The success of any group effort will always come down to team alignment in the end. Whether it is a company, a sports team or some other form of group, the outcome will always depend on how well the individuals who make up the group function when they are working together.
How well these individuals work together is a result of how they understand the nature and purpose of the team, and how they view the roles of each individual within the team. This individual team alignment represents how well each individual’s understanding of the team environment empowers them to act effectively in advancing the team’s goals.
The utterly essential element for team alignment is constant communication, between supervisors and team members and between team members themselves. However, there are 3 key teamwork elements that can also help to build team cohesion and alignment. Working toward common goals helps to develop these three traits in employees, which will instill a strong culture of teamwork within any organization and help to ensure that teamwork is always maximized for every project.
Going Above and Beyond for the Team
When employees give even more than what is expected toward the achievement of a shared goal, they help to create a sense of unity that breaks down the individual viewpoint and promotes a sense of shared purpose.
Workers who are only able to view each task from their own perspective will only do what is necessary to satisfy their personal assignment. On the other hand, workers who understand how their assignment fits into the greater team goal will be able to deliver work that complements and enhances the work of their teammates, without even needing to be told to do so.
Trusting Each Other
Another major element of team alignment is trust between team members. If team members are willing to go above and beyond in their assignments and put the overall outcome of the team above their individual outcomes, then they need to be able to trust that their teammates will be doing the same. Moreover, trust is built upon trust, and a team will become progressively more integrated, and consequently more effective, as the trust between team members builds as a result of positive team outcomes.
Pushing Each Other
The final element of effective team cohesion is the drive to excel that comes from working as part of a team. Many people find it difficult to push themselves against their own metrics of success, but people are naturally inclined to try to do more for a team. Therefore, it is important that team members take advantage of this natural tendency and try to push their teammates to do more than they think they can.
Team members are in the best position to recognize when their teammates could be doing more, and to recognize the strengths of their teammates that they might not see in themselves. A constant effort to push each other to do more and to do it better creates a real sense of collective achievement, where each individual is a little better as a part of a team than they would be on their own.