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Toolbox talk on teamwork

teamwork toolbox talk image

Teamwork involves when people come together to work for a common goal. Common goals may be to achieve a particular activity or engage in a task to get a result. Or have a defined outcome. 

For some people, TEAM means Together everyone achieves more. And equally a natural gift for some people. Working together as a team has a lot of benefits. For example,

  • It reduces the workload and spreads it across different workers.
  • The speed of the work increases as many people work together for a common goal.
  • It increases effectiveness as more people familiarise themselves and build trust when working as a team. 
  • There is a reduction in injury when two or more come together to assist each other for a common goal.
  • It discourages a lone worker arrangement which is more prone to the risk of harm.

The fundamentals to keep teamwork alive in a workplace.

For you to keep teamwork alive in the workplace, you have to consider the following:

1. Provide training for the workers.

Training of workers will promote teamwork among the workers. The workers will acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to help each other. During the training, be careful to demonstrate, practice and review all you have done to ensure you have passed the right message to them. Excellent training among the workers will promote their effectiveness in observing teamwork at the workplace.

2. Keep emphasizing employee participation at the workplace.

All workers have to participate in all matters concerning them in the workplace. They should be involved in hazard spotting, site inspection, accident and incident investigation, and decision-making. The workplace has different people. They all have something to add to the value of the workplace.

3. Maintain an information-based leadership.

Always pass information to the workers concerning safety matters and others affecting them regularly. The company should not wait for them to make noise before releasing information. There should be timely release of new work methods, work instructions, safety manuals, hazards, procedures and others to the worker.

4. Provide the right equipment for the workers.

Ensure that the employees receive the right equipment for their job. And ensure they know how to use that equipment for the work. And also create an inspection regime for the equipment on the site.

5. Create a room for workers to give their suggestions.

When workers bring a suggestion on what they feel shall happen, always give them a listening ear and know what they have to say. These employees know a lot about their job and the safety aspect, so listen to them when they give an idea for you.

6. Encourage safety behaviours among the workers.

There are ways you can go about this, by giving positive feedback to correct unsafe behaviour and encouraging safe behaviour through motivation and awards.

7. Prioritise safety at work.

Talk about safety at all times, at work, using various methods and means such as toolbox talks, safety meetings, safety tours, and safety walkthroughs. Doing this will encourage more teamwork behaviour among the workers. 

Characteristics of an effective team.

Safety begins with teamwork. Worker participation will be slim in matters concerning health and safety when there is no teamwork. How do we know an effective team in the workplace? 

1. Safety goals- an effective team will craft their Safety goals and find ways to achieve them. They understand the safety goals that they have in hand and put in the work to ensure that everyone is on the same page concerning those goals.

2. Focus – The team focus on what they want to achieve for themselves in matters relating to safety. Their focus is on identifying hazards and preventing workplace accidents.

3. Cooperation- There is cooperation among the team members on what they want to achieve in safety. They all depend on each other to identify what can go wrong in the site or work environment.

4. Communication- Passing of communication among the team members at all times. The team are constantly sharing information and ideas and giving out safety warnings with one another.

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Teamwork: how do we encourage teamwork at the site today?

  • Know workers’ strengths and weaknesses before assigning them together as a team.
  • Have a clearly defined role and responsibility for the team member. And ensure you assign them roles they’ll perform well. 
  • Assign two or more people for a task at all times.
  • Have many teams for different tasks and give them a timeline to finish their job. 
  • Ensure you define the goal clearly to the team and communicate a definite outcome or output for them.
  • Ensure the team members are compatible enough to work together to increase bonding. 
  • Encourage frequent communication among the team.
  • Allow the team to make their own decisions as long as it’s safe and better in the long run.
  • Make team meetings to be focused, timely and useful to yield great results. 


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