Unless you are running a one-man show, effective teamwork in the workplace accomplishes much more than any one individual can. At knoodle, as workload increases, we must rely more on inter-team communication. The value of communication between our team members can’t be overstated.

We all have experience working in a team on the sports field, in the workplace, or in a social setting. From these experiences, we all know the hallmarks of poorly functioning teams – weak cohesion, low trust, poor communication, and missed milestones. Not to mention the lack of fun and celebration. On the flipside, there’s something to be said for a team operating in the “zone” – when work becomes effortless, supportive, constructive, and incredibly satisfying. So exactly why does teamwork matter and what can be done to make it happen?

A healthy team provides benefits for the individual, the organization, and society as a whole. Here’s five ways to make it happen.

  1. THE POWER TO MAKE DECISIONS

What’s one of the easiest ways to make team members lose faith in teamwork? Restricting their autonomy to make decisions that allow them to accomplish their tasks. You often rely on the knowledge of your team members when it comes to decision-making. This is why collaboration is an essential ingredient for success. Collaborative leadership is about skillful management of relationships. Management should enable team players to succeed individually while also accomplishing a shared objective. Giving your team the power to make decisions serves as great motivation for effective teamwork and to bring about radical change.

  1. DEFINE TEAM OBJECTIVES

You want your team to in one direction? Make sure they clearly understand their destination. Research shows that individual performance is improved in situations where there are clear targets to aim at. When your team has clear goals to achieve and gets regular feedback, their performance and overall effectiveness improves.

  1. EFFICIENT TEAM MEETINGS

The latest survey conducted by Microsoft Office revealed that professionals waste up to 3.8 hours a week on unproductive meetings. No matter what you call them—status updates or staff meetings—these meetings are a waste of time if there is no value in them. And maybe it’s unreasonable to have teamwork without meetings, but making sure these meetings are productive is a step towards effective teamwork in the workplace.

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE INDIVIDUAL PROGRESS

Making the progress of an individual team member visible to the whole team is vital. Bringing attention and acknowledging effective teamwork in the workplace, raises awareness of progress made. The more dependent team-members are on each other’s plans, the more crucial it is that they keep an eye on everyone’s’ progress.

  1. HAVE FUN

Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun. Working as part of a team should be fun and inspiring, and not feel like a chore or an annoying obligation. Business and enjoyment can go hand in hand. Integrating a little bit of fun and humor that promotes effective teamwork in the workplace is a great strategy. A positive attitude helps the team overcome many challenges and builds trust and enthusiasm.

Sandra is the Chief Operating Officer at knoodle.