly and not being afraid to seek and offer help.
3. Reduced engagement
In the last ten months, we have seen teams’ engagement reduce drastically as a result of COVID-19. With numerous people working from home, it has become difficult for teams to reach a consensus regarding work despite the increased use of video conferencing solutions. To be honest virtual meetings do not have the same interpersonal appeal as face-to-face meetings hence reduced engagement. Additionally, not all team members are tech-savvy and that makes it difficult for them to engage with others.
Employees who are engaged tend to commit to a company’s mission and would go the extra mile to help the organization achieve its goals. This problem can only be solved by involvement. When you have each team member involved, it will be difficult for them to detach themselves from the team. Try throwing some virtual parties or game nights as a way of catching up with one another. In no time, you will see that this has benefited work productivity as well.
4. Change management problems
Change is inevitable in life. In an organization, when change is not managed properly, it could have negative effects on teamwork. Change and communication go hand in hand. Therefore, you should ensure that when you communicate, your teams understand which will make it easy for them to execute their assigned duties. One of the major changes affecting businesses right now is the shift from onsite to remote working. Given that most people are not cut out to work from home, there are issues of resistance, denial, and failure to commit to work among teams. As a leader, you ought to recognize these issues and help your teams to transition to conform to the new normal. And don’t just stop there, stay consistent with your help and make sure you take their feelings into consideration.
5. Silo working
Among the things that are killing teams is silo working. It is easy to find a group of professionals calling themselves a team and yet, they are not working together. Such behavior reduces performance and kills productivity immensely. To do away with silo working, members of the professionals need to recognize that they are a team and begin to dedicate their time and efforts towards reaching a common goal. For example, you can have professionals from different departments, such as medical content writers, graphic designers, or web developers and they all need to collaborate with one another. Additionally, encouraging collective thinking and execution of work solves this challenge immensely.
6. Corporate conflicts
One of the major challenges of teams these days is corporate conflicts. Fact that people have varied ideas and opinions makes it easy for conflicts to ensue. The presence of conflicts creates tension which makes it difficult for people to collaborate, expand their knowledge, and innovate. While people having different opinions is not entirely bad, it is how these conflicts are resolved that matters.
Make sure that all opinions are respected and valued and absolutely do not tolerate employees being mean to one another. Conflicts are impossible to avoid, yet they are just as easily resolved, it is only crucial to remain open and tolerant at all times.
Working or managing a team requires great skill. Teams are often composed of people with different ideologies, backgrounds, and ideas. Being different is not bad at all. It is what makes a team seasoned enough to handle big tasks. Challenges will always be there when people work in a group. Thus, the goal is to devise problem-solving mechanisms so that people can respect one another and endeavor to work together.