Teamwork: definition, roles, importance and advantages

Effective teamwork is built upon a balance of roles and promotes cohesion.  In these circumstances, it can enhance individuals’ performance,...
28 November 2023

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Teamwork: definition, roles, importance and advantages

Effective teamwork is built upon a balance of roles and promotes cohesion.

 In these circumstances, it can enhance individuals’ performance, foster an evolving profile culture, and reduce labor costs by encouraging objective talent assessment.

However, you may not know where to begin and may need guidance on forming balanced and efficient teams. 

So, if you want to understand what teamwork means and its advantages, what roles are necessary to incorporate, and how you can enhance it through dynamics, keep reading because we’ll address it in this article.

Teamwork: definition, roles, importance and advantages

Definition of Teamwork

Teamwork refers to a group working together towards common goals, assuming individual and collective responsibility. 

They rely on elements like solidarity when performing various functions to achieve this.

Stability, on the other hand, is one of the traits a team must combine with shared leadership for its mission to succeed, as opposed to hierarchical leadership that may exist in a group of people.

Some experts argue that to make teamwork effective, it’s essential to incorporate what is known as the 5 Cs in teamwork:

  1. Communication: All members must have pertinent and necessary information to carry out their tasks.
  2. Coordination: The leader should be approachable and exhibit affiliative and guiding interpersonal leadership.
  3. Complementarity: Team members should be able to respond comprehensively to the presented needs, requiring complementary skills and competencies.
  4. Trust: To enable agile and autonomous teams, fostering a climate of trust through effective and transparent communication based on idea exchange is vital.
  5. Commitment: Linked to team members’ satisfaction and motivation, it must be nurtured daily through active listening, recognition, and clear guidelines.

In this context, we’d like to add a sixth C: cohesion. A sense of belonging to a team makes a difference in terms of results and problem-solving approaches.

Importance of teamwork

Teamwork is pivotal in both professional and personal spheres, holding immense importance for many reasons. 

Firstly, teamwork enhances productivity and efficiency by capitalizing on team members’ diverse strengths and skills. Individuals collaborating toward a common goal can share responsibilities, pool resources, and leverage each other’s expertise. This collective effort often leads to more innovative problem-solving, quicker task completion, and higher-quality outcomes. 

Moreover, teamwork fosters a sense of camaraderie and mutual support, creating a positive work environment that boosts morale and job satisfaction. It also encourages effective communication, which is fundamental for successful collaboration and conflict resolution. 

Ultimately, teams that work well together tend to be more adaptable, resilient, and capable of overcoming challenges.


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Advantages of teamwork

Implementing a teamwork strategy in your organization offers advantages that enhance your company’s competitiveness.

Enhanced individual performance

Teamwork involves integrating employees into the company’s evolution and success, creating a participatory work environment conducive to initiative and decision-making development.

In this way, the team fosters a flexible exchange environment that also quickly identifies any obstacles to finding the most efficient solution.

Continuous acquisition of new skills and competencies

It is precisely this work environment that facilitates feedback from team members

Depending on the scope or duration, we can discuss micro-mentoring or occasional mentoring in knowledge transmission among team members.

Furthermore, teamwork interaction stimulates individuals, boosting their self-esteem and making them more inclined toward innovation.

Reduces labor costs

When teamwork is developed efficiently, the employee experience improves, reducing employee turnover rates

Similarly, this type of work organization helps identify internal talent, leading to savings in external recruitment costs.

Teamwork refers to a group working together towards common goals

Teamwork roles in the Belbin model

One of the initial considerations when forming a group is to determine teamwork roles, which aids in task distribution. Dr. Belbin has developed a model based on 9 profiles grouped into 3 categories to create functional work teams at all levels. 

These roles fulfill the functions listed in the table below:

THE 9 BELBIN ROLES
ACTION ROLES SOCIAL ROLES MENTAL ROLES 
Shaper
Supervises the program to achieve set objectives, driving the team effectively. Acts efficiently under pressure and resolves conflicts
Coordinator
Leads the team through constructive interpersonal relationships. Identifies talent and has broad perspectives. 
PlantProposes innovative ideas for solving complex problems with practical and relevant solutions.
Implementer
Characterized by discipline and a propensity for action. Respects established protocols and is highly reliable.
Team worker
Fosters resolution of interpersonal conflicts that may arise in high-pressure situations.
Monitor / Evaluator
Possesses a special ability to weigh options and analyze team contributions, promoting quality decision-making.
Completer / Finisher
Very detail-oriented and strives to deliver high-quality work for perfection.
Resource investigator
Establishes external contacts to explore innovative ideas and resources.
Especialista
Deep technical knowledge makes them a team pillar. Functions as a guide and mentor.

Teamwork dynamics for achieving cohesion

Teamwork dynamics establish a climate of cooperation and trust conducive to overcoming obstacles and achieving organization-set goals

Consider the following 3 dynamic proposals we present below.

635 Technique

This idea-generation technique serves as an incentive for individuals who may have difficulty participating in brainstorming sessions. 

It involves forming groups of 6 people to generate 3 ideas in 5 minutes and writing them down on paper. 

After that time, the paper is passed to the person next to them, and the exercise begins again. 

The ideas of others inspire each person, emphasizing the importance of idea sharing in a team.

Human Knot

This dynamic helps alleviate team members’ tensions and emphasizes coordination’s importance

Participants form a circle and hold hands with the person next to them who is farthest away. 

The goal is to untangle the human knot without letting go of each other’s hands.

Determinar los roles de trabajo en equipo facilita la distribución de tareas.

Workplace Anarchy

In this reverse psychology practice, company rules and schedules are suspended for participating teams, allowing them to coordinate to achieve objectives. 

Other teamwork dynamics can be implemented in virtual environments, such as the previously mentioned 635 or the well-known Two Truths and a Lie.

At Smowltech, we aim to build the necessary trust, and for this purpose, we have developed flexible proctoring plans tailored to your team’s needs. 

Request your free demo, and we’ll show you how we can enhance your workgroups by creating respectful, agile, and accessible spaces allowing you to analyze your performance.


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