Collaborative environment is like a magical place where teams can work together , brainstorm ideas, and achieve amazing results. But it’s not always easy to make sure everyone is on the same page and working efficiently towards your shared goals. You need to navigate between conflict management strategies, the needs of individual team members, and collaborative behaviors that could make or break each project.
Good team collaboration relies on trust, clear communication, and transparency. Today, we’ll show you how to implement successful collaboration rules for productive teams.
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What is team collaboration?
In simple terms, team collaboration is when two or more people work together to accomplish a common goal. It could be anything from brainstorming new ideas for a project, sharing resources and knowledge, or working through conflict resolution.
Benefits of good team collaboration
Your collaborative team is more than the sum of its parts. When you work together, you can achieve things that would be impossible if you were working alone.
Here are some common benefits of successful team collaboration:
🚀 Increased productivity and efficiency
Many team leaders assume that team collaboration will slow down productivity and take up time, but this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, when team members are able to cooperate on tasks and projects, they can often get things done faster and with fewer errors.
🤹🏻♂️ Enhanced creativity and innovation
To hinder collaboration is to stunt potential creativity and innovation. With a variety of perspectives, opinions, skills, and backgrounds present in the group, ideas tend to flow more freely and can lead to new solutions that no one person could have come up with on their own.
💡 Improved decision-making and problem-solving
Especially in diverse teams, the ability to collaborate can help teams come up with better decisions and solutions. When each team member has an opportunity to contribute their ideas and opinions, it is easier to weigh all of the pros and cons and make more informed decisions.
💬 Streamlined team communication and information sharing
As team communication is improved, it can also lead to better information sharing. Diverse teams are more likely to have multiple sources of data and different ways to interpret that data. And, since it gives teams a well-rounded picture of any given situation, it becomes easier to make decisions based on accurate information.
👏🏻 Greater employee engagement and job satisfaction
Innovative teams rely on the unique perspectives of each member to arrive at creative solutions. When team members are encouraged to bring their ideas to the table and contribute, they feel more valued and engaged with their work. This results in increased job satisfaction, which in turn leads to improved performance as well as a healthier and happier workplace.
🏻🏼 Higher levels of trust and team synergy
With emotional intelligence getting more of a focus in teams, as well as greater emphasis on communication and team collaboration, employees are more likely to be engaged and satisfied with their work. While this might not come across as the obvious outcome, it leads to higher levels of job satisfaction for team members, resulting in better performance and productivity.
🤸🏼♀️ Better adaptability and flexibility in a dynamic work environment
With some help of online collaboration tools, it’s easier to stay focused while working remotely, as well as track progress to reach shared goals. Such an activity helps employees stay organized and work better in dynamic environments, allowing them to adjust quickly to changes.
Best practices for successful collaborative teams
Collaborative culture is not a buzzword – that’s something that can put your entire team back on track. Check our ideas below to introduce better team collaboration in your company.
Establish clear goals and objectives
Each team leader should share ideas with other team members, so that everyone is clear about their goals and objectives. This helps to avoid misunderstandings and confusion, but, more even more than that, it enables the group to better coordinate their efforts.
To design a collaborative environment, all team members must be aware of what is expected of them – both in terms of behavior and communication with each other. Setting clear guidelines for team collaboration helps to keep everyone in the loop, so that team members can move forward in a productive way.
Define roles and responsibilities
Each stage of project management requires a different set of skills and knowledge, so clearly define each team member’s roles and responsibilities. Everyone is playing their part in achieving the project goals, and allows you to identify which team members are best suited for certain tasks. Team collaboration also improves when each member knows exactly what is expected of them.
The first step forward is to implement robust project management software. Create tasks in Allfred so that everyone knows what and where needs to be done. There, members can share updates, manage time, monitor budget, and remain on top of deadlines throughout the entire project.
Encourage trust and psychological safety
Team collaboration skills might not be enough if the team is not comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions. Create an environment of trust and psychological safety so that members can openly communicate with each other without feeling judged or intimidated. Creating an environment that supports growth demands robust leadership skills, including active listening, empathy, receptiveness to feedback, and valuing diversity.
Implement efficient collaboration tools
Software is there to be used. Various project management tools, team collaboration tools, and other collaboration tools (that you might be already using!) are here to support your team and enhance communication.
Make sure everyone is familiar with these tools and that they are used for their intended purpose: to increase availability, reduce time spent on tasks, collaborate securely and effectively, and stay organized. The thing with team collaboration tools is that they are not just about organization, but to also build trust.
Review your tool stack regularly, too — what worked before might not work now. Maybe a new tool or process has come out that’s better suited to meet the team’s needs. Conducting regular audits and reviews will help ensure your team is using the best tools that are available for the job. Look for team collaboration software that offers key features such as file sharing, screen sharing, group conversation, or video communication options.
Promote regular team meetings and check-ins
Remote teams often face the issue of feeling disconnected from one another, which can lead to a lack of trust and cohesion. Regular team meetings, check-ins and ongoing communication are essential for keeping everyone in sync and designing team collaboration. Invite teams to make use of instant messaging platforms such as Slack for more casual conversations, which can help foster a sense of connectedness.
For instance, you can hold weekly team meetings where everyone can catch up with each other and discuss any current projects or tasks.
Develop clear processes and guidelines
Developing clear processes, guidelines and expectations for tasks or projects will help to double-check that team members are all on track. And, while these items should be set in stone, remain flexible and open to suggestions about how to streamline the process or make it more efficient.
SOPs are also something you might want to consider to achieve your business goals quicker while build a strong team collaboration pillar. SOPs are essentially a set of instructions that help your team understand how to complete a task or a project. Setting these proactive steps in place, you can ensure that everyone is familiar with the process and it’s being done correctly every single time.
Embrace and manage conflict productively
Let’s say you’ve developed clear processes and guidelines… But your team members still don’t get along. At the end of the day, if people are passionate about their work and don’t always agree, a certain degree of conflict is inevitable. Instead of trying to avoid it altogether, learn how to manage conflict effectively so that it’s productive rather than destructive. While it might not seem like it at first, conflict can be a great opportunity to learn and grow.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that ensuring that everyone is heard, respecting differences of opinion and offering constructive feedback are all ways to help overcome productive conflict. Encourage team members to reflect on disagreements and come up with creative solutions. On top of that, simply create a safe space for open communication where people feel comfortable expressing their ideas without fear of judgment or criticism.
Encourage cross-functional teamwork
Modeling collaborative behavior isn’t something that will happen overnight – it takes a lot of practice and dedication. Build cross-functional teamwork by promoting an environment where people are comfortable sharing their ideas and difficulties. Create opportunities for team members to work together on projects, find solutions to problems, and generally get to know each other better. This kind of bonding is essential for creating a positive atmosphere in the workplace, but requires a group effort and no one individual taking the lead.
Provide opportunities for personal and professional growth
For productive collaboration, you should offer training classes, lunch-and-learns, conferences, or other resources – all of that to help team members stay up to date on the latest trends in their respective fields. Same business goals might go hand in hand with personal growth, such as setting a goal to develop leadership skills or public speaking abilities. Managers should be willing to help team members chart their own career path and provide assistance when needed.
Celebrate successes and recognize efforts
Communication skills are only going to get a team so far. Recognize hard work and celebrate successes in order to build morale, encourage team collaboration, and maintain motivation within the team. In addition to verbal recognition, managers should look for ways to reward their teams for their hard work, completing projects quickly, or joint effort towards established relationships.
For example, they may offer recognition bonuses, additional vacation days, or any other perks that reflect the team’s value and dedication. This will help to create a trusting and open relationship between management and employees.
Group achievements are also crucial, especially when you want to create a strong sense team spirit. Celebrate major projects or milestones as a group, and recognize the collective effort that went into achieving these team goals.
Be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances
No project management institute or Harvard Business School can teach you team collaboration skills to use in internal communication. You simply need to navigate that yourself, along with the changing circumstances of your teams and projects. You should also be willing to adjust plans and strategies depending on the feedback that you receive from your team members. Creative collaboration might empower a positive work environment and while it is not a one size fits all approach, you can certainly adapt some of the most successful strategies used by other teams. Your goals is to make employees feel that proper communication is your company’s DNA.
Use effective time management techniques
This step may be particularly helpful if you have a lot of remote employees on board. Since your company’s mission, among many, is to get the job done faster, have a plan in place to verify that tasks are completed on time. Have deadlines for each task and stick to them as closely as possible.
Set up your task management system in a way that everyone can access it, and use effective communication methods to make sure that everyone is involved into building an engaged workforce. Track progress regularly, as it could be a pain point for many collaborative team activities.
Create an environment where team members feel comfortable taking ownership of their work and hold each other accountable for their results. If you have a HR team or a separate project manager unit, they can help monitor progress and provide feedback when needed.
📚 Get to know more about techniques that boost productivity in the workplace: 9 Productivity Hacks: Leverage Your Account Manager Skills
Evaluate and adjust team performance regularly
You never want team performance to stagnate, so be sure to evaluate the effectiveness of your task management system periodically. Analyze any dips or inconsistencies in productivity or quality of work and adjust accordingly. Engage with each team member and provide feedback on how they can improve their task management. Everyone should be aware that their opinion matters and motivate them to share ideas with an entire team.
Make your collaborative team great again with Allfred!
As we mentioned before, good team collaboration relies on using the right tools.
Allfred is here to help you make your team collaboration great again! It’s easy-to-use, intuitive platform allows your team to create tasks, assign them to members of the group, communicate on those tasks, share knowledge within informal networks, and above all – manage your budget and time effectively!
Try it today and create a solid foundation for your collaborative teams! 👭