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How to Make Employees Work as a Team


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1) What makes a team to be different from a workgroup?

You may need to perform a significant amount of work to turn a traditional workgroup into a really effective team, as these two conceptions are massively different in their drivers and attitudes. Let’s consider these differences in the following table summarizing a collection of essential aspects:

Workgroup of employees

Team of professionals

Individual responsibilities

Collective (mutual) responsibility

Overall results are owned by the company, while employees are focused on their own performance and success

The team leader and team members share the ownership on results

Employees are not sufficiently involved into planning tasks and objectives

Work planning process is shared with the team members

Employees are instructed what to do, while creativity and personal opinions are discouraged

Work is based upon coordinated creativity, skills, unique talents and knowledge of the team members

Individuals are not really interested to know what other employees accomplish

Team members are motivated to help and support each other

Employees get reprimanded for their mistakes

Team members are consistently praised for proper performance and achievements

Interpersonal tension or conflicts are perceived as personal problems of employees

Team members work together to resolve conflicts quickly and constructively

Employees usually aren’t properly involved into decision-making on important questions

Decision-making respects contributions from all concerned team members

Group members are limited in approaches they apply, so they are not very motivated to develop their skills

Team members are encouraged to develop their skills and apply them to practical tasks

2) A way to make Employees work as a Team:

  • Make sure that people in the team clearly understand why they are brought together:
  1. They definitely know why they are recruited into this team;
  2. They know why this team is assembled;
  3. They know what is expected to be achieved by this team;
  4. They understand why their competence is demanded;
  • Make sure team members want to participate in the team :
  1. They all feel interested and motivated to work at this project (you don’t need any dummies just for decoration, so check if all of them really want to participate in this effort);
  2. They feel and understand the importance of team mission and connected goals;
  3. They anticipate this experience as valuable and useful to their organization and to their own development and career;
  • Make sure people won’t get disunited in early beginning of the team:
  1. Establish team leadership which is called to support and guide everyone on the initial steps;
  2. Help the team members to build mutual trust and openness in team building activities and events (though don’t overdo with team building to prevent it from competing with people’s family time );
  3. Gain more trust and loyalty of the team members by spending time in one-on-one meetings to check their background, opinions, intentions and to explain what is expected from them;
  • Organize a positive work environment :
    The first and major task here is to create a positive work environment where work culture values collaboration above all, because in a real teamwork environment people believe that decisions, planning, and activities are better performed when carried out in a cooperative manner:
  1. Arrange regular group sessions and discussions to support decision-making, setting up team goals, and appraising the situation;
  2. Make your people being continually supervised (informed, consulted, coached, guided and supported), but not controlled (rigidly asked about their actions and delivery of results);
  3. Forget about micromanagement – better help people self-organize. Engage people into work planning based upon their individual assignments and objectives;
  4. Stay always open-minded to consider incoming information from the team members: what they think, how they reason their thoughts, and what they suggest;
  5. Promote a discipline being based upon commonly respected rules and examples of behaviors demonstrated by the team members;
  6. Eliminate any fear in the team – encourage people to talk about their issues openly and to come up with their suggestions, problems or questions at any convenient moment;
  7. Encourage team members to help each other with their expertise and talents;
  • Make sure people are always at the top of productivity, awareness and recognition:
  1. Clear expectations and objectives are set upon the team, while everyone accepts his/her own goals as a part of greater success;
  2. People owns shared responsibility for team results – they understand how their results need to fit results of their co-workers, and know that their failures affect the collective result;
  3. People are kept in close connection with progress made by the overall team towards shared aims and understand how important their contributions are;
  4. People are devoted to quality and development. Quality in work and personal craftsmanship are promoted, respected and valued;
  5. Make sure that the individual assignments of all team members are properly monitor ed and subjected to self- checks performed by team members;
  6. Make sure there are tangible and intangible rewards anticipated for those who show proper or excellent performance (along with transparent procedure of appraising performance);
  7. Ensure frequent feedbacks on sure people are frequently praised for their achievements;

3) A way to create and manage a team with VIP Task Manager:

VIP Task Manager is a product that stands for collaboration between managers and employees, so it allows managers to supervise and support employees in terms of their particular tasks and goals. Let’s consider simple step-by-step instructions to team up people using this product:

Instruments to be used:

  • Resource List mode;
  • Task Tree mode;
  • Calendar mode;

Resource List mode actions (to formally team up employees):

  1. List your employees – enter their names, personal details and credentials;
  2. Create certain Roles to fit requirements of your project and assign them to resources;
  3. Use “Notifications” tab to select and check types of progress notifications to stay in touch;

Task Tree mode actions (to organize and control employees):

  1. Set work decomposition maintaining tasks and task groups;
  2. Create in each group appropriate sub-groups and sequenced tasks;
  3. Set estimated timeframes for each task (Start and Finish dates);
  4. Guide your team by giving guidelines in “Notes” sections of each task;
  5. Direct workflow order by appointing different priorities to tasks;
  6. Assign tasks and groups to appropriate resources;
  7. Get tasks reported through their Statuses and other attributes;
  8. Maintain feedbacks via “Comments” section;

Calendar mode actions (to maintain employees):

  1. Use Calendar mode and its capabilities to review project timeline and individual assignments;
  2. Appoint team meetings, along with planning their attendees;

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