11 Ways To Collaborate With Your Team (With Benefits)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 8 August 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Collaboration is essential in any work environment because it helps achieve goals and produce quality goods and services. Many company objectives require all employees to contribute in order to accomplish them. Learning how to better collaborate with a team and encourage your team members to work together towards goals can provide benefits to you and the company.
In this article, we share 11 ways to collaborate with your team with examples and list benefits for improving collaboration.
11 Ways To Collaborate With Your Team
Here are some ways you can collaborate with your team:
1. Establish a common goal
When people in different roles are working together, it is helpful to establish a common goal between all parties. Understanding what they are working toward can help team members use their time effectively and ensure they understand the company's goals and plans. Once you establish a common goal, the team can direct the conversation and workflow toward idea creation or problem-solving. The common goal can guide employees throughout the collaboration process to make sure everyone remains on task.
2. Set up a workflow
A workflow organises tasks in a process to help move a project from planning to completion. It is useful to set up a workflow because projects often require team members to execute multiple activities simultaneously. A workflow can help assign tasks and communicate to team members when they can start their tasks.
Workflows also are great tools for communication. It communicates deadlines and provides team members with information about the aspects of the projects that their team members are responsible to complete.
3. Identify strengths
Try to identify the strengths of each member on the team. This helps delegate tasks to the professionals who are most capable. Allowing team members to use their strengths leads to greater success and a sense of accomplishment for each team member. This success can create a more positive environment in which team members are happy to work together.
A powerful team typically has a variety of strengths with a diversity of team members. Using these strengths can improve performance by exposing team members to new skills and opportunities to learn from their teammates. It can also encourage the individual development of skills.
4. Be an example
As a member on the team, you can encourage collaboration by setting an example of how to work together to accomplish a goal. Exhibit collaborative qualities such as empathy and patience. Be sure that you communicate well and listen to others so that team members feel included. Demonstrating how to collaborate enables your team members to follow your lead. Other actions you can take to set a good example, include:
Showing support to team members
Completing your tasks on time
5. Consider incorporating technology
Technology is useful in connecting people and there are many ways a team can utilise technology to collaborate. There are project management tools available that teams can use to organise their projects and communicate with each other through the process. Here are other ways you can use technology to increase collaboration:
Use messaging like email or instant messages. These can eliminate lag time and keep communication organised between teams that are in either one location or multiple locations.
Host videoconference to connect to remote team members. Videoconferencing can also be a great way to record meetings for future reference.
Use digital calendars to help manage the timelines of multiple team members on one project. They can also be a great way to keep updated information about deadlines in one place that's easily accessible by the entire team.
Organise with workflow management software. Workflow management software, or WMS, is software that keeps your project's path toward completion in a visual database that your team can access.
6. Encourage honesty
In order to collaborate, it is important for team members to trust each other. Trust strengthens relationships and creates a positive environment in which to work. Encourage honesty by being truthful in all your communications and reliable in completing your tasks. As a leader, you can encourage honesty by being transparent and sharing new information with your team so they can gather a full understanding of the project and expectations.
7. Share expectations
It is important to set clear expectations for employees' performance. This helps them know exactly what they are responsible for on a project and which team members they can consult for advice. Expectations include deadlines, resources to use and requirements for the end product. By sharing expectations you can be transparent and encourage communication on the team. Good communication is key to being able to collaborate successfully.
8. Schedule regular meetings
Consider scheduling weekly or monthly team meetings, depending on your projects and time restraints. Having frequent discussions allows team members to communicate regularly and exchange their ideas. This is a great way to ensure collaboration because it brings everyone into one space and helps facilitate communication. During meetings, it may be useful to motivate your team members by praising their accomplishments and sharing ways they have been successful in collaboration.
This reinforces collaborative behaviours too, making it more likely that team members may continue to work well together. Meetings may also be a good opportunity to try team-building exercises.
9. Try team-building exercises
Team-building exercises can help employees become better acquainted with each other in a more relaxed environment. You may lead these activities either in person or online if your team works remotely. These type of exercises are good for new and existing teams to build and strengthen their relationships. You can do these exercises during meetings or designate a day for team building. Here are some examples of team-building exercises to try:
Create a memory wall
Do a scavenger hunt
Solve a puzzle
Make lunch together
Volunteer in the community
Build a tower out of found objects
10. Offer feedback
Encouraging team members to share positive and negative feedback can allow individuals to improve their skills and recognise areas where they can improve. Recognising the team's overall successes can also increase employee morale. You can use surveys to offer feedback or conduct regular performance reviews. It is also important to request feedback, showing that you are open to constructive criticism and want to improve.
Offering feedback is also helpful in identifying and resolving problems. Feedback in a channel team members can use to address conflict and suggestion how to resolve it.
11. Analyse your company culture
Analyse the culture at the company by observing the environment, leadership and processes. Consider how your company culture might affect your team's ability to collaborate effectively. For example, the work environment may be remote which can create a barrier to collaboration. By observing this you can find solutions for working together when remote. If communication in leadership is strong, then you can replicate this on your team. Company culture may also impact your team with its expectations for conduct and productivity.
One way you can use your company culture analysis to improve team collaboration is in the recruiting and onboarding process. Hiring professionals who are a good fit for the company culture and have strong collaboration skills help maintain a positive work environment. When onboarding new hires, ensure that there is proper training to promote collaboration.
Importance Of Team Collaboration
Here are some reasons team collaboration is an important tool in business:
Higher employee participation
A collaborative environment can encourage employees to engage more with their work to support the team. Knowing that other employees are relying on them can create a sense of duty towards their work. It also encourages each team member to prepare so that they can offer ideas and input during meetings.
Having an array of people communicating about and working on a project can ensure the team avoids any negative outcomes. When team members are working together, they can plan for, identify and resolve any potential challenges together. This can allow them to create satisfactory products or outcomes.
Increased sense of responsibility
When you encourage your team to be involved in decision-making as a group, it can give each member of the team investment in the decision. Team members may feel more responsible for helping the team achieve its goals by contributing their own work and by assisting other people when needed. A sense of personal responsibility can inspire employees to produce an outcome of which they are proud.
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