A camel is a horse designed by a committee

Being part of a team is one of the few things we experience as children that continues to follow us all the way through our professional lives. While those childhood teams you became a part of, in sports or at school, no doubt seem incredibly far removed from the workplace teams you’re part of as an adult, the fact remains that the basic tenets of teamwork – collaboration, respect, trust – have been drummed into all of us since we were children.

By the time we enter the workforce, we’ll have been part of dozens of teams throughout our lives. Generally speaking, most of these experiences will sit somewhere between ‘terrible’ and ‘okay’ – which explains our collective derision at working in teams. A study from the University of Phoenix found that, while 95% of people who have worked on a team say teams play an important role in work, only 24% said they would like to be a part of a team. In the same study, 36% of people aged 18-24 said that they recognise the importance of teamwork, but would prefer to work alone all the time.


Of course, we shouldn’t tar all teams with the same brush. Truly great teams, wherein productivity, innovation, trust and fun reign, do exist – they’re just lamentably rare. And that’s a shame, since there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that, when done properly, teamwork can lead to better results, more productivity and improved innovation. A survey conducted by Deskmag found that people who work in a team are more creative, productive and confident. Consider this:


So if teamwork can reap these great benefits, we need to ask why people seem so resistant to working in teams. Ultimately, we need to ask the question – what is it that stops a good team from being a great one?

There are two elements to consider when trying to create a truly great team. First, you must pick the right people to make up your team. Then you need to work on strengthening the bonds between those people, to encourage camaraderie and inspire collaboration. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at the best ways to build and develop the best team you can.

>> Next: When personality matters more than qualifications >>

The discussion feature in Ento – part of our powerful communication tools – is a great way to start important conversations with your team, and make them feel involved and valued. Find out more about team communication tools here.

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