While many conventional "nine-to-five" physical offices still exist today, they are becoming less and less prevalent as technology improves and different business needs become the norm. Once upon a time, we worked in a brick and mortar office with our co-workers - many of whom lived in the same area as we did - and "punched in" each weekday morning and left the office each evening with no contact with our peers or clients until the next morning. Online teamwork and collaboration, say the internet didn't even exist.

Interoffice memos circulated from one desk to the next. When a worker was out sick, we left a sticky note with messages they missed on their desk for when they returned. We gathered in the conference room for meetings, which included our entire team - or maybe even our entire company!

For better or worse (and probably some of each) we no longer live in our isolated towns and our office might be a home, an airplane or a car. Our connections are continuous, via email, texts, phone calls, and our office hours are varied. Our best clients might be in another city, state or country. Our closest working team members might be on another continent.Illustration of online and cloud collaboration. The clouds are all connected.

While our face-to-face communications may be dwindling, our businesses are growing and our responsibilities multiplying. Our methods of successfully managing our teams and working effectively together need to change as our new workplace evolves.

Working Together Respectfully

As members of an online team, we must remain aware and considerate of each others situations. While the structures of our workdays may differ (team member "Joe" works from home and manages a family; member "Joan" is in a physical branch office from 8 until 5 daily; "Jan" works 4 days for 10 hours daily and is in another time zone; etc.) each team member is an important part of the whole. Efforts need to be made to keep everyone in the loop and apprised of developments and important business decisions, projects, and occurrences. Emphasize that that online collaboration is as important as any in-person work. Value every team member for his or her contribution for better online teamwork.

Meet Regularly

While meetings may not be at conventional times, around a physical meeting table, these virtual meetings are perhaps even more important.

Man is coomunicating over the pcSome times may work better for some members than others, but make the time and day as convenient for everyone as possible. Unless there is a real emergency, make the meetings at the same time and day, and do not cancel or postpone. Do not encourage people to skip any meetings. Make them short, efficient and very productive.

Meet regularly via Skype, conference calling and/or online meetings for a specified length of time on a regular basis. These meetings need to include everyone on the team. This is the perfect opportunity to involve everyone in teamwork online. You may have a manager lead the meeting each time (daily, weekly, etc.) or a team member might lead it, but it is important to have a lead. This will help keep the team conversation on track and on topic.

Meetings need to follow an agenda. It is best when the agenda (developed by the lead) is shared before the meeting so the members have time to prepare questions or bring additional information to the table.

An action item should be developed and declared at the end of each topic. It needs to be clearly stated.

For example:
Item 1. Prepare a proposal for the client ABC meeting on June 1. Action items: Jan, collect basic information about ABC company and outline the needs of their new project by May 1.
Submit to Joe for proposal draft, due May 4.
Joe, email draft to all team members May 4.
Joan, proofread, layout and print proposal. Get copies to all team members May 18.

In addition to confirming action items with each member in the meeting, assign a minute-taker in every meeting. Email minutes of every meeting to the entire team as quickly as possible after every meeting.

Effective Emails

Email is a very helpful way of communicating, but there are a few ways to make it more helpful.

  • First, if you are addressing the entire team, make it clear you are doing so. People in a rush can miss that and end up thinking it is a personal correspondence just between you and them.
  • Second, if the email starts getting replies and replies to replies, don't keep the subject the same if it has changed. Rename it and make it clear that you have renamed it.
  • Third, if there is a way to simplify something with a quick call, make it. Don't make everyone open and read another email if it is more efficient to make a quick call and clear things up right away. Even if it means calling (or leaving messages) for everyone on the team.
  • Fourth, when possible, send one email with clearly outlined topics, rather than several emails. More communications will likely result in one or more getting overlooked.

Be Part of the Best Team

If you don't think your team is the best possible, it is your duty to examine what is not working and how it can be improved. If you are the team lead, it is not only imperative, but it is your responsibility to do so. Excellent articles on Team Leadership and Management, can be found here and worth examining. Workshops and trainings are excellent opportunities for you and your team to grow and develop. The best option is an in-person seminar you could all attend together, but if that is not possible, an online training could be good for everyone.

As a manager, working on becoming the best team leader will pay off for you, your team members and your organization.

Nelson Mandela was born in July 1918 to a royal family of South Africa's Xhosa tribe. He was trained to be a counselor to the king because his own branch of the royal family was not eligible for the throne but could serve as hereditary counselors.


Nelson Mandela

Mandela enrolled at Fort Hare University in Eastern Cape and studied English, political science, native law and anthropology for a while but he did not graduate from Fort Hare. He got a job as an articled clerk in a law firm and signed with a correspondence program at the University of South Africa. He studied at night and eventually got his BA degree and later qualified as a lawyer.

He worked in a law firm but he was famous as a prominent member of the African National Congress (ANC). Mandela served the ANC in various capacities and he helped organize the military wing of the ANC known as the "Umkhonto we Sizwe". Because of his anti-Apartheid activities, Mandela was arrested, tried and jailed. He spent 27 years in prison and later became the first president of a democratic South Africa. Mandela died in December 2013 at age 95 and was given a state burial by the South African government.

Nelson Mandela was definitely a controversial figure during his lifetime. Some people claim that he was a revolutionary who insisted that things must be done his own way or things will not get done. Others believed that Mandela was a lone wolf who did not believe in teamwork. The truth is that Mr. Mandela did not always try to impose his own convictions on other people. There are many examples to show that Nelson Mandela believed in teamwork.


Examples of team work

  • During the early negotiations in 1990-1991, the black South Africans did not present a united front. There were serious incidents of "black-on-black" violence and clashes between supporters of Mandela's ANC and those of the Inkatha Freedom Party of Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Mandela was sure that a "third force" was fuelling the crisis and was not happy about this. Some people within the ANC wanted Mandela to meet force with force. Others wanted him to openly denounce Buthelezi. It is to the credit of Mr. Mandela that he urged the blacks to close ranks and work as one united group. This is why he fought for a peace accord and this accord was signed in September 1991 with Nelson Mandela, Buthelezi and F.W. de Klerk in attendance.

  • Further proof that Mandela believed in teamwork came during the CODESA talks of 1991-1992. During the talks, some senior ANC members who felt they had "paid their dues" wanted Mandela to lead the talks. Another group felt that Cyril Ramaphosa was too young to lead the ANC delegation. Mandela decided that it was better for the ANC to work as a team so Cyril Ramaphosa led the ANC delegation while Mandela served as an important member of the delegation.

  • Nelson Mandela also used the Rugby World Cup 1995 as an opportunity to show that he truly believed in teamwork. This tournament was hosted in South Africa and it was the first time the country would be playing in any world cup. South Africa defeated New Zealand in the final and Nelson Mandela himself presented the cup to Francois Pienaar, the Springboks captain. Mandela was wearing the Springsbok shirt and cap and the message was clear. Mandela believed in teamwork and he had just proved it. More to the point, both black and white South Africans could play rugby on the same pitch in and in the same team. This episode was captured in the film Invictus and it is a tribute to Nelson Mandela, the ultimate team player.

There are many reasons why teamwork fails, and learning how to work around all of them can help to prevent it from happening. For any business finding a way to get coworkers to work as a team is essential if you want to have a productive, and efficient work force.

Title Photo Why Teamwork Fails

Hard To Fail
© - Hard To Fail

Having a team of employees that works well together toward a common goal is a far better option than having a group of employees who are often at odds with each other. By fostering an environment where teamwork is prioritized, and learning about these 10 reasons why teamwork fails, you can create a work environment where great things can be accomplished.

1. A lack of leadership
The first reason why people often fail to work together as a team is a lack of leadership. Every team needs a leader to set expectations, and keep the group focused upon it's goals. A leader should be able to provide positive reinforcement to help keep everyone motivated, and team morale up. However a team leader also needs to be able to hold people accountable. This doesn't meant that they need to be mean and strict. Instead by setting clear standards, and being fair if discipline is needed, a leader can create the kind of positive environment where teamwork thrives.

2. The presence of disruptive personalities
Another reason why there is often difficulty in employees working as a team is the presence of disruptive personalities. Sometimes some employees are unhappy and disruptive, which can have a major negative impact upon the team of employees. It only takes one bad employee to cause major problems. If there is one of these bad employees in the group, and they cannot be reformed, then ending their employment for the good of the team will probably be necessary.

3. Lack of proper training
If you want your employees to work well as a team then you need to make sure that all of them have proper training. In addition to training new employees you should also conduct additional training on a regular basis to help reinforce company goals and policies. Ongoing training is a great way to make sure that all employees are aware of their responsibilities, and feel a part of the team.

4. Lack of defined goals
If you want a group of employees to turn into a team then you need to give the group a goal, and also give each team member individual goals. By clearly outlining what is expected of them, you can keep your employees focused.

5. Lack of incentive
One great way to motivate a team of employees is to give them an incentive to work together toward a common goal. You don't necessarily have to award bonuses, but you can offer them something. Giving employees extra motivation to work toward a common goal can go a long way in the team building process.

6. Teammates strengths and weaknesses are not taken into account
In every team there exists a wide range of different types of people with different skills. By taking into account what each team member does well you can have them work on areas of a project that they are best suited for. On the opposite end of the spectrum team members who have a weakness in a certain area should be given help to bring their skill level up, or if necessary they should be assigned work that avoids this weakness.

7. Fear of failure
When employees are afraid that their mistakes will be held against them they are often afraid to help come up with new solutions. While there are certain types of mistakes that an employee should be held accountable for, there are others that should be viewed as part of a creative process.

8. Not enough team meetings
One of the biggest reasons why teamwork fails is that there are not enough meetings where open and honest communication is encouraged. During team meetings the leaders of the group should open the meeting explaining progress or setbacks. After this the team members should be encouraged to voice any concerns, as long as they do so in a positive manner.

9. Too much employee turnover
If you want to create an environment of confusion runs rampant and production is low, then having a high rate of employee turnover is the way to do it. Whether employees are quitting, or being terminated, constantly introducing new members to the team will keep them gelling together. Instead you should focus on retaining good employees, and eliminating the bad ones quickly. This way you can help to get your team together quickly, so they can begin to bond.

10. Individuals don't feel included
For a team to be successful each member needs to pull their own weight. For this to happen they need to feel welcome, and appreciated. Make sure that you encourage an environment where communication is open and honest, and where team members are never punished for speaking up about a problem.

Simple teambuilding exercises are a great way to teach youth about trust, communication skills, and working cooperatively with others. All of the following activities can be done inside or outside with very minimal supplies needed. Since young people are full of energy, all of these teambuilding games encourage active, physical participation.

young people holding hands

The Human Knot:
Materials Needed- None
Time- 10 to 30 Minutes
People Needed- 6 to 12

Arrange the group members into a circle. Have them stand shoulder to shoulder. Tell them to each raise their right hands into the air and join hands with another person across the circle. Then, have them raise their left hands and join hands with a different person from across the circle. They should not be holding hands with anyone next to them. Then, have the group members untangle themselves to make a circle, without letting go of their hands. If someone breaks the chain, have them start over. For variations, you can put a time limit on the activity. If there are multiple groups, have them compete against each other to see which group can untangle themselves the fastest. This activity can be done with communication, or you may prefer to have them complete the activity in silence for an added twist.

Silent Line-up:
Materials Needed- None
Time- 5 to 20 Minutes
People Needed- 10 to 20

Tell the youth that they must arrange themselves into a line based on their age. Groups must do this activity in complete silence. For smaller groups, you can give them more specific requirements, such as lining up by the actual day of their birthday, by month, and by year. You can also add variations, such as lining up by shoe size, by height, or in alphabetical order by middle names.

Duct Tape Maze:
Materials Needed- Duct tape, Cheat Sheet
Time- 10 to 20 Minutes
People Needed- 5 to 10

Before playing the game, make a 4 by 4 square grid out of duct tape on a flat surface. Each square should be big enough for someone to stand inside; there should be 16 squares total. Next, draw a 4 by 4 square grid on a piece of paper. Map out a pattern from one side of the grid to another with X’s. This is your Cheat Sheet. Do not let the participants see it. Have the first group member step into any outside square on the duct tape grid. If you did not mark this square with an ‘X’ on your Cheat Sheet, let out a buzzer noise to tell them their choice is incorrect. Then, the next group member must try. If they choose the correct square you’ve marked with an ‘X’, then they can try to choose another correct square in the pattern. If they step on an incorrect square, let out a buzzer sound, and they must go to the end of the line, and it is another player’s turn to try. Group members keep trying until the pattern you’ve drawn on your cheat sheet is discovered.

Group Juggling:
Materials Needed- 3 to 10 tennis ballsTime- 5 to 10 Minutes
People Needed- 5 to 25

Arrange the group into a circle. Starting with one tennis ball, have the first person throw to another group member and say the name of who they threw the ball to. That person who catches the ball then throws the ball to another person and says that person’s name. The ball is thrown around the circle until all members have each had the ball once. The last person to receive the ball finally throws the tennis ball back to the first person. Then, the first person starts over again throwing the tennis ball to the same person they threw it to the first time and also repeating their name again. The tennis ball is tossed in the same order, to the same people as before. After a few tosses have gone by, the first person can add another ball into the game, again following the same pattern of people and also repeating names. The first person continues to add balls into the pattern until all balls are in motion. If someone drops a ball, start over. Challenges can be to see how many balls the group can handle juggling at once.

Human Chair:
Materials Needed- None
Time- 5 to 10 Minutes
People Needed- 20+

Have the group stand in a circle, shoulder to shoulder. Next, have everyone turn to the right and put their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. Tell participants to move as close as they can to the person in front of them. At the count of 3, everyone should sit down. If done correctly, each person will sit on the lap of the person behind them. If done incorrectly, the entire group will fall like dominoes. They can either do this activity in silence, or the facilitator may allow groups to communicate. Keep trying the activity until it works seamlessly and the group can hold the pose for at least 5 seconds.

We’re All in This Together:
Materials Needed- Duct Tape
Time- 3 to 10 Minutes
People Needed- 6 to 20

Duct tape a square on the floor. Depending on the size of the group, you could try a 2 foot by 2 foot square. Larger groups may require a bigger square. The participants must all try to fit themselves inside the square without any of their other body parts touching the ground outside of the square. Once the group has found a strategy to fit everyone into the square, they must be able to hold themselves inside for at least 3 seconds. Each time someone touches the ground outside the square, the entire group must start over.

I Like Everyone!
Materials Needed- Chairs
Time- 10 to 20 Minutes
People Needed- 20+

Before playing, make a circle with enough chairs for all participants, except one. Have participants sit in the circle of chairs. The player without a chair stands in the middle and says the statement “I like everyone, especially people ________,” filling in the blank with a description, such as “people wearing glasses.” Then, anyone sitting down that is wearing glasses must get out of their chair and find a new chair. The person from the middle should then try to sit down in one of the seats left empty from someone wearing glasses. Inevitably, one person will always be left without a chair. That person then begins the next round with the same statement, just changing the second part: “I like everyone, especially people wearing a blue shirt.” As before, any participants sitting down that have a blue shirt must get up and find a new chair, and the person who was standing in the middle should find an empty seat and sit down. Rounds can be played over and over until the group starts getting bored. Make sure to add the rule that when participants have to find a new seat, they must move at least two seats away from their previous one.

Hot Lava:
Materials Needed- Paper Plates, Duct Tape
Time- 10 to 30 Minutes
People Needed- 4+

Before playing, use duct tape to make a small line on the ground as the group’s starting place. Then place another duct tape line on the ground about 30 feet away (depending on the size of your room) for the finish line. Tell the players that their group must get from the starting line to the finish line; however, in-between the two pieces of tape is a “boiling lake of hot lava,” so they absolutely cannot touch the “lake” with any parts of their body. Next, provide the group with 3 paper plates. Tell them that these are “magical stepping stones” that can be used to help them cross the lava lake. When the leader gives the signal to start, the participants must find a way to get their entire group across the LavaLake, using the magical paper plate stepping stones to step on. If any group members touch the ground with any part of their body, the whole group must go back to the starting line and start over.

Bridge Crossing:
Materials Needed- Duct Tape
Time- 10 to 20 Minutes
People Needed- 10 to 20

Have participants line up facing the leader. Tape a long, straight line of duct tape on the ground in front of them. This is “The Bridge.” Make the bridge line wider by adding one or two more strips to your duct tape line. Divide the group in the middle, into two halves. These are now two separate groups. Have them step onto the bridge line of duct tape, staying in the same order. Instruct the participants that the groups must now switch sides on the bridge, keeping their same order. If any players touch the ground off of the bridge, everyone must go back to their original starting positions. This game can also be played using a log or board for the bridge instead of duct tape.

Materials Needed- 10+ Paper Plates, Duct Tape, Blindfolds
Time- 10 to 20 Minutes
People Needed- 2+

Before playing, tape two parallel lines on the ground about 3 feet apart. The length of the lines can be anywhere from 10 to 20 feet, depending on your preferences and amount of time for the activity. Next, place the paper plates in random spots in between the tape lines. This is your “minefield,” and the plates are the “mines.” Have your group divide up into pairs. One partner puts on the blindfold, and the other partner must guide them through the minefield using only verbal communication. If the blindfolded partner steps on a paper plate mine, they must start over. Once half of the group is finished, allow the other half to go through the minefield and the other partners guide them through using verbal communication only.

Today's progressive companies see the need to develop leadership skills in tomorrow's potential leaders. They teach people strategic practices and developmental opportunities leading toward formal leadership training programs. Additional benefits from these global giants include analytical thinking and top levels skills that were once only available to senior managers.

Companies with leadership development program

Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson provides varying levels of leadership development programs consisting of their global presence, which includes the finance, global operations, human resources, international recruitment, IT development, and procurement. For specific internal leadership programs, they provide training and leadership in the field of marketing, commercial ventures, the retail environment, developing business trends and forecasts, and regulatory affairs.

Raytheon has developed a two year rotational leadership development program for short term work assignments. Applicants are supported by mentors and managers, especially during their 12 month work assignments. Their training is introduced through subject fields that include functional specific development sessions, cross-functional leadership development sessions, business/technology and leadership skills training. Additional learning techniques include video sessions and forums, corporate libraries and eLearning.

McDonald is directing its leadership developmental program to all levels, of its organizational employees. Their goal under the program is to develop leadership and management skills that contributes to learning, growth, and competency building, as their employees move through their career paths. McDonald's program, is structured for employees to create a career path, understand their options, to know themselves in various business decisions, to continually learn and develop, as well as learning how to network effectively with others.

Nestle USA
College freshmen, sophomores and juniors are invited to Nestles USA leadership development symposiums which are held annually at its California headquarters. The symposium is a four day intensive business program which provides minority undergraduates the environment to be mentored and guided by the Nestle executive leadership team. The courses covered, include customized leadership development and community volunteerism.

Telefónica, through their leadership development program, train their employees to be responsible for their own development, through mentoring. Telefonica's training programs are adaptable to all business needs and the needs of each individual, based on their annual “Competence Evaluation Process.” eLeaning tools are encouraged to be used by employees where financial solutions are studied, English and Information, Communication, Technology.

Wal-Mart's Leadership Academy was created to develop managers and leaders before this level of maanagement became scarce. The Academy cultivates highly trained managers from the inside. The Academy develops program, where employees are trained through a series of developmental, training, and inspirational experiences to see themselves as leaders. It is a four month intense course consisting of virtual classrooms, master classes, instructor-led practice events, group discussions, and on the job experience. Its themes involve communication, leadership, international scoping and global thinking.

The Coca-Cola Company offers the University Talent Program, for its interns. This leadership program offers up to 10 week paid internships in the field of Information Technologies, Public Affairs, Supply Chain, Sales, Marketing, Finance, and Human Resources. Also, for their full time employees, this same program gives its employees a 2 year advanced course in business leadership, financial solutions, human resources, sales, and product supply leadership.

General Electric
General Electric's (“GE”) leadership developmental program provides courses for its experienced employees and entry level employees. The program is designed to be rotational where participants gain exceptional experience and contacts within the walls of GE, through 8 month rotational assignments. GE's leadership program is an extensive peer network, where employees are paired with senior leaders, who provide global networking experience and mentoring opportunities for an accelerated professional developmental training.

Citigroup designed a leadership program that diversified its training. In addition to training innovative banking solutions, they also include training for IT experts, international languages, software engineering, business analysts, and consumer technology, just to name a few. Citigroup is an extremely diversified global giant which supports women, working parents, the disabled, the military vets, cultural differences, and Pride. Citigroup provides customized training sessions for leadership roles, which includes mentoring programs.

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A team is united by the desire to attain a common goal or eliminate a similar obstacle. Despite the numerous obstacles along the path to success, a team needs to stand united and focused on the main objective.

No amount of strength or individual brilliance can compensate for the team's disunity and dwindling team spirit. Success is communal and defeat burdens the team equally in every team no matter the uniqueness of each player. Here are some useful teamwork quotes that will nourish team morale and foster team spirit in any environment.
Teamwork Skydiving

1. “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” – Anonymous

2. “A single leaf working alone provides no shade.” – Chuck Page

3. “A snowflake is one of God's most fragile creations, but look at what they can do when they stick together.” – Anonymous

4. “I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.” - Mia Hamm

5. “The name and logo in front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back.”- Anonymous

6. “Teamwork is the ability of a group to work together towards a common vision, even if that vision becomes quite blurry.”- Anonymous

7. “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress and working together is success.”- Henry Ford

8. “Teamwork starts by building trust. The only way to do that is to overcome our individual need for invulnerability.” -Patrick Lencioni

9. “Trust is knowing that when a team member pushes you, they are doing it because they care about the team.” –Patrick Lencioni

10. “You cannot snap your fingers using your thumb alone.” – Swahili Proverb

11. “Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon result.” – Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha

12. “Individually, we are just a mere drop. Together, we are a mighty ocean.” – Emma

13. “It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when it does not matter who gets the credit.” – Anonymous

14. “There is no I’ in team, but there is no team without individuals.” – Hannah

15. “Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success.” – Anonymous

16. “It doesn’t take strength to win; it takes the heart of the team to be victorious.” – Emily Voyle

17. “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.” – John Donne

18. “TEAM is an acronym for Together Everyone Achieves More.” – Anonymous

19. “If everyone is moving forward, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford

20. “Remember, the conduct of each determines the fate of all.” – Alexander the Great

Contrinue to check out the best teamwork movies here.

This is an online network created by the UNDP as a tool for the sharing and storage of information, knowledge, lessons and experiences learnt by its staff members, staff from other United Nation agencies, consultants, alumni, retirees and trusted partners from all over the world who are invited.

Its first trial version was in use in May 2009. Within a period of 18 months it had over 7500 users. A fully working version was later released in November 2010 after positive feedback from its users. The collaboration of users of over 35 United Nations agencies is made possible through Teamworks.

How UNDP Teamworks works

Every member of staff of the UNDP has an account automatically and can access Teamworks using their full email address and intranet passwords from the Teamwork's homepage. Non UNDP users of partner organizations request membership to Teamworks only if they maintain their own Teamworks domain otherwise they have to be invited by existing members into a particular work area.

Benefits and uses of Teamworks

It is an important platform where professional networks are formed and nurtured between colleagues where learning and innovation results to the benefit of every party.

It enables sharing and storage of knowledge and material like files, photos and video content in any language for the benefit of other colleagues now and in future because it also acts as a database where retrieval is possible. This is a secure medium for the safe dissemination of material to the intended persons within the network.

There is the possibility of creating online spaces for discussion and collaboration is one of the major benefits of Teamworks because interaction within this secure platform enables the exchange of ideas, experiences and material. This enhances friendly working environments because of the constant communication and the up-to-date information on one's colleague's activities.

It enables users to excel professionally because their work is open to many. The online discussions open up ways in which users expose their professional skills which increase their visibility. This opens the user to the possibilities of promotions to more challenging opportunities that suit their level of skills.

Teamworks promote inter agency cooperation between UNDP and other United Nation' partners. It enables the users to find experts who they can consult on different issues to the benefit of all.

The platform also uses blogs and articles to spread information to many. This helps in the sharing of experiences because, when a blog is started the sharing of questions and concerns is made easy. The dissemination of information through press releases, latest publications and newsletters is made from this medium.

It is a tool for campaigns and advertisements which reach many colleagues which increases responses and participants. This is because the information is available to all UNDP staff across the globe. This helps the users in improving outreach and advocacy of their campaigns.

Teamworks enables users to generate news using Rss feeds that make it possible to get news from different sources. This saves the user's time and keeps them informed.

Online interviews are possible where the users get to meet other communication officers from around the world.

Bruce Tuckman, currently a psychology professor at Ohio State University, is one of the most influential thinkers in modern history. His research has spanned over fifty years, and his dissertations regarding the functions of a small group are revolutionary.

Released in 1965, the theory, also known as Tuckman's stages, were made widely known to the intellectual community and contained four stages (later five) that would define the basic functions of a team in progress.

A Brief Analysis of Tuckman's Stages

The four original stages of Tuckman's model of group behavior were forming, storming, norming, and performing, with adjourning being added twelve years in later.

The stage of forming takes place when team or group members first meet one another. Tuckman explains how group members will explicitly attempt to avoid conflict in fear of giving off a bad first impression. According to Tuckman, very little work on the project at hand gets completed during this stage. This stage is more important for becoming acquainted and learning to work together.

The second stage is known as storming. There is a double-edged definition within storming because not only does brainstorming of different individuals' ideas take place but the disagreements and arguments regarding these ideas also happen. Tuckman explains that this stage is a test of group members' maturity and ability to compromise with others' opposing ideas, two major necessities when in a team setting.

The third stage is norming, probably the most simple of the five stages. Norming takes place when storming completes and the group is ready to move forward with assigning roles and beginning physical production of work.

The fourth stage, performing, happens when the group or team begins to work as one cohesive unit in an efficient and productive manner. There is very little argument or hesitation; the project closes in on completion as the individual members become properly synchronized within their roles.

The final stage, added in 1977, is adjourning, which basically explains the process of letting go of one's role in the team and the attachments they have made.

Contrasting Tuckman's Stages with the Tannenbaum and Schmidt Continuum

Bruce Tuckman's stages of group dynamics is not the only highly regarded theory defining group functions. The Tannenbaum and Schmidt Continuum talks about managerial and team roles and how much power the manager gives the employees to make decisions.

Basically, the manager can give more or less power to their team. If too little power is given to the employees, then the rest of the team may not function properly. If more power is given to employees and something goes wrong, the manager will be forced to take the blame, not for the project's failure but rather for giving his team the kind of power he/she did.

Unlike Bruce Tuckman's theory, Tannenbaum and Schmidt focused more on the manager as the primary role and what would potentially happen to the manager in these situations. On the other hand, Tuckman wanted to focus on the entire team as a cohesive unit. While compromise is a major contributor to the Tuckman theory, the Tannenbaum and Schmidt Continuum emphasizes the leader as the only decision-maker of the group; the team is merely just there for ideas and contributions.

Overall, Tuckman's Stages is a much more balanced group effort, while the Tannenbaum and Schmidt Continuum is what one would find in a current corporation's business meeting.

You might also read about other teamwork theories not mentioned here.

Skydiving photoA team is a group of people who work together for a specific interest. There are some tasks that cannot be completed by an individual thus a team is the only option towards accomplishing the task. A team can ensure that the outcome of an assignment is better compared to when it is done individually.

In this context we are going to discuss the benefits of working in a team. They are a couple of them but only ten of them will be relevant here and they are as follow:

1. Skills
An individual cannot possess all the skill to do a task. People are diverse in the sense that they handle things differently hence a team is convenient for it will provide every necessary personnel to do everything. This will ensure that extraordinary results are obtained.

2. Speed
You can have a project which needs financing it, pulling together a proposition, delivering specific benefits, implementing it and researching it. If one person is assigned this work, it can take years to come up with results. Thus splitting up the entire project, the task can propel in a parallel way and the decisive goal will be achieved faster.

3. Creativity
Every person has different knowledge, personal attributes and skills. The utilization of these in a team, good ideas will be generated thus resulting to better results

4. Satisfaction
In employees' surveys, lack of job satisfaction has always been highlighted. When individuals work as a team they interact hence enthusiasm and energy is created which when utilized, it can produce results that positively has an impact on the motivation and leading to more success.

5. Sounding board
As an individual you can have a variety of options and if you try to know what is the best you might end up not doing anything. A team can split the tasks such that some of the people work as a sounding board allowing them to indulge in several options that will harness the likeliness of achieving the desired goals on time.

6. Support
A team always gives each other motivation towards accomplishing something challenging. They can go to extreme length with the mentality that they can count on the encouragement and support of the team.

7. Flexibility
Teams are very responsive and flexible towards changing demands and events. The benefit of this is that no matter the changes of the program a team cannot be stranded on what to do but to adapt on it due to their flexibility.

8. Employees needs
People do have social needs thus when feeling down, then staying close to your team will motivate you and forget all of your stress. This is a very significant benefit to those who social issues that are disturbing them.

Acquiring or learning new skills from your colleagues in your team can also be of benefit for you expand your knowledge towards other fields. After finishing the work you will have ended knowing some of the things you were not conversant with.

Teams can generate better communication and courteous relationships among employees. This is a benefit because people in the team will learn to respect hence the task is completed without any disagreements

Learn how you can improve team work at the workplace with these examples.