Benefits and Challenges of Teamwork in the Workplace

Updated: May 30

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, that’s what has been said all along. Companies, in this sense, are looking to capitalize on synergies created by its teams. Teams can be efficient, yet they can conclude less-than-expected results at times. So what exactly are the benefits and challenges of working as a team in an organization?

BENEFITS:

1/ Teamwork promotes diverse thinking

One of the most obvious yet most powerful thing about teamwork is the combination of expertise. Teams are successful because they are able to make full use of each member's own skills and experiences to come up with innovations and cutting-edge solutions. The variation of expertise backgrounds and personality traits from team members is what makes the team creative with distinctive colors. When it comes to business problems you have never encountered, different perspectives from other team members are also a great help for the company to evolve.


2/ Teamwork creates unity and support network

Being in a team means you are all working for the same purpose, or are "in the same boat". The thing is, when you are navigating to the same destination, each individual works with a sense of unity, relying on each other for guidance and support. This benefit is even better demonstrated in cross-functional teams, where members comes from different departments, yet they try to work together more effectively to achieve the common goal.

What makes this benefit attractive is the fact that companies experience difficult times, undoubtedly, and the matter of success lies on how well teams respond to these challenging times. With effective teamwork, a support network is formed to help companies overcome difficulties.


3/ Teamwork boosts productivity

More work in less time, that's obvious how teamwork can enhance productivity of the whole organization. Teamwork is able to do that by providing an ideal combination of specialization for team members. By assigning tasks based on individual strengths and weaknesses, teams can accomplish a great deal of work in a short period of time, just like the saying: "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts".



CHALLENGES:

1/ Personality conflict

Individuals from different backgrounds can create a sense of unity, but at the same time can lead to significant team conflict due to their different viewpoints and personalities. Gradually, team conflict may do harm to organizational morale and slow down the team's way to success.


2/ Lack of purpose/Unclear purpose

If team members are having a hard time identifying and understanding the team's purpose, it's hard for them to devote themselves to the work. When you don't know why you are doing it, you don't have the reason to connect with other people in the team either. Simply put, you would just do what is required without taking further effort to go above and beyond.

That poor team experience resulting from the lack of purpose is what drives the team down, and reduces the quality of work.


3/ Lack of efficiency

Teamwork may not always improve efficiency. When teams haven't decided on their decision making process, or when there is a lack of clarity and detailed action to get things done, teams lose time on re-clarifying it, resulting in work being completed later than expected. In other words, teams fail to work as efficiently as they hoped.

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Here are some moments of our workshop with INSEE on Leadership and Teamwork that we would like to show you:

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