May 19, 2022

Lessons in Racing: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Millions of people gather around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway year after year to watch as drivers race for the title. The driver’s journey to the finish line is not made alone. As the saying goes, it takes a village.

Drivers surround themselves with dozens of people behind the scenes who ensure the safety and efficiency of the whole operation. IndyCar drivers can compete for the trophy thanks to the teamwork of their staff. Like a well-oiled machine, teamwork ensures success in any venture. In every industry, a team of people supports client-facing roles and ensures their success.

Teams who sharpen their skills in communication, mentorship and teamwork are often at the top of their industry. Become a leader in your industry by fostering a strong sense of teamwork amongst employees – and cross the finish line together as one.

Behind every strong team is a good leader.

Making sure the top leaders in the company understand the bottom line and how to encourage and train each employee is vital when it comes to teamwork. These are the people in charge of pushing and maintaining the momentum that fuels the team. According to Forbes Councilmember Alex Kowton, “a qualified executive team knows how to build a team, maintain momentum and foster excitement in all levels of the corporate structure. If your executive team is qualified, they will want to commit to making teamwork a priority.”

Promote teamwork with these leadership tips:

  1. Encourage mentoring programs. Companies should foster leadership with programs that allow for further professional and personal growth. In other words, mentorship enables potential leaders to rise within the company.
  2. Give a little respect. Every person within an organization is vital to its success, and it’s critical to remember the importance of mutual respect. “If respect is sincere, team members will want to help, rather than feel threatened by or in competition with each other,” stated Kowton. If you can’t find mutual respect, you often won’t find teamwork.

Fuel Your Company Culture

Companies should carefully curate a culture that employees believe in to retain and attract new talent and foster professional growth for each staff member. Similarly, the company culture often reflects the employees that inhabit it. Furthermore, when positivity engulfs a workforce, employees naturally work as a team more cohesively.

Here’s what you can do to improve your company culture:

  1. Foster positive workplace relationships. Positivity breeds positivity. Relationships in the workplace that focus on communication and support encourage each team member
  2. Communicate effectively. For example, learn to communicate with your team by identifying strengths and weaknesses. Gallup suggests utilizing CliftonStrengths to understand the best ways to encourage and strengthen teamwork in the workplace.

Envision the Finishing Line

Even teams who work well together may still get off track if they have differing views on what the results of projects should be. A clear goal shared throughout the team will make the most impact on the bottom line. Kutwon states, “While each person’s tasks, strengths and weaknesses may be different, if the overall vision, mission and purpose are shared, you ensure that everyone is moving in the same direction.”

Make the most out of the drive that comes with teamwork.

  1. Talk about it. Effective communication is crucial, but consistent discussions help ensure the realization of the team’s goals. Daily or weekly check-ins will keep every team member on track.
  2. Be clear and concise. Everyone should have clear roles when working on a project. Work can become messy, and negativity can arise when roles are not defined – hindering teamwork.