Working in a team can be both beneficial and challenging at the same time. Having everyone working together effectively can really improve colleague performance and the results can be extremely rewarding.

But what happens when teamwork isn’t working?

We’ve decided to explore this in our latest blog to help you make your working environment a much happier place to be in.

Make sure your expectations are clear

You have assembled a team of people to work on a project and it hasn’t quite gone to plan.

What do you do?

Gather your team together and reassess the goals of the project to make sure everyone knows exactly what is expected of them. This will help you discover where people have been going wrong and perhaps whether or not people have misinterpreted what was asked of them.  

Having clear expectations helps your team to understand where they stand because when expectations are unclear, it can lead people to start pursuing their own goals. This kind of disorganisation will only end up confusing people within the team and productivity will start to decline.  

If everyone’s on the same page, the task will be completed in much more efficient manner.

Don’t have favourites

When you work in a team, there will be people who you naturally get on with better than others – and that’s OK. However, it’s important to note that highlighting this in an obvious way in front of your other colleagues can make the rest of the team feel worried and insecure.

This kind of behaviour can result in cliques and segregation within the team which might make people lose focus on the task at hand. You will soon see an improvement in colleague motivation and a more positive atmosphere if everyone feels like they are equal to one another.

Reward the group, not an individual

When it comes to teamwork, it’s crucial that you recognise how the team has worked as a group – after all, that’s the whole point. Picking out individuals is fine if it’s a solo project because they should absolutely get the recognition for their hard work. But if a team has done well and everyone’s pulled together, they should collectively be praised for their performance.

This will help your team realise that teamwork can be effective if everyone cooperates and works together. It will also give your team a sense of satisfaction once they realise that their hard work and commitment has been a success.

Don’t tolerate bad behaviour

Some people are natural born leaders – that’s just the way the world works. But if you ask people to work together and then you tolerate people being bullies, controlling or trying to take over the whole task, your team will start to resent the project and feel discouraged to continue.

It doesn’t matter how skilled someone is or how much experience they think they have, allowing this kind of behaviour in your team won’t make people want to work together and no one wants to work in a negative and tense environment.

Strive to keep everyone motivated and be honest

Not everyone is on top form every single day, especially if a project is nowhere near completion. That’s why it’s important to understand that your team might need a little encouragement every now and again. Try having regular catch ups with team members to see where they are up to, what they need to do going forward and whether or not they need any assistance.

Problems will occur and there may be some changes that need to be made along the way, but that doesn’t mean you should act as though everything is OK all of the time. Your colleagues will respect you a lot more if you are honest with them and if something isn’t quite working or you aren’t getting the results you were hoping for, telling your team the truth will show you have respect for them.


Teamwork comes in all shapes and sizes and these are just some of the good tips to follow when it comes to working in a team effectively. If there is something you think we have missed out, why not tweet us at @timerecruitment