Working as part of a team is a vital skill specifically in the workplace. Optimum team cohesion can drive a business to achieve goals and generate maximum revenue. But what exactly is team cohesion and how do you improve it in your company?
What is Team Cohesion?
Team cohesion is the unity of team members working to achieve a common goal. It refers to how aligned the team members are in the understanding, methods, and goals at stake. Team cohesiveness is the level of commitment each team member has to each other and whether they feel the same level of loyalty and responsibility to the goal.
Importance of Team Cohesion
Effective teams in a company will drive the success of departments and the company overall, reducing the need for managers to micro-manage teams. Team efforts produce more success than individual ones.
Employees who are part of a cohesive team have better communication which creates a positive work environment and increased job satisfaction. Even if the team members are the best performers, a lack of teamwork causes issues resulting in little or no goal achievement.
Without Team Cohesion
- Team members could misunderstand the goals
- A certain team member may take an unwelcome leadership role
- More than one team member could argue about a leadership role
- Less assertive team members will not contribute
- The goal will take longer to achieve or not achieved at all
- Less efficient use of company time
- Creation of bad feelings among co-workers
- Unhappy supervisors, managers, and CEOs that the goal was not achieved
Signs of Strong Team Cohesion
- Conflict is resolved effectively by ensuring all team members are heard and feel safe sharing their perspectives and ideas
- Individuals on a cohesive team tend to focus more on the entire group rather than their individual selves and are more motivated to work towards the team goal
- Individuals who are part of a cohesive team are willing to set aside their individual wants and needs to support the larger “we” of the group
- Members of a high-performing team hold themselves accountable for the work they are responsible for
- Team members are willing to be honest about their efforts and speak up when they are unable to meet deadlines
- Cohesive teams are better able to maintain their focus on their organization’s larger objectives and are less likely to get distracted by competition or diverse points of view
- Strong teams realize that trust is a major component of effective teamwork and prioritize establishing a high level of trust among team members
How to Increase Team Cohesion
Team cohesiveness does not come naturally for most people, it must be developed through trust and good working relationships. Define the team dynamic and ensure the team members will be able to work effectively together with a common mindset. Choosing the right people to work as a team will promote team cohesion and make working together much easier and more productive.
Team building exercises can reveal unknown anomalies and develop good working relationships. A traumatic experience builds stronger bonds, returning to work after COVID-19 a meeting topic with training on how to get the team back together. Creating an opportunity for mutual understanding and practice exercises can show individual team members’ personalities useful for assignments.
Offering training and development opportunities is a great way to encourage team members to take control of their skills and abilities and give them confidence when performing tasks. Structuring goals in an easy-to-understand manner ensures all team members understand their responsibilities and roles for each goal.
Managers can implement celebrating successes as a team which can have a powerful effect on overall team cohesiveness. Encourage team members to work together to develop and implement solutions to resolve conflicts and challenges.
When your team is first formed, ensure all members are aware of the company’s goals and values and establish the team’s values, purpose, and goals. Giving team members responsibilities and even authority in particular areas will empower team members, ultimately increasing overall team cohesion.
Working towards team cohesion also allows managers and team leaders to improve their leadership skills and management abilities by encouraging creative thinking and providing opportunities to expand their understanding of how teams work together effectively. A company with many cohesive teams in its departments will be more successful in every way.
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