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It’s a natural inclination for an individual to view work from a single vantage point – the worker’s own point of view. An individual’s focus may be inspired by how their performance could result in a move to the next job level, a pay raise, or a bonus.

individual vs groupWith a single focus, a worker will rely on an approach that allows them to get ahead of their colleagues in order to leverage their own career. But, this is no way to work within business if you want to broaden your skill set and put the needs of the company first.

Within a team, the end result cannot be achieved without all of the individuals functioning in a common thought process and working towards a common goal. The same goes for a sports team or musical ensemble. Individuals must work together and not against each other, if one individual is failing to do this, then the entire team and result will impact from it.

With this perspective, an employee can still shine if they took part in a team that gets results. If a company goes under, how does that benefit the individual? It doesn’t even translate well on a resume – the company failed and the individual was a part of it.

So, what can you do to change focus?

Rating group performance and participation

One creative way to change the thought process is by creating group-orientated activities and rating the worker’s performance based upon their successful contribution to the group. The group’s success can be part of the worker’s performance review – so now the stakes are high and there’s an incentive to participate and interact within the team. This translates into motivating employees to work towards the best team outcomes, because it directly effects the worker’s job assessment.

Team building activities

Team building activities can help to train focus and teach employees how to cooperate in different scenarios. You could get involved in specific team building activities that rely upon everyone working together in order to produce a successful outcome. This will help to develop relationships and the skills learnt can easily be adapted into the workplace.

You don’t have to engage in team building activities to achieve this however, as simply going out as a group and getting to know each other outside of the office can help to strengthen the team. For example, at the end of each month you could all go out for a meal or see a sports game.

Team based software

One of the reasons why employees may only be focussing on their own success is because there isn’t a process in place that enables them to successfully work and cooperate with other team members. If they’re relying solely on meetings and conversations, they’re surely going to struggle.

You can easily overcome this issue with team planner software for projects so that everyone knows who is working on what task. Planning software will also provide employees with a tool to monitor progress. If they see that one of their colleagues is falling behind, they can step in to assist them to ensure group success. This can significantly help to divert them away from focussing only on individual success.

The importance of working within a team is something that has been emphasised to us since we first started education. Employers don’t want someone who has only their own interests in mind, because that will do nothing for the rest of the business. Put the emphasis back onto the group and both the employees and business will develop as a result.