In an interview segment of Robert X. Cringely’s Triumph of the Nerds, Steve Jobs tells an insightful story. He recalls how, as a child, he worked for an old widowed man who lived on his street.
The neighbour would drag Jobs along to fetch rocks from his backyard–rough and ugly things hardly worth the effort of picking up. Jobs found nothing remarkable about the stones, until his neighbor slipped them into a dusty, motorised tumbler with some liquid and grit powder, and switched it on.
They rubbed against each other, rattling and clanking against their casing. What came out were smooth, glistening stones that bore no resemblance to the old rocks that had filled the tumbler.
This parable is the perfect metaphor for the importance of teamwork.
The process of building a team is really a lot like banging a bunch of jagged rocks against each other; it usually comes with its share of friction and noise, but, given enough time and guidance, it can result in something good.
When raw talent is brought together, refined, and converted into something dynamic and synergistic, beautiful things happen–and you’ll find that out yourself as you begin to build your team of tradies.
This short article covers the importance of teamwork in a tradie business. Check out the points we make, and see if your shop is due for a good bout of team-building exercises.
Teamwork increases productivity
If you want to understand the importance of teamwork, you should reflect on the saying, “alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
In general, working together in a team helps increase the overall productivity and efficiency of your members. When you split one big task into several smaller tasks, you’re able to alleviate the burden placed on individual employees. This happens because people are predisposed to accomplishing easier tasks first before taking on the ones that require heavy-lifting. When the assignments of your members are easier and they’re more motivated to complete them, you’ll start to see their gears turning smoothly.
Think about it: if a group of five people are working on the same project and are given the same amount of time and guidance as an individual worker, who is more likely to deliver first?
Collectively, five people would have a bigger skill set and resource pool to draw from. They’re also able to motivate each other through shared experiences and responsibilities. These assets make the importance of teamwork abundantly clear.
While each person has a different work style and ethic, those who choose to cooperate with their teams can easily play to their advantages. With the right attitude and proper task delegation, an increase in productivity is definitely guaranteed.
Teamwork promotes creativity
Each member of your team has their own background and expertise. When you effectively bring them together, you’re introducing the company to new, unique perspectives and opinions. This exchange of ideas within a group is a brilliant manifestation of the importance of teamwork.
While creativity thrives in conflict and discourse, your environment should also encourage trust and communication in order for your ideas to flow. If everyone’s too skeptical to join in on the conversation, or if everyone’s talking over each other without respect and care, the discussion is cut short. It’s a delicate balance of moderating the discourse, and letting it develop freely.
Fostering the right creative and collaborative environment is difficult, but not impossible. This challenge doesn’t diminish the importance of teamwork; rather, it serves to emphasise the fact that all members of a team must commit for that team to function properly. A synergistic effort can do wonders for your sales and reputation.
This holds especially true when your teams are more diverse.
Multiple studies show that hiring more diverse, multicultural teams gives your company a creative edge. This means that the difference in opinions shouldn’t be seen as a liability–it should be treated as an asset.
Branch out from your company’s comfort zone, and allow differing viewpoints to simmer and mix. One way or another, you’ll find the setup that works best.
Teamwork fosters accountability
Accountability is important for any team activity. Whether you’re a career professional, an undergraduate student, or simply a family man looking to put together an orderly homestead, accountability matters.
We’ve all, at one point in our lives, experienced working with a poor team member during a stressful ordeal. These are the kinds of people who coast off your hard work and put in the bare minimum while others are burning the midnight oil.
Working with people who have very little regard for others in a group is not only frustrating, it can be damaging to the team’s overall performance.
The workplace is supposed to be a mature and serious setting. By now, your tradies should well understand and value the importance of teamwork. The stakes of working together are high, and the challenges demand joint effort –and that’s without mentioning the kinds of people who’d rather quit than tolerate sloppy output, or poor time management from their peers.
Your business’ projects and tasks are far easier to accomplish when your employees work as a team. Like a well-oiled machine, the success of an assignment relies on the effectiveness of all its parts –if there’s a rusted gear hidden among the functioning ones, then the whole machine is in trouble.
Preventing this kind of outcome isn’t rocket science. With proper task delegation, open lines of communication, and the right team manager, slackers won’t have a leg to stand on.
Foster accountability by setting your expectations for each person at the start of any project. Make sure everyone knows what everyone else is doing, stress the importance of teamwork, and respect, and keep an eye out for any pesky gears in the bunch.
Teamwork teaches communication
The best tradie businesses have flawless communication systems to keep their productivity high and workplace friction low.
Whether your business has stable teams that are in it for the long haul, or ad-hoc teams that are assembled for the duration of one or two projects at a time, your tradies are going to have to learn how to coexist with one another in order to succeed. The best way to do this is to practice communication. After all, nothing will come to fruition if everyone’s thinking on different terms.
Of course, learning how to communicate effectively with one another is much easier said than done. If you’re hiring the right people, then your teams are bound to be full of workers with their own opinions and ideas on how to get things done in the best way. This means your tradies are bound to have their share of misunderstandings and disagreements –which is perfectly normal for any group.
However, the best teams learn how to work around the friction. By implementing an effective communication strategy plan, your teams can find their work to be enjoyable, and value-adding for everyone involved.
Doing simple things like introducing an open-door policy to your workers, keeping an eye on your tradies as they work, setting clear expectations for your team members, and emphasising on certain company practices and principles, such as time management and formatting, are ways to help boost communication in a workplace.
You also have to remember that communication is a two-way street. You have to evaluate how you or your team manager is doing. When you’re trying to lead, the importance of teamwork and proactive listening cannot be ignored. Knowing what your employees think and feel about your decisions will help you improve your approach for when the next project rolls around.
Teamwork is a learning experience
No one wants to be stagnant. Every day, people are striving to improve their craft and expand their skill set. Everyone wants to climb the ladder of success, which is why people are always looking to learn. This makes the importance of teamwork unquestionable.
Working with other people, whether they’re your coworkers or your managers, always leads to more lessons learned than working alone. Ideally, a good team setup should afford each and every member of the team equal opportunities to grow.
At times, these learning experiences come naturally. Normally, you can depend on your senior tradies to share practical advice and tips with your newer employees both on the job, and over the course of casual conversation.
Other times, you might feel compelled to teach your employees a thing or two. You can schedule one-on-one feedback sessions, or run small workshops. Not only will your team learn from the best, but you’ll also have the chance to watch them form relationships with their co-workers and teammates, and steer them along the path to better work.
When the importance of teamwork and communication is emphasised, and a good ethic cultivated, individual progress starts to show. The fumbling intern at the start of the year can now take minutes smoothly, and the employee who lacks discipline can now understand the importance of time management and a strong work ethic.
These small steps will start to add up, and you’ll notice that the boost in efficiency will propel your business to greater heights.
There’s no denying the importance of teamwork. It’s a core component in turning your tradie shop into the nest egg you’ve been longing to see.
In the end, you can say that teamwork includes two features: it’s goal-oriented, and it produces smarter, more effective tradies.
Every member of your team should be working together to reach a common goal. An emphasis on results leads to greater productivity, more innovative ideas, a workforce with an expanded their set of skills and expertise.
However, good teamwork should also be grounded in the individuals involved. Everyone working for you is human, too. Growing your business the right way means investing in your talent; mind how your tradies’ working dynamic shapes their growth, and vice versa.