Some of the main factors contributing to the performance of every company is whether or not the employees can work together as a team. Working in teams enables employees to be faster and more effective in their work compared to individuals working on their own projects.
One study showed that collaborative teams are 5X more effective because they feel motivated toward a common goal (Source: Hubspot).
Here’s why businesses should encourage collaboration among their teams:
1. It Promotes Self-Analysis
Collaboration encourages people to think, articulate and receive clarity about their competencies. It serves as a mirror and gives them an insight into their strengths and weaknesses.
2. It Results in Problem Solving
When a range of knowledge and skills are combined, it produces a larger, more knowledgeable, more skilled and more accomplished talent pool. Since two heads are better than one, businesses can solve all problems more efficiently and in a timely manner.
3. It Makes You Look at the Bigger Picture
No two people are the same, and if you have many people working for you from different backgrounds, you need to learn how to exploit the differences and understand how they can support each other. You also need to realize that even though the project does not form the way you eventually wanted it to, the relationship could still achieve a lot. (Read more: True Colors© Personality Profiling)
4. It Teaches
As the teams work together, they ultimately learn new things from one another. The company becomes a body that fosters a culture of continuous learning and promotes learning through growth and development opportunities as well as failure safety nets. Whenever team members work together, they strengthen their ability to go beyond their comfort zones and take your business to new heights.
Despite the known benefits of effective teamwork, managers rarely give it priority. A recent Salesforce report has confirmed that is the case. Of the 1,400 employees, executives and educators surveyed, 86% noted that lack of collaboration was responsible for organizational failures (Source: Hubspot).
Running a collaborative team environment is no simple feat. It takes a concerted effort to integrate co-operative values throughout your whole company’s ethos.
Here are the 5 elements and best practices of effective team collaboration:
1. Great communication
Effective communication is what distinguishes successful teams from those that fail. Having clear guidance from the get-go and throughout the project execution, asking questions instead of making assumptions and actively listening to your team members can not only create a culture of camaraderie but also provides transparency in your responsibilities and expectations.
2. The right leaders
There is not a successful team without its expert leaders. Being tasked with guiding a team towards their goal is not an easy thing to do, and requires a merger of technical, personal, and organizational abilities. Your role as project manager/leader is to ensure a kind of harmony that not only drives the team to meet their goals within the timeline and requirements set, but also to satisfy the different people in the team and promote a collaborative working environment.
3. Skill of empathetic thinking
Having a group of people with different ambitions and egos will mean that not everyone will see eye to eye forever. But learning how to be empathetic — a core element of the skills of team teamwork — is what will get everyone to understand the different predicament of each members to agree on a solution and keep the work smoothly running. It not only shows respect and consideration for your fellow team members, it also reflects your ability to be cooperative, and sets aside disagreements for the team’s sake and its success.
4. Conflict management
There would be times when you put a group of people together to work on a project, conflict arises when they might not get along (which is a major no – no for effective team collaboration). While it is essentially your role as a project manager/leader to resolve any conflict that may occur within the team, it is a great skill for team members to be able to manage and resolve any issues themselves. This form of ability demonstrates remarkable teamwork between team members and can also reinforce the bond between team members.
5. Effective meeting and discussion
A schedule full of meetings can grind a team’s productivity to a halt. On the other hand, they are all but unavoidable when it comes to promoting collaboration in the workplace. And whether your meetings succeed depends on the way you facilitate them. Some of the team members may have issue that they want to solve that deviate from the meeting agenda. So recognizing those issues right up front is important to facilitate an effective meeting and discussion to foster team collaboration.
Progressive companies are increasingly realizing the value of collaboration and looking for ways to foster it within their teams. Through collaboration team members are able to share values, responsibilities and experience a sense of belonging to a larger group focused on achievement of a common goal. So if you want to see your company to thrive and turn your workforce into productive superheroes, it’s high time you fostered a collaborative spirit among them. The above tips should give you a fair idea of the benefits and tips of encouraging collaboration among your employees.