The old mantra – "there is no I in team," although overused should be considered a sound philosophy all employees need adopt to succeed in today’s work environment. A streamlined workforce, mergers and acquisitions and countless other shifts in business necessitate that employee’s foster a sense of community with their peers. There are some simple steps you can take to build this team environment.

Start with respect. This includes respect for your peers, respect for schedules and deadlines and building a solid relationship with your boss. The first is self–evident; everyone expects to be treated fairly regardless of position within an organization, and this can be reinforced by providing each team member an equal opportunity to participate and be heard. Along these same lines, schedules and deadlines should also be adhered to. Meeting your deadlines means that you respect the schedules and deadlines of others and the objectives of upper management.

Develop solid relationships. People are attracted to people they like; it’s a given. While work should not be considered a likability–contest, developing camaraderie with team members helps motivate and steer you toward success – both individually and as a group. Developing solid relationships with your peers builds this foundation.

Share tasks and responsibilities. Each member of a team has their unique role and responsibility within the group, usually based on knowledge and skill set. While you may be responsible for a single role within your team, working on group projects means that sometimes you will have to pick up some slack, and other times you may need to take a step back to let someone else shine. The objective is to succeed as a group.

Encourage open discussions. Issues are bound to arise and if left un–addressed can be made to fester. The best approach is to tackle issues with team members openly, as appropriate; work together to brainstorm solutions to problems. Discourage gossiping about team members. And if necessary, address issues with managers to try to find resolutions.

When you encourage everyone on a team to be involved in the process, you build the type of environment that will help you succeed. A team approach is most often the best approach.