We’ve all seen effective work teams in one form or another. Maybe you’ve even been a member of some very effective workplace teams in the past. They’re not as rare as you might think.

But we rarely take the time to examine why certain teams work well together and others don’t.

When it comes to the characteristics of effective teams in the workplace, there are many different factors at play.

How effective a team is can also have a lot to do with the project at hand and how quickly the deadline is approaching.

So let’s take a look at some of the most important things to keep in mind when working with a team in the workplace.



Communication is important in any relationship, from romantic relationships to workplace collaborations.

And when you’re working in a group of three or more people, communicating effectively can prove to be difficult.

Of course, your best opportunity for speaking with your team members is when you’re all in the workplace.

If all members of the group have to spend the majority of their workdays on other tasks and projects, then you should try to set aside just a few minutes each week when you can all touch base.

effective teams

You may also want to get into the habit of having lunch as a group. This will be a great way to bond with each other while also sharing information about how much each person has accomplished so far.

When first starting a project, each team member should be assigned very specific tasks. That way, if any problems arise, that team member can ask for help.

This is also a great way to make sure that everyone does their fair share of work, rather than one person doing most of the work on their own.


Members of effective teams should feel empathy for the other members of their group. All it takes is a conscious effort to place yourself in someone else’s shoes.

Instead of getting angry with a team member who seems to be falling behind, try to find out more about their situation and what the rest of their workload looks like.

Sometimes people are hesitant to mention that they have a lot of other work at the moment and may have trouble meeting their deadline.

If someone is failing to finish their group work in time, you may want to pull them aside for a one-on-one conversation on what they’ve been dealing with lately.

Do your best to not become angry at another team member.

Characteristics of Effective Teams in the Workplace

Work Ethic

Effective teams have a great work ethic. It often comes from a desire to impress their coworkers and do great work.

However, it’s not common that every member of your team will have similarly high work ethic. You may notice that certain members aren’t as invested in the project as you are.

Even in this situation, it’s possible to still finish the work on time and exceed expectations for the final product.

If certain team members are having a hard time staying motivated, then you may want to discuss the potential benefits of doing great work.

It could potentially lead to promotions or more important projects. A successful project can also make for a more positive annual work performance review.


Members of a workplace team need to work well together. Seems obvious, right? But oftentimes, the specific members of a team are decided at random or by a supervisor.

In other words, you may not have immediate chemistry with the other members of your team.

But that’s certainly not the end of the world. All it takes to encourage better collaboration with teammates is a little bit of effort on the part of everyone involved.

Characteristics of Effective Teams in the Workplace

As mentioned in a few of the other sections, not all members of a workplace team may be ready and willing to put their best foot forward.

Some of the team members may even actively dislike each other.

But the fact of the matter is that if everyone makes an effort to work together, the work will be done sooner and everyone can move on with their workplace tasks.

If your project requires a presentation to the office upon its completion, it’s important to split the presentation so that each member of the group has a chance to speak.

This will not only make the presentation easier for all of you, it will also give each team member a chance to speak directly to the portion of the project they oversaw.

And if one member didn’t carry their own weight, then the presentation will make this clear to the group.

Meeting Deadlines

All workplace projects need to be completed on time, or even early, if possible. Once again, this requires the participation of every member of the group.

Characteristics of Effective Teams in the Workplace

When a single team member does the majority of the work involved, the team will be much more likely to need more time to finish the project.

However, if all of your team members have been pulling their own weight over the course of the project and you still don’t expect to have the work finished by the deadline, you should speak with your boss.

Tell them that the project ended up taking a lot more work than originally expected.

It’s best to do this as soon as you’ve realized that you won’t meet your deadline. Waiting for the deadline to pass to speak with your boss can make for a much more difficult situation.

As proof of your timeline, be sure to itemize the work that has been done so far and what still needs to be finished, along with rough estimates of how the work will take.

Not Being Afraid to Ask Questions

If your workplace team finds that it lacks sufficient information to complete a project properly, then it’s very important for one or more members of your time to request additional information.

Some group members may be afraid to ask the boss for more details, thinking that it will make the group look incompetent.

But it’s far better to risk seeming confused in order to get the proper information than it is to guess as to the parameters of the project and hope for the best.