Teamwork is crucial to business success in most organizations. But setting a team's direction is often the easy part. After setting team goals, you need to ensure that staff are motivated to work together by establishing employee buy-in.

Embracing this mode of working requires adjustment for managers and employees. It's common practice for companies to adhere to the one person/one project method of assigning job functions and responsibilities. Begin to emphasize that individuals working together can produce more and achieve better results than if they worked independently on a project. And be sure to acknowledge the results of employee collaboration.

The value of teamwork in the workplace

By emphasizing the value of teamwork and collaboration, you put the spotlight on the importance of individual contributions to the greater whole. When workers understand that their level of performance has a ripple effect, the value of doing a good job and working together as a cohesive unit soon becomes self-evident to everyone involved.

Buy-in doesn't just benefit the organization; collaboration can also increase job satisfaction and lead to better company outcomes. Working in teams allows your staff more opportunities to release their creative ideas and offers a greater sense of belonging.

Incentives to employee buy-in

When you present the idea of working on a team, make sure you spell out all the good points about the value of teamwork in the workplace so you can sway staff members toward optimism, excitement and employee buy-in. Here are some points to emphasize:

  • Each team has something unique to offer. Begin by setting goals for the team and discussing how members can contribute to achieving desired outcomes. Tell them as much as you can about the type of assignment and their teammates and how they can make the most of this experience.
  • This task is important. Let employees know the importance of the new project and how they should prioritize it within their current workload. Also let them know what to do if they need additional help juggling responsibilities.
  • Remind them not to make snap judgments. Especially on cross-departmental teams, individual beliefs, attitudes and communication styles may collide. Let everyone know that you expect respect for all differing points of view, and advise participants to keep an open mind in the goal-setting process.

Barriers to team buy-in

Employees who are used to working independently may be concerned that their contributions will be overlooked or that coworkers will be more of a hindrance than a help. To ease any reservations staff members may have, encourage dialogue about the value of teamwork and offer guidelines and goals for working collaboratively.

Explain that each individual was specifically chosen for the contributions he or she can make in helping the team achieve its goals. Try warming reluctant employees to the idea of team building with activities that help your staff work together. A fun afternoon away from the office together, for instance, might improve collegiality and encourage employee buy-in on important projects and company goals. You can still talk about company priorities, but in a less formal atmosphere.