How to Encourage Teamwork

December 20, 2015
Trabajo en equipo

The best working teams share a secret: smiles, the unmistakable sign that team members are confident, calm and motivated to work together. It is also a sign of pride and commitment to the business or company.

So says Olga Morales, Manager and First Vice President of the West Region for Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, who noted that in efficient teams, everyone contributes because they are given the chance to do so.

“A motivated group has a spontaneous joy and works in a spirit of celebration. They take care of each other,” she said.

On the contrary, with an unmotivated team you will see long faces, absenteeism and toxic groups that negatively impact the environment. There is distance, lack of communication and low spirits, said Morales. Working with such a team is not easy, but there are ways to change the situation.

Useful strategies for encouraging teamwork

Morales believes in the concept of role playing as stimulating. “For example, in a meeting, let people speak. You can tell them, ‘this month you are going to lead the meeting.’ You can create dynamics that encourage integration and allow creativity.” She also recommends holding meetings in unconventional locations, outside the office.

“You should create the feeling that ‘here, everyone has everyone else’s back,’ eliminating hierarchies that can create obstacles.”

It is important that all team members clearly understand company goals, to encourage a sense of belonging. “If we accomplish these goals working together, we will not only have better results in terms of our objectives, but also in how we feel during the process,” Morales added.

When complicated situations arise…

Even in the best teams, there are differences or uncomfortable situations among team members. That’s why Morales emphasizes the importance of maintaining open channels of communication among all parties.

“To have an effective team, you have to call their attention to maintaining direct and honest communication,” Morales recommended. The entire group should analyze what happened when something goes wrong, thus contributing to the search for solutions.

“You have to encourage an environment of learning. You can develop professors within your team. That is also a kind of recognition,” Morales pointed out.

The executive also emphasized the importance of transparency about the business or company’s situation. “It is necessary to let them know when things are good and when they are not. You have to talk,” she said.

“We don’t see team members as employees. They have to be valued like members of a family,” she concluded.