How to be a great team player


cartoon american footballerYou will often see in job descriptions that working collaboratively or within a team could be key to the role you are applying for. Additionally, during a job interview you may be asked for examples of when you have worked as a team to achieve a goal or business objective. So why is teamwork important? Successful teamwork maximises strengths and brings out the best in each team member. These strengths are then complimented by those of others, or of the team as a unit.

The value of teamwork is regularly seen in sports such as football, as teams made up of expensive star players may often be outperformed by teams with players who may be individually less talented. This is equally important when it comes to your career, as employers know that teamwork is essential to a successful business. Here are 8 qualities employers look for when hiring an effective team;

1. Commitment

Team players are genuinely committed to their cause. Good team players might make sure they are in the office when needed, but great team players will contribute as much as possible and strive for excellence. Be committed to the team, give them your full attention and stay on top of any changes that may occur. If all team members are fully committed it makes for a pleasant working environment and better results.

2. Flexibility

An outstanding team player wants to see the magic happen through his or her efforts as well instead of watching the rest of the team perform. They are flexible to the situations thrown their way, and they participate and tackle challenges without showing too many signs of stress or pressure. They allow themselves to fully engage in the work of the team, and are able to use initiative to make things happen.

3. Reliable

It is essential to be a reliable team player. Working as part of a team to achieve a goal means that everyone needs to be relied upon to complete the task. Make sure you turn up to meetings and presentations ready and on time.

4. Listener

Active listening means taking other people’s viewpoint into account. A strong team player will respectfully consider the viewpoints and ideas of other people as well. It is important to listen first and then speak. Good listeners are able to absorb and understand other people’s points of view as well as take criticism without reacting defensively.

5. Collaborative

Transparency is key on a team, so keep your team members informed. Share your opinions and ideas without trying to come up with a plan for taking credit for it. Proactively sharing knowledge information and ideas is a really important quality to have as a team player. You need to be active in informal sharing as well as sharing during meetings, etc.

6. Communicative

Be clear and direct, express your thoughts in a positive, confident and respectful way. Be generous with pointers or tips to help your team members. For example, if a member of your team is having trouble with a problem that is easy for you, offer to sit down with them and show them what you know.

7. Respectful

It is important to become more self-aware of how you treat others. Remember, you’ll receive respect when you give it to others. An ideal team player knows how to have fun, but they would never do it at someone else’s expense.

8. Results focussed

An effective team player will think of the solution, not the problem. Don’t forget to celebrate solved problems; the pressure of work is fulfilled by feelings of accomplishment and the opportunity to revel for a few moments offers a powerful reinforcement for the benefits of working together to solve problems.

Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email

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