Good collaboration between coworkers is essential to running and growing a company.
If you want to have a productive team, then all members need to be in the best circumstances to work together. That way, they can complete tasks and projects and work towards common goals.
Here's what good collaboration within your business will bring:
- Better teamwork
- Greater productivity levels
- More creativity
- Increased morale and motivation
- Easier implementation of company strategies and policies
- Optimized resource use
How can you get to that point? It's not that hard. Read on!
1. Create a positive work atmosphere
It's critical for team members to feel comfortable when they're working together. No one wants to be afraid to express their ideas only to have them mocked by the people they work with.
It takes time and effort to establish trust in a workplace. But the pros outweigh the cons. A team that understands and communicates with one another is prone to success.
Team members will have a greater understanding of each other's strengths and limitations. They'll also feel freer to be creative. And they'll be better equipped to assist one another if required.
2. Establish clear expectations right away
If your aim is to form a collaborative employee team, you must inform them fully of your requirements. Your team members may not have before worked in this type of environment. Some may hear the word "collaborate" and immediately recall school group projects. If they were the person who always seemed to be responsible for the majority of the work, this work style might not appeal to them.
Allow your staff to express their opinions on working cooperatively. Whether they are positive or negative. And reinforce good ideas. If they can freely address concerns from the start, I'll promote collaboration improvement.
That's how you define your team's unique working style.
3. Use online collaboration tools
Your team may work in a brick-and-mortar workplace, but it may span over more than one floor. Some members of the team may be working from home (either full or part-time). Or maybe your team is fully remote. Stay in touch with your team using today's technology. Use an online collaboration platform to:
- Exchange messages
- Ask questions
- Share documents
- Find information
Remote workers can use it to submit questions and comments at a time that is convenient for them. Users can send individual or collective messages. And they can collaborate on tasks.
This is what Rooftop was built for, but there are others.
4. Focus on your employees’ strengths
Many individuals discount their abilities while being all too familiar with their faults.
A good way to challenge that is to have your team take a personality test. And then share the results with the rest of the team.
For example, we at Rooftop love the color test.
It reverses the initial negative perspective and encourages successful cooperation. On top of revealing details about coworkers, it also tells you how to communicate with them.
You wouldn't, for example, want to assign someone who is very detail-oriented, prefers order, and works best in small groups to a project that requires them to do a lot of "big picture" thinking and collaborate with a big, disorganized group of people. It would be a misuse of this person's talents.
5. Encourage brainstorming
An organization can't develop if it continues to do the same thing in the same manner. Set aside time for your team members to express their thoughts freely without being criticized. Hold brainstorming sessions where team members can voice their ideas. Allow them to turn off the internal voice that tells them their idea is impossible to realize.
Instead, encourage your staff to share their ideas regardless. Tell them that challenges and roadblocks may be overcome.
Consider asking your staff what they think and for fresh suggestions on a daily basis. The more often you ask them for their input, the less frightening it will be for them to speak out. Not everyone is able to produce ideas on the spur of the moment, so offer some alternatives for idea sharing, such as:
- Posting the idea on the group’s online platform
- Sending ideas to the group by email
- Sharing these thoughts during meetings
Our team relies heavily on personal initiative and on a continuous stream of fresh ideas.
6. Use automation tools
You want to keep your team enthusiastic. That's not going to happen if they spend a lot of time at work dealing with administrative duties. Employees need to feel that they are making a difference. Otherwise, they are far less likely to want to contribute much to a team.
Spend your money on automated software and tools for recurring chores. It's worth it. It frees up the employees' time so they can focus on tasks that add value.
But you need to get management involved. Otherwise, it's going to be tough to spur that kind of change. Get your bosses interested in the software's advantages. Your staff will follow suit.
7. Create space for unplanned employee interactions and ideas for group collaboration
Employees shouldn't feel compelled to remain at their workstations throughout the day to be productive. Team members can collaborate at a bunch of different times. It can be when they're out for coffee, lunch, or waiting in a boardroom for a meeting to begin.
It's possible to get so preoccupied with an issue that you can't see any potential solutions. It's also crucial to take a break now and then.
Talk to someone from another team or a different department. Ask them about their current project and offer a few details on what has been stopping you. It may be that the solution will become clear when describing the problem to someone else.
8. Encourage team members to socialize away from the office
It's always tricky to ask your team members to put something else on their schedule.
But when employees are able to spend time together away from the workplace, they perceive each other as people rather than as job titles.
Some employers organize team building activities or an excursion for workers to enjoy to “break the ice.” It's also an opportunity to talk about something other than work.
This is a great approach to developing connections. It brings people together in a low-key manner and allows them to get to know one another. All that without feeling like they're at a business event.
9. Mistakes should be seen as opportunities to learn
Everybody makes mistakes. And they can become major obstacles for your team if you don’t handle them right. For example, calling someone out in public is never any good.
That is not to say, though, that you should allow mistakes or missed objectives to go unpunished. So don't let it slide as a non-issue. Byt use these circumstances as a learning experience and improve your future strategies.
It is critical to avoid assigning blame. Instead, you should ask questions like these:
- Is there anything the team did (or failed to do) that led to the issue?
- What ideas can we use to regroup and move forward in order to achieve our objective the next time around? Make a list.
- What can I do to aid the team in achieving its objectives the next time?
When something goes wrong, it's rarely the result of a single mistake. There are a number of events that occur, and failure is a consequence of these. Trying to pinpoint blame detracts from learning how to avoid making the same errors in the future.
10. Lead by example
Don't fall into the trap of "Do as I say, not as I do" when dealing with members of a collaborative team. It is critical for you to be cooperative both at work and outside of the workplace.
Set aside some time on a regular basis to spend alone with each team member. These individual conversations allow you to get to know one another better. And it allows you to give your team members the chance to ask for help.
It's critical to pay attention to each demand and avoid making guarantees unless you're sure you can keep them. It is more important for your team members to trust you than it is for you to overpromise and underdeliver.
For a more cohesive, cooperative team, it is crucial to create a feeling of mutual respect between all individuals.
This can be achieved by working together as a unit and eliminating relationship blocks within the group.
It's also important for employers to encourage their teams to take breaks. They're critical to maintaining concentration levels and avoiding burnout.
Furthermore, mistakes should be accepted as learning opportunities. It doesn't mean that someone is incompetent or has failed at their job.
These issues must be handled without placing blame on anyone. Instead, focus on how to learn from them and perform better next time around.
Finally, lead by example. You can't expect your team members to place others before themselves if you refuse to do so yourself!