Working as a collaborative team can become tricky when everyone works from different locations. Collaboration in the work environment is beneficial as it makes employees feel more unified, motivated, and generally happier. These selected tips and tricks will help facilitate better collaboration with your team.
Establish the Purpose and Expectations of the Collaboration
Working in a team means people depend on each other’s jobs and their own. Cross-team projects need to be clear and structured for everyone to know the purpose, expectations, goals, and benefits of their positive contribution to be successful. All employees should have knowledge and enthusiasm to learn the importance of teamwork and collaboration. Employees should understand their responsibilities, as well as when to work collectively together.
Make Meetings Count
Gathering as a team for a weekly meeting can be a time of unity, division, confusion, or frustration among employees. Meetings are essential in a collaborative work environment. However, there needs to be purpose and structure to get the most out of them. According to a Salary.com survey, 49% of workers consider unfocused meetings to be their biggest workplace time-waster. One tip would be to prepare an actionable takeaway that focuses on and advances the team toward an ultimate goal. Keeping the pace and purpose of meetings structured and properly paced will help your team be productive, focused, goal-oriented, and collaborative.
Define What Success Looks Like
Teams want to succeed but may not always agree upon what type of collaboration will succeed, what it looks like, and how to achieve it. Additionally, identifying what success looks like in a team setting can vary from project to project. However, establishing goals in a collaborative environment can reduce silos and maintain consistent productivity. This agreement will help ensure that all team members are working towards the same collaborative outcome.
Create Tasks Based on Individual’s Collaboration Strengths
At times, team members are unaware of and need help in identifying their strengths. Many organizations distribute personality tests, such as the Myers-Briggs, to help with this. A collaborative team can then identify each other’s strengths, pair them with tasks that best suit their skill sets, and reinforce/validate their collaboration abilities. Each member should be able to pull their weight and play to their strengths. Assigning roles should not be solely based on how well a person fits the position but on how they match with the team’s collaborative goal.
Last but not least…
Build and Harvest Relationships Amongst Team Members
Meeting and connecting with coworkers can be complicated, as everyone’s comfort level differs. Nevertheless, one can’t form a completely collaborative team by throwing strangers together, assigning a project, and expecting it to turn out successful and free of conflict. Understanding someone at a deeper level allows for stability when conflict arises. Learning more about the individuals you collaborate with, nurturing that trust, and harvesting a common understanding of the work are key to a successful project outcome.
For more collaboration help, check out these articles:
- 12 Crucial Strategies for Promoting Team Collaboration
- 9 Great Collaboration Tips for Teams
- Collaboration Tips: 40 to Get Your Team Communicating Like Pros
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