Tips to Help You Succeed When Collaborating on Projects

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated December 4, 2022

Published May 14, 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.

Project collaboration refers to when employees work together to divide a major project into smaller jobs. This makes the project more manageable and enhances the connections between the personnel. Learning different strategies to improve collaboration among employees can lead to greater workplace productivity. In this article, we discuss why collaboration is important, highlight how to succeed when collaborating on projects, and discuss essential collaboration skills.

Why is collaborating on projects important?

Collaborating on projects is beneficial because it allows your team to execute high-quality tasks in a timely and efficient manner. The team can divide larger projects down into smaller tasks for each employee to perform, allowing you to meet deadlines and focus on specific activities within your area of expertise. Increased project cooperation also keeps all team members informed and up to date on all tasks that are being completed. You and your team can use this information to ask questions about specific aspects of a project, get feedback from one another, and develop an accurate delivery schedule.

Working on projects together can also help team members communicate better. This allows everyone to feel more at ease expressing their opinions and discussing ideas, potentially improving the quality of the tasks you complete collaboratively. Collaborating on projects can help bring your team closer together, which can make spending time with one another more enjoyable. This can increase energy levels, motivate employees to work more, and improve company culture.

Related: What Is Project Coordination and Why Is It Important?

How to improve teams collaborating on projects

Follow these steps to improve collaboration on team projects:

1. Communicate all tasks and goals

Before giving out task deadlines, meet with staff to discuss the project's objectives. This provides everyone with a common goal to strive for, making their work feel more purposeful and meaningful. You can present a list of all the tasks that the team is to complete. Prepare a list of tasks with the names of the people who may complete them, and also the deadline. This keeps everyone updated on which staff to contact for specific tasks. Employees can also use this list of tasks to add to their to-do lists.

2. Be transparent with team members

It's critical to encourage team members to communicate to help guarantee that they complete the necessary deliverables and are aware of their unique deadlines. Attempt to use applications and solutions that allow employees to quickly exchange information or ask each other questions. You can instruct your team to deliver messages from a single place using a single tool, such as email or a business communication platform.

Request that all staff maintain open lines of communication with one another by sharing regular project updates and help as needed. Everyone may feel more at ease and confident around each other because of this.

Related: How to Practise Transparency in Leadership Effectively

3. Research and implement project management tools

Once you establish everyone's tasks and respective deadlines, you can input them into a project management system. This is an application you can use to organize tasks because it allows you to easily monitor the team's progress. Employees can use it to share updates on their progress or mark certain tasks as complete. To ensure all employees use these tools efficiently and productively, you can conduct training sessions that walk them through the platform and teach them how to use this digital workplace effectively.

Related: Tools of Project Management You Can Use as a Project Manager

4. Encourage thoughts and ideas

Any time you interact with employees during group collaboration sessions or on communication channels, encourage employees to constantly share opinions and ideas with each other. Try to monitor this communication to ensure team members remain respectful and offer constructive and positive feedback. If you'd like to improve or add to a project, conduct brainstorming sessions where employees can express their ideas. This can enhance the quality of the work you submit. Seeing you react respectfully, professionally, and positively may encourage other employees to do the same with one another, making them feel more comfortable around each other.

5. Schedule regular updates and check-ins

To ensure all employees complete tasks on time and to increase the likelihood that you submit the project on time, try to continuously monitor everyone's progress. Conduct regular meetings to hear updates from team members on what they've completed. This can also be an effective time for employees to share any concerns they have or the resources they need regarding finishing their tasks on time. Create an agenda for the meeting to cover all items so you can use your allotted meeting time effectively.

Related: 8 Collaboration Interview Questions (and How to Answer Them)

6. Ask teams to share calendars

Encourage all team members to make their calendars viewable to each other throughout the day. This keeps everyone transparent and open about when they can meet with one another. Communicate that open spaces on each other's calendars can indicate that they're available to speak with others regarding the project. This invites employees to visit each other and check in with questions, ask for feedback, or brainstorm ideas about the project. When team members would rather focus on tasks and are unavailable to meet, they can communicate this on their calendars.

7. Request feedback and apply updates accordingly

As you implement project collaboration efforts, continue to analyze and review their effectiveness. Determine which parts of the process employees are performing productively and efficiently and which areas they can improve. Ask team members to evaluate the process and suggest ways to enhance collaboration to drive results and make the experience more beneficial for them. This effort shows that you care about their opinions and aim to make the collaboration process smooth, efficient, and enjoyable for employees. Consistently re-evaluate the process to make regular changes and updates to enhance efficiencies.

Related: The Benefits of Asking for Feedback at Work (Plus How-to)

Types of collaboration skills

Collaboration is only possible if you have a wide range of abilities. Here are some of the several types of collaborative skills that may be essential to work well with others:

Communication skills

One of the most critical aspects of effective teamwork is good communication. You can divide communication abilities into four categories:

  • Active listening: Communication is more than simply talking, it's also about listening to comprehend the thoughts and opinions of others. You're listening actively if you're paying attention to what the other person is saying.

  • Written communication: If you work remotely, you may do a lot of writing. Even if you work in an office, you may spend a significant amount of time e-mailing your colleagues, customers, or other departments.

  • Verbal communication: In most industries, good verbal communication abilities are essential. You may be continuously attending meetings, talking on the phone, or interacting with your colleagues.

  • Nonverbal communication: Your body language, tone of voice, facial expressions, and gestures are all examples of nonverbal communication. It's possible that your nonverbal communication contradicts what you're saying.

Related: 9 Ways to Improve Your Active Listening Skills

Interpersonal skills

Communication skills are an aspect of interpersonal skills, but the wider definition relates to your capacity to engage with others and form strong bonds with them. Some examples of interpersonal skills are:

  • Positivity: Staying optimistic is a good approach to forming connections with others. It demonstrates that you possess a positive mindset and an eagerness to assist your team in achieving its objectives.

  • Teamwork: Teamwork is an important interpersonal skill. Being able to work well with a group entails being able to collaborate well with them.

  • Respect: Many workplaces employ people with a variety of experiences and backgrounds, therefore respect is essential. Respect your coworkers by listening to them, learning about their backgrounds and experiences, and putting their ideas into action.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the capacity to regulate how you recognize and express your emotions. It also refers to your ability to detect and respond to the emotions of others. This is an important collaboration skill since it can enable you to act professionally and respectfully regardless of how you or your team members are feeling.

Related: Collaboration Skills: Definition and Examples

Responsibility

Accepting more responsibility at work indicates your willingness to take on new tasks. It also implies the ability to take on more critical, high-stakes projects. It's critical in the teamwork dynamic that all parties involved understand the work they're responsible for and attempt to finish it on time and to the desired standard. They can work together toward a common objective if the entire team works correctly and takes responsibility for their tasks.

Related: How to Take on More Responsibility in the Workplace

Awareness

It's critical to enhance your capacity to be aware of the team dynamic at all times when working in a group. For example, if one person dominates the conversation or refuses to let others offer their thoughts, it's important to restore balance so that each member contributes equally. Alternatively, if one teammate is timid or unwilling to share ideas, it's vital to provide a safe environment for all teammates to contribute their unique skills and abilities.

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