Everyone has already experienced/is experiencing working in a team, whether in a social setting, the university or the workplace. From these experiences, one can clearly point out the signs of poorly functioning teams, such as:

  • – Poor/non-existent communication
  • – Lack of trust
  • – Weak cohesion
  • – Lack of fun
  • – Missed milestones

On the flipside, there is something to be said for a team that is operating in the “zone”. This means that work has become constructive, supportive, effortless and satisfying – waking up so early in the mornings and come to work has never been this easy.

Each team differs from one another — dictatorial team leaders, personality clash between members or the famous ass-kissers can stifle progress and destroy the whole co-operative environment. According to Richard Hackman, what matters most to team cohesion isn’t behavioral, but rather having enabling conditions, such as a robust structure, supportive atmosphere and compelling direction, so that the teams reach their full potential. Coupling these conditions with a shared mindset sets the stage for success.

So, what exactly can one do to create an environment that fosters teamwork?

Here are some must-haves of effective teamwork in the workplace:

1) Open communication

Having great communication throughout the whole company is a must and this is a key element of excellent teamwork. In these environments, people fully express their ideas, opinions and share problems to other workers without ego or criticism. All the teams fully acknowledge that the information must flow within the organization to accomplish the overall goals. Sharing is caring, buddy — do not be that guy that knows crucial information and doesn’t share it for ego purposes.

When it comes to Cleverti, we have an open-door policy, as we promote full transparency, especially when it comes to communication. Each and every co-worker is encouraged to listen and respect the varying opinions of others and to contribute with the confidence that his/her ideas are valued and taken into account.

Also, feedback — once you feedback, you never go back. Having constant and constructive feedback from your peers is crucial to the creation of a healthy environment.

2) Clearly defined roles

Imagine a volleyball court — each volleyball player knows how to position himself; they don’t just flock the ball and toss it around. This same reality can be applied in an office environment. Each co-worker has clearly defined roles and duties so that they can have an idea on how their profile fits with the overall goal of the company. When such thing happens, people will take responsibility and ownership for their roles and mistakes.

For instance, my main role in the company is to recruit developers to further expand the pool of talents in the company. I would never be asked to start programming in Python, for instance. I mean, I could… but I guess we would all be laughing in the end.

3) Having each other’s backs

Will the real backstabber please stand up? I repeat: will the real backstabber please stand up? We’re gonna have a problem here…

The core element of teamwork is building up those on the team – when one person succeeds, everyone succeeds. That’s it. Teamwork does not undermine the person working with you. If one person struggles, then it can bring the whole team down. In this case, offer your assistance and make everything in your power to help this person out. One member’s problem becomes everyone else’ problem — always remember this.

For instance, say that you have a team of seniors here at Cleverti. When a new member joins, the seniors will offer to sit down and review the processes. This will, undoubtedly, help the entire team to succeed and make the new member’s integration in the company a lot smoother.

Cleverti is, in itself, a cluster of teams. Our team is stronger than the sum of its members as there are more ideas, opinions and skills available. Thus, our weaknesses are counterbalanced, which results in our team accomplishing more than any individual could achieve on their own. There is no room for individual egos as we all have an unselfish, common goal – success.


What about you? Are you a team player?

Written by Ana Dias / Talent Manager at Cleverti