CPD tips - How to improve your teamwork skills

CPD tips - How to improve your teamwork skills

04 May 2023

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Effective teamwork and the improvement of skills are increasingly essential for an organisation to succeed and are required for almost every industry. Strong teamwork skills and those who have developed the ability to work well with others are consistently sought out by employers for their ability to demonstrate leadership, collaboration, and good communication with colleagues.

The following CPD article will explain why teamwork is so important, including some examples of what makes an effective team, as well as outline some simple and easy ways when looking to improve your team-building skills in the workplace.

What is teamwork?

Teamwork can be defined as the process of multiple individuals collaborating together to improve the results of their work and improve efficiency. This can happen in any industry and involve people from across all departments and a variety of different skillsets. Good teamwork can be used to help develop and refine skills, improve relationships, or unite groups of people in working toward a common goal.

Why is teamwork so important in the workplace?

If there is more than one employee where you work, it is likely you will have to engage in some form of teamwork at some point in your career. Therefore, it is essential to know the fundamentals of teamwork and learn the skills necessary to meet objectives as a team. There are several benefits in which teamwork’s importance can be highlighted:

Benefits of effective teamwork

Evolution of new Ideas - Multiple brains working together based off their varied skillsets and life experiences can produce new ideas and conclusions that individuals would most likely never have thought of by themselves.

Improved efficiency and increased learning opportunities - No matter how skilled or motivated a professional may be, there is only so much they can do and so many hours in a day. Generally, multiple people working towards the same goal effectively can achieve a lot more. Find out the benefits of collaboration in learning.

Better quality of work and stronger working relationships - If you have colleagues who have skills which fill in gaps in your own, or those who can help to support your efforts in whatever the task or job role may be, then the overall quality of your work can benefit.

Higher morale and faster innovation - Sometimes workloads or assignments can seem vast and overwhelming. Having the support of team members to share the load with, most of whom will be experiencing the same challenge as you can improve morale, especially if new approaches are produced as a result.

Create stronger relationships through teamwork

Less managerial interference - Employers and managers expect employees to be team players. In some instances, management may trust a team who have demonstrated effective teamwork to fulfil their role with less interference or top down leadership. This can have a number of positive effects, such as feelings of independence from staff and allowing those who know what they’re doing to just get on with the job. It also can save time and increase efficiency without having to check everything first before taking action.

Fostering healthy competition - Although it may sound like an oxymoron, an important part of teamwork in some environments may be to foster competition. This could motivate people to try approaches they would not have otherwise, innovate more to increase their efficiency over teammates or other teams, and attempt to stand out through task completion, as long as this isn’t to the detriment of the team or task at hand.

What makes effective teamwork?

Everyone has their own definition of what effective teamwork looks like. However, in general, this is made through collaboration, negotiation, and strong leadership, depending on what works best in the situation. Every team leader knows how important good teamwork is to an organisation's success, but not everyone knows how to create a work environment that facilitates successful teamwork.

In order to gather a productive team, you need to identify the core characteristics of effective teamwork and skills necessary to build a team where each individual brings their distinct sets of skills and personality to work.

Tips and examples of the best teamwork skills

It is helpful to know some of the best teamwork skills that can maximise your progress and will help you to fast-track your team-building strategies. Some examples of key teamwork skills include:

  • The ability to listen - Listening will allow you to know what is required of you as part of the team and also if and how you can improve or adapt. Learn to improve your active listening.
  • Letting go of ego - Working with the team leader or the will of the teammates can be challenging if your personal approach or ideas sometimes differ from that of others in the group. However, it is one of the most essential elements of teamwork. You may realise that you are part of something bigger and that the other members may be drawing on particular knowledge or skills you do not possess.
  • Knowing your function on the team - This means each team member recognising his or her role and skills within the team collective and playing to their own strengths while compensating for each other’s weaknesses.
  • Facilitate communication - Remember communication is the single most important factor in successful teamwork. Solicit feedback from staff members and encouraging team members to be forthcoming with their ideas and concerns is equally important for the success of the team. Ensure everyone is operating with a clear understanding of what everyone is supposed to be doing so team members can focus and flourish. Find out how to improve your communication skills.
How to build an effective team

Simple and easy ways to improve your teamwork skills

When looking to improve your teamwork skills, there are also several easy and effective ways to improve your collaboration. We have outlined some simple strategies and easy ways for fostering team building and developing a productive team environment that will propel you towards accomplishing your goals.

Undertaking CPD courses

Improving and building on existing skills and knowledge is a core aspect of an individual’s career and Continuing Professional Development (CPD). This could be specific team-building training and exercises, formal training courses or even helpful tips for improvement like those found in this article.


Like with developing any skill, the easiest and best way to improve at teamwork is to participate in teamwork. This could be at a hobby or sport, in the work environment or with friends or family in an informal setting. Opportunities like these will help hone the required skills, familiarise you with your strengths and weaknesses and also witness the potential benefits of teamwork.

Set clearly defined goals

When a team shares a specific goal, it helps to prioritize time and resources. It also helps your employees understand their roles and how their work contributes to the overall success of the project. Consider setting SMART goals, and use timelines, plans and structured content that clearly define current and future business goals for the team.

Learning from a company or historical examples

Looking within your company or successful companies or into positive historical examples of teamwork such as the formation of trade unions to negotiate fair worker rights or even the origins of democracy can be helpful to identify what you could be doing better.

Types of team-building activities for the workplace

Team-building activities can provide employees with an opportunity to have some fun while strengthening their workplace culture and interpersonal relationships. If you need to develop your team-building skills, then there is no better place to learn than the workplace itself. Below, we have outlined some common types of team-building activities.

Personality-based team building activities

Everyone has a different personality, but for a team to work effectively, each has to come to a consensus. Personality-based team-building allows members to collaborate and prevent problems. Team-building activities that incorporate each team member’s personality type, with an understanding of how each individual interacts with others and what skills they bring, can help businesses better appreciate what everyone has to offer.

Best team-building activities in the workplace

Activity-based team building activities

Activity-based team building allows your team to bond as they work together to achieve a common goal. This type of team building usually takes place outside of the office and are often designed to take your team out of their normal comfort zone to explore various environments and challenges.

Skills-based team building activities

This type of team building is tied directly to your team’s performance and is meant to teach your team a skill that they can immediately implement into their everyday lives. Communication, problem solving, decision making, or adaptability are all examples of skill-based team building.

Virtual and online team building activities

More are working remotely, and many teams are spread out in different locations. Taking the time to allow them to build their relationships within the team can have a huge impact on how well they work together and allows for team members to feel closer to the business and their peers.

Problem-solving-based team building activities

Problem-solving exercises are good activities for team building in the workplace because of the widespread applications of the skills that can be gained by doing this. This approach helps participants learn how to work together towards a common goal, identify and resolve conflicts before they escalate, and share their ideas and challenges within the team and can help to build interpersonal relationships.

Find CPD courses to learn team-building skills

When looking to learn how to build your skills in teamwork, there is an ever-growing amount of relevant CPD courses, training, and learning options available within the CPD Courses Catalogue. This is one of the best ways to work on improving your teamwork skills, as learning will have had prior review to recognised standards. A full range of courses offered on behalf of our members can be found here.

How to become a CPD accredited training provider

We hope this article was helpful. Established in 1996, The CPD Certification Service is the world’s leading and largest CPD accreditation organisation working across all industry sectors. If you are looking to provide training courses or events that may be suitable for Continuing Professional Development, please contact our team to discuss in more detail. 

To learn more about improving your teamwork skills, please read some of our related articles:

How to improve collaboration skills

CPD tips - Speaking with confidence how to find your voice

Motivating a team with different personalities

Alternatively, if you are looking for a free online CPD record tool to help manage, track and log your ongoing learning, as well as store your professional training records and attendance certificates in one simple place, go to the myCPD Portal page.

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