10 Ways to Improve Team Collaboration
April 12th, 2021 in Productivity
Team Collaboration is key for any organization. Collaborative workspaces often see higher levels of work performance and more engaged employees.
Running a collaborative team is often not an easy task, and with many teams working remotely improving team collaboration may be more difficult than it once was.
That’s why we have compiled a list of strategies you can use to give yourself a strong start for improving team collaboration in your remote teams.
Everyone needs a reason to show up each day, an overarching goal to work towards.
Having a common goal to work towards as a company is the first step in bringing people together.
The mission statement should be simple, and meaningful. The more compelling the statement the more effective it will be.
It is important for employees to have a reason beyond the paycheck, to keep them motivated and passionate each day about their work. When employees have a mutual goal that they are passionate about they are more likely to work together to achieve that goal.
Ensure that the mission statement is brought up often to maintain alignment.
Keep your mission statement short, and concise. Simplify the company’s mission statement in just a couple of sentences.
The path to a collaborative team is an innovative team. Creating the space for innovation and creativity will lead to collaboration.
An environment where team members can put forward ideas and challenge those ideas will help employees feel more involved and important in the company overall. An easy way to do this is with brainstorming sessions to help open up their mindset.
Communicate expectation for collaborations
If your team doesn’t know that you would like them to work together, you should not expect them to do so.
It’s best to set expectations for collaboration from the start so new employees know that teamwork is a priority. Depending on how your organization has structured the beginning could be the job posting or the job training.
A first step for setting expectations would be including details about roles and responsibilities to carry out collaboratively in employee job descriptions. This sets the boundaries for what employees take personal responsibility for, and what they should work on collaboratively.
Promote a community work environment
It’s no surprise that a sense of community is key for collaborative working environments.
When an employee feels that they have an impact, or that the opinion matters they are more likely to be involved and better apply themselves to tasks. When you look at the other side of things, an employee who feels that their opinion and actions have no value sees no reason to be involved in anything more than the bare minimum.
While this sounds easy on the surface the real difficulty is finding the proper balance for creating a community work environment. You don’t want to burden your team with endless meetings and needless tasks just for collaboration’s sake. Tasks need to have value and meaning for proper development.
A great way to getting started is to have a morning huddle, or Friday afternoon huddle, where you can invite your team to discuss goals, tasks, challenges, and areas where teammates can help each other improve.
Foster honest and open communication
The groundwork for good team collaboration is built on open and truthful communication. When teammates feel that they can contribute, they will share more ideas, and that will lead to the team being more productive.
For more introverted team members this step often won’t come naturally.
If you create an open environment team members will feel safer from judgment and will contribute ideas more.
A good first step to take can be giving positive feedback to all ideas.
Celebrate and reward successful work
Another key strategy for team collaboration is the recognition and appreciation of successful collaboration.
Highlighting successful collaborative work rewards employees for collaborating, and gives other employees ideas for a more clear path on how to collaborate with others.
Cross-team collaboration is when employees from different departments collaborate with each other to achieve common goals.
The idea of cross-team collaboration is that each employee comes from a different in the same organization, so they each have different viewpoints and ways to solve issues and improve things relating to the company.
A great way to have cross-team collaboration is to have certain employees from different teams sit down with each other and go through how they feel the other parties can improve their day-to-day, or explain their duties in more detail.
Start your meetings with Icebreakers
Icebreakers are a great way for employees to become more acquainted with one another. Team collaboration can be very difficult when teammates are unfamiliar with each other, so asking questions like “What do you do for fun over the weekends” can help them become more familiar with each other, leading them to better collaborate.
If this is a brand new team you could try something with more depth like a newsletter or book with mini-biographies where teammates fill out questions about themselves like hobbies, areas of expertise, favorite movies, ext, and share it on the first meeting.
Invest in collaboration platforms
With most of the world working remotely in the recent year having a virtual workspace is the most practical thing to create and improve team collaboration.
Without a cohesive system in place for remote collaboration employees, you may find it difficult to keep track of what is going on. If you are not sure what is happening with your teams you will find it much more difficult to implement many of the above methods for improving team collaboration.
Speaking of collaboration tools, we have a list of platforms below that you can use to keep track of your teams and help with collaboration.
We recommend these platforms as they all have the capability for your teams to converse, share ideas, files, and keep track of what everyone is working on.
A collaborative team is a more productive team. Companies that invest time in resources in creating ideal environments for team collaboration yield higher productivity and better results.
I think mentioning that Bonus.ly is a great platform to look into alongside a collaboration platform to add positive reinforcement for collaboration.
From small to large companies, all teams can benefit from improved team collaboration. We hope these 10 ways to improve team collaboration work to foster strong collaborative relationships with your teammates and work better as a team.
We hope these tips are beneficial for your organization, and if you found them useful remember to subscribe to the Slenke Blog.