Whatever sector you’re entering, as a start-up there are no guarantees of success. But there are certain things that will help you to be successful from an early stage, to overcome challenges and obstacles, and to reach key milestones in your growth. Having a sound product or service is essential, as is strong leadership and key staff with experience and talent. But you also need something that will bind all of that together and make it work. That something is teamwork.
Team-focused business development
The early successes of your business are created through the actions and steps taken by team members. Generally though, these will not be actions taken by individuals in isolation, but by a number of people working together to achieve the same end-goals. Furthermore, the actions taken by one section of the team may have a direct effect on the success of tasks and projects undertaken by a different part of the team. A culture of effective teamwork then can be seen as greatly increasing the chances of the fledgling organisation’s success as a whole.
Benefits of teamwork
“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford
Aside from being good for the overall success of your start-up, teamwork has a number of benefits that will make themselves apparent both on a day-to-day basis and in the long-term. These include:
- Improved morale – If everyone comes into work in the morning with the view that they’re just a person working on their own to complete tasks that they have been set, then their enthusiasm will probably wane and waiver at times. If on the other hand they feel that they’re part of a team and that their efforts have a wider purpose and impact, then they’re likely to be more driven to excel at what they do and feel happier whilst doing so.
- Efficient workflows – Working effectively as a team enables start-ups to better leverage the skills and experience of each individual team member, to bring these to task where they are most needed. A culture of team-working will also help to eliminate potentially costly task duplication.
- Inter-team learning – Everyone has something different to bring to the table and everybody has the capacity to learn new skills. Close-knit teams will quite naturally tend to share ideas and skills with each other during the course of working together. This will benefit your start-up now, and during its longer-term growth.
- Fluid idea generation –Approaching a problem or concept from multiple perspectives will lead to more flexible and adaptable outcomes and ideas than those that might be generated by an individual working alone. Furthermore, good ideas have greater capacity to evolve into great concepts when they are bounced back and forth, modified and added to by multiple team members.
“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilisation work.” – Vince Lombardi
Though a certain amount of camaraderie may develop naturally in a start-up environment, the business’ leadership can and should do many things to steer the organisation towards effective teamwork. Here are a few ideas:
- Hold team-meetings every morning so that everyone on the team knows what others are doing, and how it relates to their own tasks for the day.
- Give employees the freedom to cultivate and share their own ideas for the business’ development
- Form ‘micro-teams’ to tackle specific projects or carry out research into certain areas of the market
- Reward those who make outstanding team contributions, both with praise and suitable incentives
- Create a culture where everyone feels that their voice is heard and can play a significant role in shaping the conversation within the start-up.
The fact is, effective teamwork enables you to get more done, and to develop your organisation as a coherent entity working towards shared goals. It will also help to ensure that those who are with you at the start, stay with you for the future.
By Lewis Davies, Ecommerce Acquisition Manager EMEA, Nuance UK