It is often said that “teamwork makes the dream work”, however, there are common team challenges that make it difficult to achieve a set goal. Teamwork is great as it fosters creativity, boosts staff motivation, improves morale, and enhances productivity. To enjoy these benefits, it is ideal to first identify the challenges faced by teams today, how to address them, and finally how to overcome them. Here are some common team challenges and how they can be resolved;
1. Trust issues
In any working environment, there exists office politics where some employees tend to backstab their colleagues to look good before the boss. Mostly, this happens so that employees can get limited promotion opportunities. It is such activities that contribute to a lack of trust among team members. When people do not have faith in one another they tend to misunderstand each other which can lower their productivity immensely.
What can you do in such cases? The ideal solution would be confronting your colleague calmly. Do not go shouting at them angrily and only contributing to the workforce negativity, instead try to turn the tide. Make a genuine attempt to connect with the one who talked behind your back and ask them what’s wrong. Chances are they will open up to you with the real reasons for their actions and you’d end up becoming friends. For the sake of the truth, this is not always the case. When you fail to make peace, just silently move away and mind your own business.
2. Failure to share information
Despite the numerous inventions and advancements in technology we have these days, some team members still fail to share information with others. There is a need for people to share their knowledge, skills, and experience so that the project they are working on can be achieved. As a leader, encourage the sharing of information among teams for them to work cohesively. This can be done through the dissemination of information among team members to avert challenges. If they have the right tools, employees are willing to share information with one another. The key to it is asking one another kindly and not being afraid to seek and offer help.
3. Reduced engagement
In the last ten months, we have seen teams’ engagement reduce drastically as a result of COVID-19. With numerous people working from home, it is difficult for teams to reach a consensus regarding work despite the increased use of video conferencing solutions. To be honest, virtual meetings do not have the same interpersonal appeal as face-to-face meetings hence reduced engagement. Additionally, not all team members are tech-savvy and that makes it difficult for them to engage with others.
Employees who are engaged tend to commit to a company’s mission and would go the extra mile to help the organization achieve its goals. This problem can only be solved by involvement. When you have each team member involved, it will be difficult for them to detach themselves from the team. Try throwing some virtual parties or game nights as a way of catching up with one another. In no time, you will see the benefit of this on work productivity as well.
4. Change management problems
Change is inevitable in life. In an organization, when change is not managed properly, it could have negative effects on teamwork. Change and communication go hand in hand. Therefore, ensure that when you communicate, your teams understand which will make it easy for them to execute their assigned duties. One of the major changes affecting businesses right now is the shift from onsite to remote working. Given that most people are not cut out to work from home, there are issues of resistance, denial, and failure to commit to work among teams. As a leader, you ought to recognize these common team challenges and help your teams to transition to conform to the new normal. Don’t just stop there, stay consistent with your help and make sure you take their feelings into consideration.
5. Silo working
Among the things that are killing teams is silo working. It is easy to find a group of professionals calling themselves a team and yet, they are not working together. Such behaviour reduces performance and kills productivity immensely. To do away with silo working, members need to recognize that they are a team and begin to dedicate their time and efforts towards reaching a common goal. Additionally, encouraging collective thinking and execution of work solves this challenge immensely.
6. Corporate conflicts
Corporate conflicts are yet another form of common team challenges. The fact that people have varied ideas and opinions makes it easy for conflicts to ensue. The presence of conflicts creates tension which makes it difficult for people to collaborate, expand their knowledge, and innovate. While people having different opinions is not entirely bad, it is how these conflicts are resolved that matters.
Make sure that all opinions are respected and valued and absolutely do not tolerate employees being mean to one another. Conflicts are impossible to avoid, yet they are just as easily resolved, it is only crucial to remain open and tolerant at all times.
Working or managing a team requires great skill. Teams are often composed of people with different ideologies, backgrounds, and ideas. Being different is not bad at all. It is what makes a team seasoned enough to handle big tasks. These common team challenges will always be there, so a leader must ensure they are working to solve them as they arise. The goal is to devise problem-solving mechanisms so that people can respect one another and endeavour to work together.