Team collaboration is the cornerstone of any successful business. Collaborative workplaces see increased levels of trust, a more engaged workforce, and improved performance. Building and maintaining a collaborative team environment takes a focused effort to integrate cooperative values throughout the company’s ethos. Below are seven tips for fostering collaboration and teamwork in your company.
1. Establish realistic expectations & clarify goals
In a collaborative environment, every team member takes responsibility for good outcomes. An essential part of collaboration is to define specific goals for employees. They need to know what is expected of them. Defining and establishing measurable goals for employees breaks down the individual barrier and promotes collaboration. At the same time, encourage the atmosphere of help and support. Ask employees to reach out for help, benefit from each other’s experiences, and share their skills and resources.
2. Recognize conflicts and resolve them quickly
Employees have different points of view, personal life effects, stress, and many other factors that could raise a conflict between them. If disputes remain unresolved, it can lead to tension and affect the productivity of a collaborative environment. The best way to resolve conflicts is to collaborate and communicate. Gather the parties involved, have them speak up about the problem from their point of view, and reach a mutual understanding. Being patient is essential, but sometimes leaders must take urgent actions to correct conflict for the company’s benefit.
3. Encourage innovation
For teams to grow, they need to be encouraged to brainstorm new ideas and genuinely question the status quo. Teams need to be taught to believe that all obstacles they face can be overcome through innovative solutions. This attitude will keep your team motivated even through the most challenging times. Always ask your team members for their thoughts and reward those who come up with creative solutions. The more connected your team feels to their leader, the more they’ll innovate and strive to exceed expectations.
4. Respect perspective and build trust
A diverse workforce will have individuals from various backgrounds and life experiences. And to promote collaboration, you need to respect everyone’s perspective. Make sure that everyone is valued with their point of view. Give each of them a chance to be open-minded about their ideas and behavior and approach every situation with a unique perspective. Individuals sharing their experiences create a sense of security in a team. They give a respectful approach to work, positively impacting overall performance.
5. Encourage team members to hold each other accountable
If team members shy away from holding each other responsible for striving to do their best work, the team members who are working hard will become discouraged with the team. A confrontational atmosphere can destroy team spirit and quickly increase employee attrition rates. Encourage employees to hold each other accountable while providing each other with mutual support. Encourage teammates to adopt a code of supporting each other. Show errant team members precisely what they need to do to get back on track, provide coaching as needed, and follow up with a reassessment of the performance area in question.
6. Use collaboration tools
Employ online collaboration software to create a collaborative environment. Cloud-based collaboration technology allows companies to access data from any location to ensure people collaborate on a common platform. Teams can share files simultaneously, communicate in real-time, and collaborate effectively.
7. Celebrate teams’ success publicly
Don’t forget to celebrate your team’s success in improving team spirit and performance. Motivate them to share their success story in ways to make a difference. This is more likely to boost their confidence and inspire them to contribute to the team. Show them their efforts are not taken for granted.
Strengthening your organization’s capacity for collaboration requires a combination of long-term investments—in building relationships and trust, in developing a culture in which senior leaders are role models of cooperation—and smart near-term decisions about the ways teams are formed, roles are defined, and challenges and tasks are articulated.