30+ Real Life Examples of Teamwork

A team should be like a well-oiled machine—every component working in harmony. Each member has different tasks that go along with making sure everything runs smoothly.

Teamwork can be challenging, but it’s also rewarding when everyone works together toward achieving a goal.

Here are some real-life examples of great teamwork:

Erica Alter, LMSW

Erica Alter

Licensed Master Social Worker, Cobb Psychotherapy

Listening to what others have to say and making sure that each member of the team feels heard

Arguably the most important part of teamwork is communication. It is important to listen to what others have to say and to make sure that each member of the team feels heard. Honesty and transparency are key.

If a member of the group feels like their ideas are not being taken seriously, it is important for that person to have the space, to be honest about it. Without that level of honesty and open communication, that person may build up a layer of resentment or feelings of exclusion, leading to a disjointed effort to the team’s overall goal.

Related: The 28 Best Books on Communication Skills

Another important aspect of communication is our ability to listen. We are used to doing things our way, and when we need to work together as a team, our strength lies in our ability to listen to others’ points of view and introduce those perspectives into our group communication.

It can be hard to take a step back from being the decision-maker, but each member brings a different strength to the overall group, and the importance of leaning into those strengths is what makes a successful team.

Each perspective comes with a unique set of work and life experiences, and each one can add value to the team if given the space to be heard. In addition to that, it fosters a supportive and open environment when each member of the team feels heard.

Those members who are not as quick to speak but have good ideas depend on strong listeners to feel supported enough to speak their ideas. Sometimes these contributions are the most important to the group, and it is crucial to let them know that they are being listened to.

Encouragement can also be an important part of the communication factor.

Being able to validate someone else’s ideas and to give them positive reinforcement is a great way to foster a sharing environment. The more people feel that their contributions will be respected and considered seriously, the most they feel comfortable contributing.

The bottom line of communication when it comes to a team is making sure that all lines of communication stay open and that nothing is left to be assumed. When there is a change in the group or an important update to the project, or really any update at all, go out of your way to make sure that all members of the group know.

If there is dissonance within the group, and a clash of opinions in terms of how to move forward, over-communicate. Make sure that what is being said to one member is being disseminated to all members and that no one is being left out.

This enables all members to stay on the same page and be as efficient as possible when changes arise.

Focusing on what each person brings to the team rather than honing in on what each person lacks

An interesting thing about teamwork is that it lends an opportunity to those who might typically be behind the scenes. With the right amount of support and encouragement for an open forum, individuals who have hidden strengths can be supported in putting their ideas out there.

While one member of the team might be the natural leader and great at presenting in front of a crowd, another member might be a creative genius but too timid to speak up and share his/her talents.

When part of a team, that creative but shy member can share their ideas and work with the more extroverted member to make it shareable, these ideas can then get in front of new eyes.

The beauty of a team is the ability for each person to use their strengths to support others’ weaknesses and to lean into their different skills and expertise to create a collaborative and open atmosphere.

By focusing on what each person brings to the team rather than honing in on what each person lacks, we are able to encourage each other, boost morale, and work in harmony.

Creating a compassionate space for all team members

In work environments, it is so common for each of us to operate as a one-man team. It can be easy to see all the hard work we are doing, the long hours we put in, and the tough obstacles we face, but it can be much harder to see those same things in others.

We often assume that others are not trying as hard, putting in as much time, or can’t empathize with our struggles as a part of the larger organization. When we have stressors from our personal life, it makes it harder to achieve our professional goals, but we more often than not keep that to ourselves.

The beauty of teamwork is that it forces us to be more honest about what we are struggling with since we are a part of a team working towards a common goal. Being honest about our hardships can help us see the common humanity in others and naturally create a compassionate space for our team members.

This enables us to lean on others when we need them and pick up the work for someone who might be struggling. It creates space for transparency so that we can begin to function with a team mindset rather than an individual mindset.

Most importantly, it introduces the element of compassion for others, which is not a natural tendency in a work environment.

With compassion for our team members and the honesty and transparency necessary to make the teamwork, we have a better chance at achieving our common goal and creating a healthier environment for ourselves and the people we work with every day.

Paul A. Dillon, CMC

Paul Dillon

Adjunct Instructor, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University | President and CEO, Dillon Consulting Services LLC

Service in the military makes you understand the concept of “teamwork” perfectly

The best team-building training in the world is the training received by officers and senior non-commissioned officers in the Armed Forces of the United States.

Ability to lead and function as a team—The whole Armed Forces are built on the “buddy system.” Nobody accomplishes the mission alone.

If you’re going to be successful in the military, you need to work with all types and kinds of people, from all races, creeds, genders, backgrounds, and persuasions, and weld all of these disparate interests into a fighting force that’s going to defeat the enemy.

Service in the military makes you understand the concept of “teamwork” perfectly. And, as an officer, or non-commissioned officer, you learn how to lead a team to accomplish the mission. If you can’t do this—if you can’t forge your troops into an effective fighting force—you’re mustered out of the service pretty quickly.

There’s no margin for error here; there are no second chances. This is serious business. This isn’t just about “corporate profits.” Lives are at stake.

Ewelina Melon

Ewelina Melon

Head of People and Culture, Tidio

Buddy program for a successful onboarding process of new employees

The onboarding time and the first weeks of work are crucial in building a long-term relationship with employees. Thanks to the joint effort of the whole team, a new employee feels taken care of and becomes a part of the company and its team much faster.

At Tidio, new hires are supported by buddies – teammates who help with any questions and concerns. A buddy’s goal is to make new employees feel like a part of the company as soon as possible – they introduce new hires to other team members, invite them to integration meetings and check how they feel in a new role.

The buddy program increases the satisfaction of new employees and makes the first days at work less stressful.

Knowledge-sharing sessions help to understand the needs of our customers

Knowledge-sharing among different teams is the perfect example of how teamwork is crucial in building a successful business. For instance, to understand our clients better and create content perfectly tailored to their needs, our Content Team uses insights from the Customer Experience and Product Teams.

In that, the Content Team knows what difficulties our users struggle with and what questions they frequently ask and can address some of their thoughts in the form of comprehensive articles on our blog.

Sumit Bansal

Sumit Bansal

Founder and CEO, TrumpExcel

A group’s collective action, especially when it is productive and efficient

While it is a sufficient definition for the sake of describing the notion, I am hesitant to confine such a concept to the human domain alone (people). Having stated that, you asked for an example.

When a football team effectively executes a play and scores, it is an example of teamwork. Teamwork is defined as a coordinated effort between numerous normally autonomous organizations having a common aim or intent.

The actions of ants are another example of teamwork observed in nature. Almost everything an ant does is done for the benefit of the entire nest. Ant behavior and the notion of emergence are outside the scope of this topic, but suffice it to state that they are a wonderful illustration of “teamwork.”

Steve Scott

Steve Scott

CTO, Spreadsheet Planet

Our sports teams are the most visible and arguably most popular example

There are examples of discord in some sports teams (“liked by the press”), but the emphasis is on how well each player on a team “does his part” in helping the team succeed.

The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research is one of the most prestigious social research organizations. They undertook a study of business executives in the 1970s and discovered that many of the most successful business managers had been college athletes or members of college sports teams at the time.

That is an actual example of a valid point.

I’ve worked on a politician’s campaign crew. That type of teamwork is something I have firsthand experience with. It also entails how well each member of that form of the team contributes to the success of the team’s leader.

It’s crucial to understand that there are numerous examples and types of teamwork. It becomes trivial to most of us if you define it so that it just relates to one sector, such as sports teams.

But keep in mind that even scientists attend conferences and gatherings where they share the results of their work, and so benefit all members of the “Scientists Team.” Einstein’s work was influenced by his knowledge of James Clerk Maxwell, Max Planck, and even Carl Hertz.

Individuals and their efforts can only go so far. Any individual that participates in teamwork enhances their impact.

Tyler Martin

Tyler Martin

Founder and Certified Business Coach, Tyler Martin

Define the roles and duties of each team member so that they can better fulfill the goals

Microsoft was started by Bill Gates and Paul Allen; Apple was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak; The Beatles were formed by five outstanding musicians, and so on. Teamwork makes the dream a reality, but when the leader has a large dream and a bad team, the vision becomes a nightmare.

A statement that will get you out of any mess is “teamwork makes the dream work.”

How to get it done:

  • Break down the work into components, then assign tasks based on competence, interest, and availability.
  • To keep teams linked throughout the project, start working out loud.
  • Define the roles and duties of each team member so that they can better fulfill the goals.
  • When you reach a significant milestone, you should all rejoice together.
  • Do not limit their ability to make decisions.
  • Establish a working style that includes regular team meetings, communicating what everyone is working on, and contributing.
  • Keep everyone informed on your efforts, failures, setbacks, and victories.

Kyle MacDonald

Kyle MacDonald

Director of Operations, Force by Mojio

Turning a tough situation into a success story

One real-life example of teamwork I observed in my workplace recently occurred when our customer success team was short-staffed during a busy Monday.

The most senior team member was traveling for a family obligation, and another team member got sick that weekend and couldn’t work. Unfortunately, we were busy in other departments and couldn’t get additional coverage, so we had just a couple of relatively recent hires working to cover the phones and emailed service requests.

To say they handled it like pros would be an understatement.

They divided up tasks throughout the workday, delegating to each other as necessary, and took turns covering for the other during lunch breaks. I was impressed by the degree to which they were able to turn a tough situation into a success story.

Gavin Johnson

Gavin Johnson

Managing Director, EV Cable Shop

Adobe’s approach to collaborative innovation is based on autonomy

Adobe is all about creativity, and they understand that micromanaging kills it. Adobe managers use their leadership talents to mentor their teams rather than watching their employees’ every action. This fosters a strong sense of personal autonomy, allowing team members to collaborate in more imaginative and creative ways.

Giving your employees more autonomy can help your team perform better overall.

Employees with a high sense of autonomy are 2 to 3 times more likely to be engaged than those with a lesser sense of autonomy, according to research. You may give your employees greater autonomy by giving them the resources they need to do their tasks as well as the freedom to do so in their own way.

PepsiCo believes that diversity strengthens teams

PepsiCo, as one of the world’s largest food and beverage corporations, is also paving the way for a more diverse and inclusive workplace. They have dedicated themselves to recruiting skilled people of all races, faiths, genders, orientations, and backgrounds for decades.

Employees are 68 percent more inclined to take time to get to know coworkers personally when an organization’s culture is inclusive, according to an O.C. Tanner poll, and when coworkers get to know each other personally, they feel more encouraged to work toward their team’s success.

Daniel Close

Daniel Close

Founder & CEO, We Buy Houses in Kentucky

The study of teamwork and Google

“Teamwork in Google” is one of the best real-life teamwork examples I’ve heard. Google launched Project Aristotle in 2012. Hundreds of employees were interviewed over the course of several years. Data from more than 100 current teams were analyzed by the organization.

Finally, competent managers came to the same conclusion: The greatest teams have individuals who are sensitive to each other and listen to each other.

Matt Sakaguchi, for example, was a Google mid-level manager who sought to put Project Aristotle’s results into reality. He took his staff out of the office to discuss his cancer diagnosis. His coworkers began expressing their own personal stories after initially remaining mute.

They were able to be vulnerable and grow to trust one another as a result of this conversation.

The concept of “psychological safety” is at the heart of both Google’s findings and Matt’s team’s experience. This is the belief that a group is a safe place to take interpersonal risks. In order to develop a successful team, Google now considers psychological safety to be the most crucial aspect.

According to their findings, it has less to do with who is on a team and more to do with how the members communicate with one another.

Steve Pogson

Steve Pogson

Founder & E-commerce Strategy Lead, First Pier

Bringing people from different areas together

Steve Jobs bought a little computer company called (drumroll) Pixar in 1986, shortly after he was fired from Apple. He moved the company to an abandoned Del Monte canning facility in 2000.

The initial proposal was planned for three buildings, with offices for computer scientists, animators, and Pixar executives in separate structures. It was promptly discarded by Jobs. Instead of three separate structures, there would be one large open space with an atrium in the center.

But it wasn’t enough for Jobs to simply create room; he also needed to persuade people to visit. Pixar’s main issue, in his opinion, was getting its various cultures to interact and work together.

The equation is as follows: “Technology inspires art, and art challenges technology,” says John Lasseter, Pixar’s chief creative officer.

Jobs saw the separation of offices as a design flaw. He started by relocating the mailboxes to the atrium. The meeting rooms, restaurant, coffee bar, and gift store were then relocated to the center of the building.

“The atrium can appear like a waste of space at first,” Brad Bird, director of “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille,” said. But Steve realized that when people make eye contact and run into each other, things happen.

The emphasis on coherence has always been a defining quality of Steve Jobs, even if it came at the sacrifice of convenience. Jobs believed that the finest ideas came from bringing people from different areas together, especially in this period of intellectual fragmentation.

Stephen Light

Stephen Light

Co-Owner and Chief Marketing Officer, Nolah Mattress

Teamwork on full display with a new baby

An everyday life example of teamwork that comes to mind is when a family friend had a new baby. Not only did we watch the two parents leap into a new, heightened state of teamwork to take care of their child, but everyone in their immediate circle jumped in like a well-trained sports team, ready to strategize and help the star players.

Teamwork is truly on full display when a community of people surrounds and supports their loved ones through such a profound life event.

Some offered their time and expertise, both resources that are highly useful to new parents, and some offered tangible goods like food, clothes, diapers, and money. Excellent teamwork was also on display in the way everyone was communicating.

Assumptions about the new parents’ needs were made only when it made sense, but otherwise, communication lines were open and flowing with questions to make sure they were getting the help they actually needed and that no one was imposing.

The whole experience reminded me how we could forget that teamwork isn’t just a business skill; it’s a life skill.

Noel Andrews

Noel Andrews

CEO & Founder, Jobrack

Teamwork is needed for employees to be productive and for a company to work efficiently. Here are some real-life examples of teamwork:

Conflict resolution

The key to successful teamwork is to build trust within your group. Moreover, you need to realize that there will be good and bad days. Make sure that your team has difficult conversations to increase trust.

For example, two members of my team did not get along together. This affected the overall productivity of the team. I made sure to act as a mediator between the two and asked them to talk to one another over a couple of drinks. The conversation proved to be fruitful in resolving the conflict.

Collaboration

Communicating with your colleagues at the workplace is important. I always ensure that my teammates talk to each other when performing a task.

For example, our team recently had work that no one was able to do individually. However, when everyone started to brainstorm together, it opened room for dialogue and discussion. Everyone gave different ideas and completed the task in a matter of minutes. Thus, increasing productivity.

Team traditions

It is important to have certain team traditions to create better relationships. This generates trust within the team, and they tend to work better.

For example, we make sure to have annual office dinners and lunches. This fosters team spirit. Moreover, it also allows the team to communicate with each other. Team traditions can also include celebrating birthdays or other important events. Thus, creating a close-knit team.

Felix Tang

Felix Tang

Managing Director, Business Trade

Good culture and open communication are key to virtual collaboration

With remote work becoming the norm, communication has become more important than ever as workers collaborate virtually. This is particularly the case with our organization as our team all work remotely.

Our company culture encourages and tries to foster an open environment where communication is free-flowing. This has helped our team improve productivity whilst working entirely remotely.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Remote Employee Perks and Benefits

Using tech suite which allows for open communication

We are very serious about utilizing technology to improve communication and collaboration where we can. Slack and Google Docs have allowed us to communicate as a team very efficiently. Without these, our team would struggle to work together remotely, but with them, we work as though we are all in the same office space.

Maulik Patel

Maulik Patel

Founder and Director, Clickmatix Digital Marketing Agency

I have been in this business for over a decade now. It is due to the teamwork we have achieved so far. Allow me to share the best examples of teamwork practices that we have included in our company.

Being open to participating in the discussions

Collaboration with teammates depends upon communication in the workplace. The team will be effective only when they are open to participating in the discussions and their opinion has value.

Every member has different experiences and emotional intelligence; their opinion could differ from another member. Be tolerant and supportive while listening to all of them.

Developing a habit of listening to the others

Every team member’s personality is unique. You may find people who are talkative and some people less talkative. That does not mean the less talkative is the weakest link in the discussion.

It is found that the less talkative are the ones who are the most creative. But they don’t say anything in the meetings due to the confusion about whether they are good or not. Or, might someone laugh at them or reject their proposal.

Develop a habit of listening to the other as well. Motivate them to speak. If they hesitate, be patient and let them speak.

Laughter connects with people immediately

It is contagious and a silent breaker too. It can refresh the mood of members and evaporate the fear of speaking in a team meeting. Even conflicts can be settled down if there is laughter in the room. As a teammate, learn to laugh at your mistakes. It is a good conflict navigator.

Maciek Kubiak

Maciek Kubiak

Head of People, PhotoAiD

Role rotation as team-building process

At our company, we have implemented various role rotation routines in teams that can benefit from it. This happens in Customer Engagement, Content, and Digital PR teams, where more generalist talent pools are present.

To give an example, in any given week, most members of the Content team might be proofreading content, copywriting, researching topics and keywords with good SEO potential, translating content, or designing better landing pages.

We decided to take this approach not only because our talent pool allows it, but also because we find that once different employees have a deep understanding of different parts of the content creation process, they can further empathize with other members standing at different levels of the process.

Moreover, we found that all segments of content creation were improved just by the sheer number of eyes looking into them from different perspectives. So it’s been an excellent addition in terms of team building and improving actual output in both quantitative and qualitative terms.

The bottom line is: Whenever possible, diversifying your team capacity can create more tight-knit teams and better results.

Andrew Helling

Andrew Helling

Editor-In-Chief and Owner, Rethority

Four seasons and a fresh croissant

The founder of Wynn Resort & Casino, Steve Wynn, told the story about his family’s trip to Paris. They were staying at the Four Seasons and had breakfast delivered to their room. His daughter ate only half of a croissant and saved the other half for later.

Wynn and his family went sightseeing in Paris, and when they returned to their hotel room, the pastries had vanished. His daughter was dissatisfied because she assumed it had been removed by cleaning.

There was a message from the front desk on the phone. They said that housekeeping had taken away the half-croissant from the room, anticipating that they would prefer a new pastry when they arrived. As a result, the front desk contacted the kitchen to reserve a croissant, and room service was advised that the item would be sent upon request.

The hotel’s level of collaboration and communication amongst divisions was truly remarkable. The end result – consumer happiness – was clear to all participants. And everyone acknowledged their part in making the event a success.

It demonstrates that employees should be empowered to be creative, intuitive, thorough, and generous in order to attain happiness on several levels inside the organization.

Tyson Stevens

Tyson Stevens

Founder, EduRef

Udacity: bringing teams together through entertaining activities

When leaders connect with their people, there is a 156 percent boost in the likelihood that employees will feel well. Udacity recognized this, as well as one of the simplest ways to connect people: to have fun.

This is why they set aside time and resources each week for unique corporate team-building events such as Fancy Fridays or after-hours Recess.

Udacity understands how to treat their teams as individuals first and employees second. You can follow in their footsteps by allowing team members to take a break from work and bond over something purely enjoyable, such as an impromptu office scavenger hunt or a Mario Kart tournament.

This fosters a culture of collaboration rather than rivalry.
In the end, excellent teamwork is usually defined by two factors: connection and engagement.

Everything else—collaboration, work ethic, and innovation—can be traced back to those two factors. Your employees must be interested in their work and connected to one another. Hiring team players is a fantastic place to start, but it will take enriched workplace culture to help them reach their full potential as a cohesive team.

William Taylor

William Taylor

Senior Recruitment Advisor, VelvetJobs

Teamwork also exists in the family dynamic

Aside from the usually organizational version of teamwork, it also exists in the family dynamic. Without realizing it, families actually show a lot of good examples of teamwork where there is collaboration and working hand-in-hand.

For example, a family that follows a chore schedule, wherein every family member has a house chore to complete. This shows how every member contributes to achieving a common goal, which is maintaining the cleanliness of the house.

A working father and a housewife mother is also an example of teamwork. The father provides for the family while the mother takes care of the members.

David Wurst

David Wurst

Owner and CEO, Webcitz

Dell: keeping teams connected with virtual-collaboration programs

Many businesses, both domestic and international, are shifting toward a more virtual work environment. With their Connected Workplace program, Dell, as a prominent computer-technology corporation, took a giant stride toward the future of teamwork.

This system allows its employees to work whenever and wherever they want while being linked as if they were in the same office.

Many business owners are hesitant about allowing their employees to work remotely because they believe team relationships cannot be built without face-to-face connections.

Your employees can still feel a strong feeling of comradery and connection if you design a system that cultivates a thriving online work culture, whether they are five feet away or five million.

Lauren Cook-McKay

Lauren Cook-McKay

Director of Marketing & Content, Divorce Answers

The Miracle on Ice

For a good cause, the United States’ unexpected victory over the Russian hockey team in the 1980s Olympics was dubbed the “Miracle on Ice.” For as far as anyone could remember, the Russian team had dominated the sport, and hockey had always been a second- or third-tier sport in the United States.

In a most inspiring teamwork example, Mike Eruzione, a 25-year-old team captain, led his squad to victory over the odds-on favorites, the seasoned Soviet team. Eruzione never saw himself as a star player as a kid; instead, he saw himself as a team player.

He thought that team success was based on everyone in the team carrying their weight and having a strong work ethic rather than on individuals excelling. Even though he didn’t make the squad at Boston College and was assigned to the B team, he was advised not to lose faith.

Early lessons in teamwork were important in earning him the respect and trust of the Olympic hockey squad. He recognized that there were many egos on the squad that needed to be set aside for the team’s sake. Everyone had to feel like they were making a difference. Steve Janaszak, the backup goalie, never competed in the Olympics, but he was just as vital to the victory as anyone else.

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