Teamwork and Cooperation

Definition

Teamwork and Cooperation is being part of a group* and working cooperatively with other members toward the achievement of a common work-related goal.

*A group refers to two or more people working together towards a common work-related objective. It may be a formal team such as a work unit or section or an informal team such as a multidisciplinary group working together on a temporary project. It may include people at various occupational groups and levels. The most important point is that this competency refers to situations where one is an equal team member or peer, not having greater authority or responsibility than the other members in the group. Teamwork and Cooperation excludes situations where one is the recognized leader of the group; in those situations, please refer to the Leadership competency.

Core motivation: To work collaboratively with others; to be a team player

It's about:

  • being part of a group and working cooperatively with the other members, as opposed to working competitively or on your own;
  • recognizing that the group is an integral part of one’s own work environment through which organizational goals and objectives can be met;
  • showing respect for and inclusivity to all group members;
  • demonstrating allegiance to the group by trying to help other members.

It suggests an underlying belief that the group will be stronger and better equipped to meet its goals and objectives if everyone in the group actively participates and collaborates with each other.

For this competency, it is important to know who makes up the group and to ensure that the group fits the description that is in the definition. It is also important to understand the difference between being part of a group (i.e. team working towards a common goal) and being in a client-service provider relationship. Helping a group member in a Teamwork and Cooperation situation is much different than helping a client in a Service Excellence situation.

As part of the Teamwork and Cooperation competency, the assistance you provide to a group member is:

  • for the good of the whole group by helping the person meet the common work-related goal;
  • combining the individual strengths of the members to support and enhance the group's performance.

As part of the Service Excellence competency, the assistance you provide to a client:

  • helps satisfy the client's needs.
Teamwork and Cooperation - What it means and does not mean
Teamwork and Cooperation means... Teamwork and Cooperation does not mean...
  • Keeping group members informed and up-to-date about any relevant or useful information
  • Showing consideration for one’s group members and encouraging them to share their expertise with others in the group who would benefit from that in their work
  • Providing group members with constructive feedback and perspective to assist them in their work
  • Sharing new experiences with others in team meetings so they do not have to reinvent the wheel
  • Supporting each other and combining one’s individual strengths with those of other group members to improve the group’s performance
  • Keeping potentially helpful information to one’s self
  • Interacting with one’s group members in a negative or indifferent manner
  • Ignoring the ideas and opinions of group members
  • Assuming that if others had anything of value to share then they would say it without being asked
  • Working alone without any interaction with other group members
  • Working competitively with group members to the detriment of the common goal
  • Putting your personal interests ahead of the interests of the group

Purpose of this competency for CRA

Teamwork and Cooperation encourages employees to seek out, value, and support each other’s contributions in order to achieve CRA goals.

Progression of scale - Degree of effort, and shift of focus from your personal interests to the interests of the group as a whole

The Progression of the scale works together with the underlying notions, so it is important to consider this information as it indicates how the behaviours progress as you move from level 1 to level 4. The behaviours generally build on each other.

Teamwork and Cooperation - Progression of scale
Lower levels Higher levels

Degree of effort and shift of interests

Your degree of effort is limited as your focus is on doing your part of the work in relation to the group’s common goal.

Your degree of effort is significant as your focus is on the group as a whole and its ability to achieve its common goal.

Teamwork and Cooperation level 1
Underlying Notion Behaviours could include, but are not limited to:

Participating in group processes

  • Considers the goal of the group when taking action.
  • Assumes personal responsibility by ensuring that own share of the work is carried out effectively in relation to the common goal.
  • Supports and acts in accordance with group decisions or activities.

In other words, you may:

  • work cooperatively and willingly with other group members for a common purpose or benefit;
  • ensure your own share of the work is done to fulfill your commitment towards meeting the group’s objective;
  • support the group’s decisions or activities.

At this level, a low degree of effort is required. You are focused on your own work objectives.

Example/Context

Dave worked diligently to make sure that all of his required work was completed on schedule. This way, his team would meet its goals and objectives on time. When his team leader asked him to help a colleague who was struggling to prepare a production spreadsheet for the team’s benefit, he did exactly as his team leader requested.

Teamwork and Cooperation level 2
Underlying Notion Behaviours could include, but are not limited to:

Assisting the group

  • Shares relevant and useful knowledge, experience, or expertise in order to help group members accomplish their objectives more efficiently or effectively.
  • Helps group members acquire the necessary skills to meet work objectives.
  • Contributes to the group’s goal by helping members with their work when appropriate.
  • Strives to do something extra to help group members.

In other words, you may:

  • take the time and invest effort to help other members of the group with their work;
  • help others in the group to understand what needs to be done and how to do it;
  • focus on the interests of the group and take action that will help the group.

At this level, the degree of effort required is greater as you are shifting your focus more towards the other members of the group and their needs rather than strictly on your own responsibilities.

Example/Context

Dave worked diligently to make sure that all of his required work was completed on schedule. This way, his group would meet its goals and objectives. When he noticed that Mark was struggling with one of his files, he volunteered his assistance. Mark was pleased that Dave shared his time and expertise with him. That assistance enabled Mark to achieve the productivity standards and consequently meet the group’s objectives.

Teamwork and Cooperation level 3
Underlying Notion Behaviours could include, but are not limited to:

Encouraging other group members to assist one another

  • Encourages and motivates group members to contribute their knowledge, expertise, or efforts to achieve objectives.
  • Capitalizes on the strengths, skills, and abilities of group members to achieve the common goal.
  • Encourages group members to express their views and opinions while seeking consensus.
  • Motivates group members to help each other in order to achieve the common goal.

In other words, in addition to assisting others, you may:

  • urge group members to assist other members in the group by sharing their knowledge in order to achieve the group’s goals more efficiently and effectively;
  • help one or more group members to demonstrate the level 2 behaviours of this competency;
  • encourage group members to use their unique skills and abilities to advance the work of the group.

This concept is about encouraging someone in the group to give assistance to other group members; consequently it would be difficult to show this level with a group of only two people.

At this level, your behaviours reflect a significant degree of effort and are aimed at meeting the needs of the group as a whole.

Example/Context

Michael noticed that the more experienced group members were not interacting with new employees. However, he knew that some of them had a lot of great experience to share; so during a team meeting he mentioned that it would be to the group’s advantage if they shared their knowledge with one another. In a particular situation, he actively encouraged Susan to assist a new employee with his first active file; particularly on how to approach a client. By doing so, the new employee was then able to meet his performance expectations and be successful in achieving his objectives. Everyone was able to benefit from these exchanges as they were more effective in meeting the group objectives.

Teamwork and Cooperation level 4
Underlying Notion Behaviours could include, but are not limited to:

Fostering a cohesive group

  • Values, encourages, and finds ways to recognize and support group members’ contributions.
  • Promotes group harmony.
  • Strengthens bonds and reinforces group unity.
  • Increases group commitment and motivation to ensure continuing optimal performance of the group.

In other words, you may:

  • promote and reinforce group unity by valuing group members and nurturing the group spirit and well-being;
  • find ways to recognize and support group members’ contributions;
  • motivate group members to work together to achieve optimal results.

At this level, you are a natural leader while still being an equal group member without formal or informal authority. Your degree of effort related to the work of the group is very high. You have the interests of the whole group in mind and your behaviours are aimed at keeping the group synergy at its highest level.

Example/Context

Bob worked diligently to make sure all of his work was completed on schedule. He often shared his time, effort and expertise when other group members needed assistance. Although the group was comprised of highly qualified people, he noticed they each tended to work in silos. On his own initiative, he made considerable effort to find team-building exercises that could be used firstly to show how to work together more collaboratively and secondly to improve group morale.

With his manager’s approval, Bob presented at the next meeting the results of his research which explained the benefits of group members sharing their time and expertise with other members of the group and how that helps the whole group meet its goals. With the exercises, Bob sought input and ideas from the group on how to apply those examples in the work environment to further improve group cohesiveness. The group welcomed Bob’s ideas and was ready to start to use this new approach with various co-workers.

Afterward, Bob continually valued each of the other group members’ contributions and showed them how it reinforced the group commitment and unity. When the group successfully completed a challenging project by working together collaboratively, Bob’s manager publicly credited him for the effort he had shown in bringing group harmony and keeping them motivated on a regular basis.

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