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Career Development Tips

How to be a Team Player at Work

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated June 29, 2021

Guide Overview

Why is being a good team player important?12 ways to be a better team player at work

Guide Overview

Being a team player in the workplace

Being a team player at work is essential in many positions and is a trait that employers highly value. Whether you're a salesperson or a CEO, effectively working with others is likely an important component of your job. Here we explore some of the top qualities of a team player and ways you can use these qualities to be a better member of a team in the workplace.

Why is being a good team player important?

Many goals within the workplace require collaboration with others. No matter which position you currently hold or if you’re new to your job, you’ll likely be faced with the need to participate as part of a team at some point if you haven’t already. Being a good team member is essential to ensuring the overall team is successful and that you are able to contribute in an effective and efficient manner.

12 ways to be a better team player at work

The following are several ways you can be more of a team player at work:

Practice good communication skills

Strong communication skills are an important part of being a good member of a team. These skills allow you to effectively give and receive various types of information in different ways. Communication skills include the ability to relay information verbally, nonverbally, and in written form. Skills to improve your ability to work as a team include active listening, confidence, receiving and giving feedback, body language, clarity, and volume.

Learn more: 9 Tips to Listen Like a True Leader

Be committed

Commitment is an essential component to being a team member, as you’ll likely have a role within a team and without commitment, you may not be willing to uphold the duties you are given to support the team. Good team players contribute as often as possible and ensure they are available and committed to doing what’s best for the team.

Show responsibility

A good team member is someone who is responsible for their actions and for their contributions to the team. They complete the tasks given to them in a successful and timely manner and understand which tasks take priority over others. When they are unable to complete tasks or perform another duty within the team, they take responsibility and offer to ensure the job gets done no matter what.

Be flexible

Everyone has a different opinion, and some of these opinions may lead to changes while on a team. Good team players can quickly adapt to ever-changing situations and aren’t prone to stress or anxiety due to changes in direction.

Prove you’re reliable

When you’re part of a team, it’s not just you that you have to worry about. You now have a commitment to team members to do your part and to complete your fair share of the teamwork. Follow through on the work you’re given and remain consistent with your participation in the team to prove you’re a reliable member.

Get involved

Good team members don’t sit back and play a passive role within the team. Rather, they are active members who are regularly involved in the team’s activities and decisions. Don’t take a backseat when part of a team—contribute your thoughts and opinions and work to build relationships.

Be willing to help

Good team players are willing to pitch in and help whenever needed. Even when there are differences regarding perspective, approach, or style, effective team members are willing to figure out how to work together with others to ensure they do their part and help solve problems and take action.

Respect your team members

Respect is an incredibly important aspect of being a good team member. You should treat all of your team members with respect, consideration, and courtesy consistently. This is true even if you don’t necessarily agree with someone else’s opinion or way of doing things. Showing consistent respect and being willing to listen to another person’s side of things helps the team as a whole function better.

Learn more: 6 Ways to Overhaul Your Reputation at Work

Practice good problem-solving skills

Many teams are formed to deal with or solve a problem. As such, it’s important to hone your problem-solving skills so you can be a positive asset to the team. Problem-solving skills refer to your ability to identify the cause of a problem and then find an effective solution to solve it. Good problem-solving skills to have include decision-making skills, research skills, analysis, active listening skills, creativity, and communication.

Understand your role on the team

Each team member should have a clear role within the team and the expectations related to each role should be very clear to both the team member and others on the team. Once you know you’re role, it’s important that you hold yourself accountable to these expectations and perform your duties as part of your role to the best of your abilities. Each person’s role and their willingness to hold true to that role is vital to the overall success of the team.

Take action

Each member of a team should have a clear plan for honing the skills that allow them to better contribute to the team’s efforts. It’s not enough to say you’ll get better at a particular skill or task but to actually take action that will support your growth and ability to support your team to the best of your ability.

Remain optimistic

Highly effective teams are able to view the future in an optimistic manner and take a strategic approach to their goals with the anticipation that they will be met. Part of being optimistic means also being innovative and thinking with an entrepreneurial mindset. Keep things as positive as possible when working as part of a team and remain optimistic about the future of the team’s goals.

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