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Do you know the 5 C's of teamwork? What are they and how to apply them?

It is very common for companies to require candidates who apply for the positions offered by them to have "capacity for teamwork". In fact, this ability to collaborate and interact with other people to achieve a common goal is one of the most valued soft skills. In this article we are going to tell you about the 5 C's of teamwork so that you can improve it.

If we pay attention to what happens inside many companies, it doesn't take long to realize that something is wrong. A strict selection process has ensured that its employees have this soft skill, but in practice, it does not seem that the company is taking advantage of it.

It is common to blame the workers for this. Thinking that they are not as qualified to work as a team as initially thought, or that there are internal quarrels within the work groups that prevent them from advancing. It is true that these circumstances can occur, although in most cases the real person responsible for teamwork not developing well is the company itself. Employees must do their part to become a high-performance group, but the company must also help. To make it, the 5 C's are emerging as essential.

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What are the 5 C's of teamwork?

It's been a few decades since Tom Peters He formulated the theory of the 5 C's of teamwork. This American is considered one of the most influential authors on business management in recent years, and is a great defender of the value people have within the organization. So much so that it points to employees as the most valuable asset of any company.

If we look at what is happening around us, we can verify that Peters is not far off the mark, since organizations are immersed in a real struggle to attract and retain talentNow that they are finally aware that employees can be a source of competitive advantage.

Taking up the work of Peters, this expert has specialized in how to create high-performance teams that are also focused on customers and innovation. And it is precisely on that path that he ended up finding the theory or the system of the 5 C's.

This business philosophy states that, In order to improve the efficiency of teamwork, there must be commitment, trust, complementarity, coordination and communication..


A company can have the most talented employees in the labor market and not be able to achieve its objectives. This is because a person's hard and soft skills are of little use if they do not feel committed to the organization.

Let's imagine that, after a long search, we have found a salesperson capable of selling practically anything, but after six months their sales results are far from what was expected. The reason that explains this type of situation is that the employee is not committed. There is something that has gone wrong in the company-worker adaptation process, and that is causing it to not give its best.

It is precisely the commitment that allows each team member assumes the projects and objectives as their own. This makes get involved in 100% and strive to move the project forward, assuming an active role and ceasing to be a mere collaborator.

The The leader must ensure that each of the team members understands what their job is., but it is the organization that must take steps to get employees involved to the extent that is desirable. In order to achieve this, several strategies can be applied:

Sharing values as another of the 5 C's of teamwork

We know that in the market, consumers tend to buy products or contract services from companies with which they share a series of values. Hence, companies are focused in terms of marketing on improving their brand positioning.

Internally something very similar happens. The employee will be much more committed if he works in a company that has values that he shares. For this reason, within the onboarding process, one of the first things to do is transmit the business values to the new collaborators, so that they can assimilate them and begin to identify with them.

encourage involvement

It involves moving from theory to action. Once the worker has internalized the values of the organization, he must be involved, giving him a important role in progress towards the achievement of objectives, in order to make them feel part of the process.

Recognize achievements

This is closely related to the above. In fact, recognizing achievements or granting rewards is useful both to increase the level of employee commitment and to improve the work environment.

Trust as another of the 5 C's of teamwork

Trust is a fundamental “leg” to achieve a high-performance work team, and it has two dimensions. We are interested in confidence of each employee in the rest of his colleagues, regardless of the hierarchies, but it is also necessary to promote the self-confidence of each worker.

Later we will talk about communication, but before reaching that point it is essential to make it clear that communication will never be as good and effective as it should be if a climate of trust has not been generated among the team members. At the moment when a person is reluctant to express an opinion or communicate a matter that concerns them, the information is no longer flowing correctly, and this gives rise to inefficiencies.

An important aspect to take into account is that trust It doesn't happen from one day to the next.It is a process that requires time and effort on the part of all those involved. Hence the need to work on it constantly.

We can manage to increase confidence:

  • applying a communication policy that is as transparent as possible.
  • getting there to be one total coherence between the message that is transmitted and the actions that are carried out. Contradictions generate mistrust and, once it arises, it is very difficult to go back.
  • Build trust among team members: making them collaborate at different levels, promoting a more informal contact, establishing different channels of communication, creating subgroups within the group so that everyone relates equally to everyone, etc.


The miscellaneous equipment have proven to give very good results when looking for maximum efficiency. What this C tells us is that the skills, even the personalities of those who make up the same work group, must be complementary to each other.

A team in which everyone has the same skills is of no use to us because, if a difficulty arises, no one will be able to deal with it. Conversely, if each member has their own skills and abilities, there will always be someone who can promote a solution.

Achieving a diverse work team is the task of the Human Resources department, but it must be taken into account that this will only look for heterogeneity if it is clear that this is what the company wants, because the general rule until now was homogeneity within the work groups.


Coordination means that each team member contributes the best of himself to achieve the common goal pursued, but this is only possible if the workers have been made clear beforehand what is the goal that they have to reach together, and what tasks each of them must assume.

It is the responsibility of the leader to know in depth the members of his work team, to communicate the common objectives, and to determine for each of them the tasks to be assumed based on their skills and abilities.


We can safely say that this is the most important C of the five because, if communication fails, it is impossible for the other four C's to develop effectively.

Without communication we cannot make commitment arise, trust does not arise, we do not correctly address the complementarity of talents, nor do we achieve their coordination. 

Communication within work teams must be clear, direct, concise and very specific. So that it is clear to everyone what is expected of him, what he has to do and how he has to do it.

A correct flow of information vertically and horizontally makes it easier to perform tasks more efficiently, while improving the relationship between team members.

Promoting good communication is company liability, which must establish the different channels to use and the style you want to transfer information from one person to another. As we go down the hierarchical ladder, it is the leaders the main responsible for achieving good communication. We ask the sender to be empathetic and clear, but also the receivers must do their part, applying active listening.

Applying the 5 C's is not as complicated as it is often thought. Working in the area of communication, we have come a long way, because the rest of the factors will emerge almost out of inertia and we just have to strengthen them a little more. The result: much more efficient work teams that are an important source of profit for the company.

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