Teamwork Makes The Dream Work: Investing In Teams

By: Nicole Beasley

Updated July 22, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Chante’ Gamby, LCSW

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We’ve all heard the phrase: Teamwork makes the dream work. But what does it mean? There is a lot more to teams than just spreading around teamwork makes the dream work memes. In fact, a lot of time, effort, and cost go into building effective teams.

Building effective teams in your workplace can greatly improve your company’s performance. Studies show that companies who invest in team building enjoy higher productivity, higher profits, and better customer satisfaction. Although there are costs involved regardless of how you work to build your teams, it is something every company should do. Consider it an investment in the future progress and prosperity of the company.

Why Teamwork Makes The Dream Work

So why is teamwork important? Teamwork makes the dream work because teams are more likely to be successful together than as individuals. Team building activities have many benefits, including improving communication and problem-solving skills so that procedures within the work environment run more smoothly.

Motivation

Motivation to be productive and engender customer service is extremely important to the success of your business. Team building activities give employees a renewed sense of energy. It makes them feel as though they are important to the team and the company, which in turn motivates them to succeed.

Continuous learning also motivates people. Even if they don’t realize it, almost everyone has a continuous thirst for knowledge. Working on knowledge-based activities in team building exercises can help individuals feel that they are worth investment and they will be motivated to participate because they immediately get something out of it.

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Breaking Barriers

There are all different types of barriers in the workplace. There are physical barriers like walls and cubicles that keep people separated during their daily routines. But there are also a lot of emotional and figurative barriers.

Barriers such as different job levels and departments, as well as barriers between different types of people, genders, race and social status, can all come between individuals and keep teams from functioning appropriately.

Team building exercises will help break down those barriers. When you are investing in team building, everyone is on an even playing field. Everyone participates equally, and employees who would otherwise keep to themselves will discover that they work well with the other people in their department or company.

Also, managers who equally participate in team building exercises are more integrated into their teams. When managers are seen as regular people in a different job level, they become more personable and likable. This can make following the management more natural, peaceful, and productive for employees within the teams.

Enjoyment

Team building should always be enjoyable. If your employees feel pressured into participating and feel awkward during the process, you’re going to miss out on a lot of the benefits that it can bring. Also, you want employees to enjoy their jobs. When you invest in team building, you bring employees closer together, which can make their jobs and workplace a much more enjoyable place to be. This will increase productivity as well.

Skill Improvement

Team building exercises are also a great way to brush up on skills that your employees may be lacking or need a refresher. If you have one or a few employees who are great with the skills you need your team to excel in, you can enlist them to lead the rest of the team in activities that brush up those skills for everyone.

Not only does this help improve performance and productivity, but it will also help your employees to know who they can go to for help. When employees support one another in this way, it helps take some of the pressure off of management, which can free up managers to also be more productive and get more accomplished in a day.

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Communication

To get teamwork to make the dream work, communication is key. You’ll want to include plenty of team building exercises that focus on how to convey messages to each other effectively. Everyone has a different communication style and personal language style that they use when communicating informally. It is important to incorporate communication into team building so that employees can learn how each other communicates and put that knowledge to use during work hours.

But communication isn’t just about what is said; it’s also about how it is said. A great team has an energy, a buzz that you can almost feel tangible. One researcher decided to find out what creates that buzz. The study results showed that how teams communicate-their tone of voice, and how much they talk and listen-plays a major role in the effectiveness of the team.

Problem Solving

One of the key takeaways from team building is problem-solving skills. Problem-solving is much easier within a team environment than with individuals working alone. When team building activities focus on needing to work together to solve a problem, it helps employees learn how to rely on one another and work together to come up with solutions.

Every business has its challenges and thinking outside the box is a must for success. Team building exercises that employ these concepts in a fun way get employees working together to creatively solve problems quickly and effectively.

Bonding

A more personal feel in the workplace can help employees feel more relaxed, less stressed, happier, and ultimately more productive. The best way to get that personal feel in your company is through a low-key team building. You can do things like going to a baseball game or meeting up for happy hour so that employees are not expected to do anything, but they have time to bond with one another and form those important interpersonal relationships.

Costs Of Teambuilding

There are some associated costs with team building that must be considered. You will need to work within your company’s budget when planning team building activities. Even though many exercises can build teams without upfront out-of-pocket costs, there are always administrative costs associated with the time that your employees spend away from their regular duties.

Remember that teamwork makes the dream work. Building strong teams for the success of your business is important. Even though there are some costs involved in team building, the benefits far outweigh them. Remember that this is an investment you are making in your business, and it should be treated as such.

Employee Pay

If you make team building exercises and activities mandatory, you will have to pay your employees for the time they spend on those activities. If you plan activities during off-business hours, this could even mean paying some overtime for the week so that business needs during work hours do not suffer from absences.

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Cost Of Materials

Depending on the team building exercises you choose, you may have some up-front costs associated with materials. Often this is very limited and amounts to some printing paper and ink or the cost of having something printed at the copy store. You may also need additional materials if you are having a scavenger hunt or giving out prizes for competing teams.

Facilitator Cost

If you choose a team building activity such as an escape room, you’ll have facilitator costs. You’ll have to pay for the cost of the facility and the activity that you have chosen to do with your teams. These activities are not a necessity, but they are great team building exercises if you can afford them in your budget.

Administrative Costs

Even if your team building exercises seem to cost nothing, there will always be administrative costs. For every minute that your employees are engaged in team building, those are minutes that they are not performing their job duties.

When normal daily activities cease, even for an hour, for team building exercises, it takes away that hour from productivity. This can have an impact on your bottom line in profits and sales. Sometimes that impact is fairly minimal; sometimes it is more. Scheduling your team building activities during hours that are not peak business times will greatly help limit the impact.

Ways To Invest in Teams

For teamwork makes the dream work, you have to be willing to invest in teams. There are a lot of different ways that you can do that. The teambuilding activities you choose will likely depend on your company’s budget and time constraints for other business activities.

Team Retreats

Team retreats are a great way to invest in teams. A team retreat will usually consist of a weekend-long retreat at a resort or facility that is geared toward the purpose. You will have team building activities, skill building activities, and time for socialization and bonding. If you can afford them, team retreats are a great investment because you will be sure to hit on every potential benefit of teambuilding in one swoop. Usually, companies who use team retreats schedule them for once or twice a year.

Team Activities

There are many team activities that you can do right within your place of business. You can include team building activities in your company meetings and daily routines. You can also schedule time for team building activities during non-peak business hours. Most activities of this type have minimal associated costs and are easy for managers or in-house trainers to implement.

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Team Building Seminars

Team building seminars are another option for investing in teams. Team seminars usually have less participation and more speakers who give advice and tools for working together more effectively. Team seminars can have benefits, but they are often not as effective as other team building activities.

Team Competitions

Team competitions can happen alongside regular daily activities. They are the most cost-effective because prizes do not have to be expensive, you’re not paying employees additional hours to attend activities, and you’re not losing any productivity during business hours. There are a lot of different competitions you could have teams participate in, pitting departments or smaller teams against each other.

Team Sports

Team sports is another way to invest in teams. You can organize your departments into various teams, or you can get other companies involved in a tournament style set of games. Softball is usually the sport of choice when going this route. Team sports are a great option because it’s fun, it’s done on off hours, you can do it as a voluntary basis so that you don’t have to pay employees for their participation, and it forces them to work together and form bonds.

Improving Team Leadership

Teamwork makes the dream work only if the leadership of the teams is effective. If you’re a manager who has tried a lot of different team building exercises, but you still aren’t getting an effectively run department, you might need to look to your habits and policies to see if changes need to be made on your part.

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If you are wondering if you have the qualities it takes to be a good leader, or you are certain that you could use some help in being a more empathetic person for your team, you could turn to a therapist. A therapist can help you examine your attitudes and ability to empathize, and help you become a better person and a more effective leader.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What does teamwork makes the dream work mean?

For effective and efficient productivity, it is most important to function and work in a group and as a team than working individually. Every team must have a leader who must be willing to listen to the team members and take in their own opinions. The team leader is one who is mostly chairing and guiding other team members. Teamwork makes the dream work means when a group of persons come together to form a team and have their hearts and minds set towards a desired goal or purpose, achieving that goal will be possible when everyone on the team work together. Teamwork means every effort of all the team members is important, even to the last person on the order of hierarchy. It is important to note that there is no team without the people who make it up, hence, each person is as important as the other. In achieving the dream, the efforts of everyone involved from inception to execution process is very important. The dream can be truncated if one team member fails to play his or her part, hence putting the efforts of everyone to waste.

In ensuring that teamwork makes the dream work, employers must provide a safe working environment for everyone in the company, properly motivate them to ensure the goals and objectives of the company are met.

Who said Teamwork makes the dream work?

“Teamwork makes the dream work” was coined as the title of a book by John C. Maxwell published in April 2002. Soon, the phrase became widely accepted by many in different industries and fields of expertise as a cliché to motivate employees and everyone in a workforce to achieve set-out goals. The book by John C. Maxwell has been used even as a basis for relationships and marriages. Parts of the book focuses on leaders who have gone to achieve greater heights and made exceptional strides towards their journey to the top and have indeed been part of teams at some point in their journey. Some of the topic chapters in the book are Personal Sacrifice, Working Together, Leading the Team, Enlarging Others, It takes a Team, and what is Your Dream?

Does Teamwork make the dream work?

There is strength in unity. Employers and leaders understand that to achieve set-out goals, there must be sync among every facet of the operation, the different stages of production, and execution. It is important to note that when the team succeeds, everyone succeeds. There will be some failures along the way but these failures are to be used as stepping stones and to learn how not to do it. In every team, the weakness of one is the strength of another. Leaders recognize and ensure that there is enough zeal and motivation to go round. Leaders are also aware that motivating team members to achieve these goals can be done when members are encouraged to support one another. Individual egotism is one of the key negative traits a leader should look into eliminating if teamwork is indeed going to make the dream work.

What makes a great team quote?

A team is a minimum of two persons working together to achieve a common goal. The word “TEAM” is used very often especially in sports – a football team, a basketball team, a soccer team, etc. Inspiring a team or group of persons in a team to achieve a goal requires stringing the right words together which the team can relate to. A quote or a phrase to inspire productivity must touch the hearts and minds of those it is meant to touch or impact. A good team quote will inspire encouragement and drive, individually and collectively. A great team quote that would inspire greatness should be born out of passion.

What does the Bible say about teamwork?

The word “Teamwork” is not expressly written in the Bible. However, there are many instances where teamwork was exhibited. In Genesis, the trinity came into play when God wanted to make the man. Genesis 1:26 says “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”. 

This clearly shows the place of teamwork in creating man. The creation of Adam and Eve also emphasizes this point and the need for teamwork to achieve set-out goals. As seen in Ecclesiastes 1:9-12 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

This verse clearly emphasizes the importance of working in sync with others as it illustrates that a cord of three strands cannot be quickly broken, which means there is strength in working together while trying to achieve a common goal.

Teamwork can also be seen when Christ sent out the disciples to preach the gospel, he sent them in pairs to ensure that they can find strength in each other as they do the Lord’s work. When someone accepts Christ, the Bible also teaches that such a person becomes a partner of God through Christ by the salvation process. It is therefore a believer and God forming a team to sail through different life’s hurdles.

What are the qualities of good teamwork?

As an employer, an effective team must have some specific qualities in achieving desired goals. After considering the technical abilities of the team members, there are specific qualities that each member of the team must possess. These qualities must be seen and exhibited by all team members to avoid any form of agitation and bad blood among team members. Some of these qualities are;

  • Communication: To effectively work in a team, communication is an important quality every team member must possess. The ability to make opinions and contribute effectively and clearly with others with respect.
  • Active Listener: In being part of a team, it is important to be a good listener as much as it is important to be a good speaker. Active listening involves taking in and understanding information. It is very necessary to know how to listen first before speaking.
  • Flexibility: For every project, there are possibilities that there will be some changes as the project commences, team members must be able to flow with the change that arises.
  • Accountability: It is imperative that team members are accountable to one another and the team in general. The blame game should be earned by the team the same way as a success.
  • Effective collaboration: For any team to be successful, the team members must collaborate effectively to ensure the success of the project. Collaboration ensures communication and better communication would yield positive results.

Why is teamwork important in the workplace?

The workplace consists of different departments and these departments have diverse teams working in them to achieve a common goal. Teamwork is important for every organization as it creates synergy and flexibility among team members. A supportive team member who is always available for other members will ensure the project is completed as at when due. Teamwork also promotes selflessness among members. This ensures the job or task at hand does not suffer if one team member is lagging.

While there are hierarchies within the work environment, teamwork eliminates any form of a negative hierarchical tussle among team members. It fosters the ability to respond to unforeseen changes that may arise and ensure the goal is achieved.

What do you say to motivate your team?

There are ways to motivate the team to achieve resounding success. One of those ways to motivate the team as a team leader is to ensure you affirm your trust and belief in them at achieving the set-out goals. One of the most important and effective ways to ensure continuous motivation is by telling your team members that your trust in them is unshaken. As an employer, it is pertinent that you understand what to say to motivate the team. It could be a simple “Thank you,” “That’s great” or “Well done,” that is needed to motivate the team. Sometimes, it could be a “What do you think?” question. Seeking out the opinion of team members can motivate them enough as they feel they belong to a place where their opinion counts.

What is the meaning of teamwork?

Teamwork is the effective work done by people or persons in a group to achieve set –out targets and goals. Teamwork nurtures transparency, accountability, friendship, and loyalty. It helps the process of achieving goals more efficient as the team members are all tasked with the job of meeting these goals in a serene atmosphere.

How do you talk about teamwork?

Teamwork is the collaborative effort of a group of persons to achieve a common goal. In describing what teamwork is, it is pertinent to describe the type of team you have worked in or been part of. You can give a few details about the project while keeping your focus on the type of team you worked in. Some details could include the number of persons in the team, the type of tasks you were involved in, the challenges faced, and how the team responded to them. You can also describe it using the actions you took and how the project was executed. It is very important to talk about the results that were achieved while working on the team.

How do you talk to employees about teamwork?

In building a team, there are different ways to discuss and talk about teamwork and its importance at the workplace. As an employer, you should remember that your team is made up of people from different backgrounds, hence, as a general rule, it is important to put into consideration the belief system of each member of the team when discussing teamwork. There are inspirational quotes about teamwork that you can use as an employer. TEAM could mean “Together Everyone Achieves More.” The TEAM acronym could become the mantra for the firm. Helen Keller’s quote- “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” can help create that right atmosphere to inspire success.

How do you build good teamwork?

It is important to understand that no humans are a perfect judge of character. When it comes to building a team and fostering effective teamwork, wrong selections are sometimes going to happen. You must ensure the lines of communication are open always between the team members and you, the employer. Create simple and clear goals for team members, have some sort of communication with the team, and open your doors wide to encourage contributions from others.

What is the power of teamwork?

The power of teamwork can be seen in a typical local broom used for sweeping. A strand of broom will not achieve its purpose for sweeping. However, if the strands are brought together to do the required task, it is simply a requisite tool for various homes. The power of teamwork cannot be overemphasized. It is limitless if the team stays and works together for a common goal. The power of teamwork if properly harnessed will create a better working condition of mutual benefits, ensuring higher productivity.

What is the Team Motto?

The team motto is a slogan that is coined to send a message about what a firm represents. A team motto is more like a mission statement, albeit short, that captures the essence of a firm. Common examples are Nike – “Just Do it,” Nokia – “Connecting People,” Puma – “Forever Faster”. These mottos send a deeper meaning outside the name of the firm, to end-users of products and the global community in general. A team motto is coined to depict the essence and mission of a firm or what it hopes to give its customers. It could also be likened to the feel or spirit of the company and what it aims to rub off on its customers and/or clients.

How do you encourage your team?

One mistake some employers do make is placing little value on the team simply because they are paid for their services. Every team needs encouragement or motivation every once in a while, as it runs out of gas. It is the duty of the employer to whine up the work environment to ensure success is recorded. The team should be recognized when it delivers every set-out milestone. It shows that management is listening.

Another interesting way to encourage the team is to give your team members the autonomy to make decisions that are best suited to the firm’s objectives.

It is also important to provide a safe and friendly working environment while allowing your employees the opportunity to develop themselves.

While money is important, it is very key that the team should be paid when due and also encourage team members by introducing some additional performance bonuses based on the work done.


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