Employees need to be aware of the importance of working well with their teammates when changing employment or trying to establish themselves in an existing organisation. Employees willing, (that is, make a conscious decision to become a team player) work together as a team to execute work assignments and to accomplish goals. The whole company benefits as a result, as it increases productivity in the workplace.
However, management should be the first to foster a team spirit in the workplace. Management sets the tone for workplace harmony and unity. Managers should aim to establish and maintain a team environment that includes everyone. When employees are treated fairly, given meaningful work assignments, and know what is expected of them, they will more than likely perform competently and help their teammates meet job expectations as well.
Top Ten Behavioural Traits Of A Good Team Member
Team members must demonstrate behaviours that promote positive team morale. Treat others with courtesy and with respect. Pitch in on the small stuff. If you’re known as the person that always leaves the copy machine empty of paper or who takes the last cup of coffee and doesn’t start a fresh pot, your peers will be less likely to consider you part of the team.
Be responsible for policing yourself. Ensure you follow the rules, policies & procedures. Anything less, puts the entire team at risk for chaos and damages trust. Reliable consistent performance will be noted by your boss and build relationships with your teammates.
Have the ability to admit when you are wrong. This is an admirable trait in any team member. The inability to admit when you are wrong inhibits personal growth and impedes your team’s ability to innovate. If you can’t say, “I was wrong,” then you’ll never get the chance to say, “you were right.”
A sincere, friendly greeting goes a long way to promote positive relationships. If I show you I’m genuinely happy to meet you, you’ll instantly start to like me.
If you are a team leader, be clear and effective in all forms of communication. Cliques, gossip, favouritism, pettiness and disrespect, can destroy team morale and promote distrust. As a team leader, you have the added responsibility of trying to diffuse situations before they escalate into problems and report them through the appropriate channels, if needed.
Both team members and leaders need to listen (non- judgmentally) and be open to complaints, concerns, and suggestions to improve team progress and relationships. Acknowledging the importance and taking the other person’s perspective, actively listening to ensure understanding and being able to take responsibility for your own behaviours helps to ensure that positive interactions will be reciprocated. Issues & concerns must be addressed with quickly to promote trust and harmony.
Recognise and value that our diverse backgrounds and experiences make us who we are. Every member of a team has a different personality, different perspective on life, and may react to or interpret your behaviour differently than you expect.
Be open to other opinions, don’t always assume the worst. Treat people how “they” want to be treated, not necessarily how you want to be treated.
When interpersonal conflicts arise (and they will) first try to talk out your concerns with the individual, privately. Make them aware that he/she is offending you. Give him/her the opportunity to correct the behaviour before assuming it is intentional. If you cannot resolve the issue at this level, report the problem to your team leader or supervisor before it escalates any further.
Behave professionally, recognise that inappropriate conduct, impacts all members of the team and the organization as a whole. Be known for your consistent principles.
Your reputation is on the line
Being known as a great team player is good for your reputation. Delivering on your promises, being focused and providing high quality and timely outputs whilst maintaining positive relationships with your colleagues are all good individual and team behaviours that will enhance your professional reputation.
Joe Robbins is co-founder of CareerWise Recruitment. A graduate of the University of Limerick (Degree in Business Studies, 1985), Joe worked in the UK for five years where he specialised in materials management, production management and plant management for a number of companies.
He returned to Ireland in 1992 to become Operations Manager for a Cork-based start-up, FMC Automotive Division which was subsequently taken over by Snap-on Equipment. Joe managed the business re-location of this company to Shannon in 1997 before setting up CareerWise Recruitment in 1999.
He is a committee member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Mid-West region, and a former Director and Vice President of the Shannon Chamber of Commerce. Joe is former Chairperson of the Sixmilebridge Camogie Club and current Chairperson of the Clare County Camogie Board.
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