Jun 18, 2019
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Group Projects: How to Succeed In A Crowd

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Succeed in Group Projects at Work

Group projects are increasingly part of the daily work life in many organizations. Hell, even remote employees are working in groups more often these days. By working successfully as a team, you can accomplish more than you could individually.  Where have I heard that before? See Dropkick Murphys’  ‘Boys on the Docks.’ 

“Together we are, what we can’t be alone….”

But group success can also improve your career prospects. Check out some of the major benefits of teamwork and their strategies for success:

Benefits of Group Projects at Work

  1. Build solid relations with your co-workers. Yep, I said it, relations with your coworkers. They should be foundational and professional. Understanding and appreciating different personality types is fundamental to good teamwork. The very same aspects of working effectively as a team can also make your relationships with your colleagues more pleasant. Pleasant coworkers can result in better productivity.
  2. Adaptability and diversity. Over time, you’re likely to interact with people from a wide array of backgrounds. The world is big, people! Developing the knowledge and ability to succeed in a diverse society is important to your future. Begin honing those skills today.
  3. Career changes may be coming. It’s absolutely true that most of us will change jobs and even careers during our lifetimes. Group projects are an opportunity to network and develop the teamwork skills and achievements that prospective employers look for. If you do remain in your current position, teamwork skills can also help you to maintain morale even during times of high turnover.
  4. Get rewarded! Sometimes employers will even incentivize working in group projects. Perhaps there are additional vacation days in your future if you hit your team goal? Even if your employer doesn’t have such incentives in place, know that any accomplishments will still improve your resume as well as earn promotional notoriety.

Collaboration: Steps for Improvement

  1. Culture and budget should be a consideration. Structured activities and trained facilitators can be valuable in helping people to interact in challenging situations outside the office. But even if your company doesn’t use these tools, there are effective ways to promote collaboration. The essentials of team building can be implemented in any organization.
  2. Clear goals must be established. Leave your personal agendas aside so you can focus on the shared goals of successful teamwork. Make sure your goals for group projects are clearly stated, understood, and accepted. Utilize group decision-making to strengthen the consensus and ownership of the group.
  3. Be responsible. Assigning personal responsibilities promotes accountability. It can also help prevent potential unrest by reducing the likelihood of overlapping authority. Responsibility equals accountability.
  4. Build confidence through trust and cooperation. Group projects go a lot more smoothly in a company that genuinely values trust and cooperation. Encourage open communication at work. Meetings, water-cooler conversations, and chat platforms can keep an organization connected and updated. 
    • Provide opportunities for team-building  outside of work. Don’t infringe on people’s personal and/or family obligations but still offer ways to bolster socialization.
    • Develop a caring atmosphere where providing support to colleagues is a prioritized aspect of job descriptions and is included in performance evaluations.
  5. Address the drama. Agendas and personality clashes will inevitably arise when lots of people are working in the same place day after day. Look to handle these challenges immediately and completely.  Leverage long-term solutions that meet the needs of everyone. This will strengthen relationships and trust as well.
    • Provide opportunities for team-building  outside of work. Don’t infringe on people’s personal and/or family obligations but still offer ways to bolster socialization.
    • Develop a caring atmosphere where providing support to colleagues is a prioritized aspect of job descriptions and is included in performance evaluations.
    • Don’t forget that compromise is often necessary for work to proceed in a productive manner.
  6. Be generous and be thankful. Let your coworkers know when they’ve done a good job. Share the value of the project for the company as well. Knowing the impact it can have on the organization and the people it serves is a great motivator. Ensure that people know they are valued and appreciated. Share the credit and champion other. Use any feedback to call out the positive contributions and constructively identify areas of weakness.
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Mastering the skill of working in and as a group can turbo charge your career trajectory and improve relationships with your co-workers. When you become a better team player, you become an invaluable member of the group.  Honing this quality can lead to even more opportunities in the future, within your company as well as beyond it.

 

 

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