9 Team-Building Skills and Why They're Important (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 18, 2022 | Published July 26, 2021

Updated October 18, 2022

Published July 26, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Teams run and operate many companies, institutions, and businesses. It can be hard not to find yourself in a team as you progress in your career, either as a team member or team leader. These skills have become a must-have for all workers, and hiring managers notice candidates who have experience working in teams. In this article, we explain what team-building skills are, discuss various some of the most important ones to develop, and share tips on how to improve them.

What are team-building skills?

Team-building skills are abilities and traits that help teams, team leaders, and team members work cohesively towards a specific purpose. They are necessary for project completion, business growth, and employee work. Effective skills for teams determine the success of a business or institution. Once learned, they can help you become a better team player or a better leader.

9 team-building skills

The following are some of the most important skills for teams to develop for success in the workplace:

1. Delegation

Delegation involves assigning authority to another individual for them to carry out certain activities. It involves distributing work to different people within the team. Delegation also empowers employees to work more independently, increasing their performance and efficiency. When a team leader delegates work, it frees up much time to focus on high-value roles and tasks to use their time more productively. It also enables all team players to understand priorities and prioritize tasks.

Delegation also helps employees develop new skills and improve their knowledge of performing specific tasks. To become a better and efficient delegator:

  • Create clear and attainable goals

  • Always provide concise and candid feedback to your team

  • Ensure you efficiently communicate roles and tasks to team members

  • Set deadlines and timelines for doing specific tasks

  • Delegate the right task to the right person by aligning an individual with an area of their interest and their expertise

  • Provide the resources needed for the task

  • Ensure you note milestones and achievements accordingly

Related: Time Management Skills: Examples and Definitions

2. Goal setting

Goals help teams visualize the end of their actions and input. Teams need to set clear goals before the start of the teams' activities or projects. The most effective method to set goals is using the SMART method. This acronym stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based, and provides a guideline when setting an effective goal. To set the best team goals:

  • Involve all stakeholders and members in the goal-setting process

  • Create the primary goal for the entire team and specific goals for each team member

  • Set detailed timelines

  • Set progress trackers to help monitor the teams' performance

  • Stay flexible and open-minded even if you need to make unforeseen changes to the plan

  • Choose measurable and achievable goals

  • Employ an efficient strategy and plan to help you achieve your goals

Read more: SMART Goals: Objectives for Your Career

3. Motivation

Motivation helps team members remain excited and fully engaged in reaching their shared goal. Motivation makes team members work hard without supervision to improve the quality and quantity of their output. There are many activities that you could employ to enhance motivation among your team members, such as:

  • Encouraging a consistently positive attitude among team members

  • Supplying team members with constructive criticism

  • Putting incentives in place as a reward for the best employees

  • Encouraging healthy competition

  • Monitoring employee motivation through surveys

Related: How to Motivate Employees

4. Leadership

If you hold a leadership role in a team, such as a project manager or team supervisor, you benefit from strong leadership skills to help you navigate the role gracefully. Leaders make decisions on behalf of the team, represent the team during administrative meetings, recommend and disapprove of team members' work, and solve conflicts among the team. Leadership roles often require good soft skills, which include:

  • Time management

  • Communication

  • Creative thinking

  • Critical thinking

  • Decision-making

  • Conflict resolution

Read more: Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

5. Teamwork

Excellent skills for teams involve each member playing their part well without interfering with or distracting the other team members. Teamwork skills help teams collaborate efficiently, especially with the current advancement in virtual collaboration technology. Good teamwork skills involve:

  • Recognizing how your actions, words, and behaviour affects the entire team

  • Accepting and processing feedback from others fairly

  • Improving your skills and experience better to dispense your role as part of the team

Read more: Teamwork Skills: Definition and Examples

6. Problem-solving

It's vital to anticipate problems when playing your role as a team member or leader and prepare adequately to solve these problems. As a team member, you could run into problems involving your colleagues or even your team leaders. The reverse is also true. Problem-solving involves identifying problems, short-listing workable solutions, and selecting the best course of action to solve the issue without interfering with schedules or ongoing team activities. To become an excellent problem solver:

  • Analyze problems without bias

  • Create effective and professional solutions to problems

  • Recognize when problems are beyond your capabilities and seek help

  • Listen actively to team members or leaders whenever they bring up an issue

  • Recognize and solve problems as soon as you can identify them to avoid them progressing

  • Involve other members in solving problems that directly affect them and reach a consensus

Read more: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions and Examples

7. Communication

Communication is a crucial skill in handling teams. As a leader, the team may require you to communicate your expectations and what the executive team expects your team to deliver and respond to team members' inquiries effectively and satisfactorily. As a team leader, members expect you to communicate with other team members during meetings, give reports, request and give feedback, or coordinate activities. Communication may involve listening rather than responding. Communication helps pass the information on schedules, deadlines, expectations, and results, which builds the foundation for effective teamwork.

Team leaders must ensure they establish open lines of communication to maintain a healthy work environment, promote trust, and increase positivity. You can boost employees' morale by inviting them to freely and openly express their opinions and ideas. Effective communication involves active listening, which focuses on understanding the speaker rather than the anticipation of responding. Good communicators:

  • Are clear and concise during communication

  • Maintain their calm during confrontations

  • Control their body language to coincide with their speech

  • Pay attention to non-verbal cues from others

  • Listen to understand first without jumping to conclude or respond

  • Think about their response first

  • Use courtesy even when met with harsh responses

  • Ensure they have communicated the complete information to everyone audible and understandably

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills

8. Reliability

Team-building involves each member carrying out their tasks without delay, with technical efficiency relevant to their career field. Good leaders are people who can make the right decisions. Team members more often than not reciprocate the leader's reliability with dispensing their duties. Reliable team members:

  • Always submit their work on time

  • Are keen to complete their tasks and responsibilities

  • Provide help wherever needed

  • Are unbiased among their colleagues

  • Take part in the group's work consistently

9. Organization skills

Organizational skills help you focus on multiple tasks while allocating time and mental and physical resources to all tasks. Team leaders must be able to organize: the functions of each team member, the resources needed for specific endeavours, meetings, and reports whenever needed. Organizational skills help you get all members of the team on the same page. Planning is an important aspect of organizational skills. Executing the plans is also important for the team.

Related: Developing Proficient Organizational Skills

Importance of team-building skills

Team-building skills have become a must-have for most employment positions, institutions, and organizations. Recruiters and company executives have realized their importance. They are currently using employment and interview methods to assess team-building skills while hiring new employees or promoting current employees. Team-building skills are essential because they:

  • Help individual employees work together toward an objective with a strategy

  • Help team members feel like the organization values their input

  • Make departments and organizations more productive and efficient

  • Help find solutions to team members' problems

  • Reduce the ambiguity in team members' roles

  • Enhance motivation

  • Encourage the sharing of collective resources

  • Save time and resources

Related: 7 Virtual Team Building Activities to Help Stay Connected

Tips to help you improve your teamwork skills

Follow these tips to improve your teamwork skills and become a more effective team member:

  • Identify your areas of improvement and which skills you'd like to develop

  • Work in teams frequently and take on more responsibilities in the team

  • Read books, watch videos, and follow tutorials to grow your skills

  • Attend team-building activities and events

  • Find a mentor or coach

  • Ask for feedback from colleagues

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