8 Effective Collaboration Strategies to Improve Teamwork
Updated November 20, 2022
A company with collaborative employees can improve productivity within the workplace, as each individual understands their roles and responsibilities. Through collaboration, businesses may also focus on improving communication and trust among employees to ensure teamwork. Learning various collaboration methods to implement in the workplace can help you influence how employees work together to achieve the company's goals. In this article, we explain collaboration strategies, discuss their importance, and list eight effective collaborative strategies with skills to improve organizational performance.
What are collaboration strategies?
Collaboration strategies are plans or processes that businesses implement to ensure employees work together to accomplish a particular goal, such as completing a project. These strategies structure teamwork, as they comprise rules and guides on how team members may interact and collaborate. They ensure colleagues share time, data, and resources when performing tasks. Through collaborative strategy, team leaders can provide a communication platform for members to explore solutions and exchange ideas.
Collaborative workplaces often have efficient meetings, standardized processes, and constant communication. These strategies also encourage enthusiastic participation from team members, allowing them to contribute their expertise, skills, and idea.
8 effective collaborative strategies
The following are eight collaborative methods that can help a company improve teamwork:
1. Foster open communication
Effective collaboration usually requires open communication among a team. It's essential a company provides multiple channels of communication, allowing members to express their opinions and ideas freely. This can help a team avoid errors when performing a task. You may encourage colleagues to explain a concept during meetings to avoid confusion. Rather than criticizing an individual's opinion, you can ensure other members give constructive feedback.
Using various project management tools to streamline communication may help. For example, you may use a platform for work conversations, enabling members to keep track of chat history while sharing relevant project resources and information. Scheduling periodic meetings to ensure every individual follows the project can also be beneficial. A work culture that encourages open communication can enable members to generate more ideas and have meaningful conversations.
2. Communicate and define the team's goals
Setting defined goals is a feature of effective collaboration. You may establish the team's goals and assign individual roles or responsibilities. When colleagues have a collective goal, it becomes easier for them to work together. Through this, they can share a sense of accomplishment towards contributing to a project's success. Discussing the team's goal can also help reduce workplace silos and improve productivity. A workplace silo occurs when members purposely don't share valuable information with each other.
3. Streamline and organize processes
Collaboration is often easier when a business's processes are straightforward and clear. You can promote efficiency and uniformity when every individual follows a particular standard for completing tasks. Consider creating standard operating procedures (SOPs) for common tasks in a company. An SOP is a set of instructions that explain the steps for performing routine operations. You may save the SOP in an application that's easily accessible. By doing this, every member working on a project can adequately follow it. Business operations where you can create SOPs include:
onboarding a new client
following up with leads at each stage of the sales cycle
resolving employee conflict
4. Introduce document sharing
To ensure collaboration among members, you can introduce cloud-based software that enables members to share documents and solicit input or suggestions. This can improve transparency as individuals share information in real-time. With cloud-based software, multiple team members can simultaneously work on a project and accelerate their progress.
5. Offer incentives
You may assess team members to determine what inspires them to work hard and how you may reward their efforts. By doing this, you can offer incentives for members to collaborate. Incentives generally include promotions, bonuses, and leadership roles. Through incentives, you can commend and support a team's collaboration efforts. This can also show that you value their input towards a project.
6. Leverage technology
Companies with a digital workspace can typically ensure long-term collaboration among team members. Collaboration tools may help promote teamwork by allowing you to update colleagues with the latest information, files, and decisions. They're also beneficial for remote work. Technology can increase productivity, improve correspondence, and enhance task management. Consider implementing shared calendars and team chat apps to ensure effective internal communication. You may also provide tutorials to equip members with technical knowledge for operating complex collaboration management tools.
7. Give members autonomy
You may give team members autonomy to perform their duties. If an individual wishes to lead a project, consider supporting them without micromanaging to help them make better decisions and strengthen their relationships with colleagues. Micromanaging occurs when a team leader excessively supervises a member. When individuals are free to try new concepts, it fosters idea sharing and feedback among a team.
8. Create a diverse and inclusive environment
You may organize informal team-building exercises to promote diversity and inclusivity in an organization. For example, you can organize a picnic event where colleagues can discuss in a casual environment. Creating an inclusive environment may influence a company's reputation and bolster its recruitment effort because candidates often prefer a workplace where they feel welcomed.
What are the relevant collaboration skills?
Here are relevant collaboration skills that can help you manage a team successfully:
Collaboration generally requires that you actively listen to each member's advice, ideas, and feedback. With this skill, you can actively engage in a conversation and reflect on an individual's opinion without judgment. It may also enable you to foster a closer relationship with team members by understanding any issue they discuss.
Organizational skills are essential for facilitating effective collaboration and ensuring task completion. Professionals with this ability can delegate tasks, schedule projects, and achieve a company's goals. They understand the importance of prioritizing tasks, meeting deadlines, and getting the right tools to ensure members share the workload. They assign duties according to members' capabilities to prevent burnout and keep them engaged.
Collaborative projects may encounter issues that affect the defined process of accomplishing them. For example, if a conflict of ideas arises, it may delay a project's progress. Adaptability can help you manage a team and change the approach to completing a task. As you work with individuals of various personalities, it can enable you to accommodate new ideas.
Open-mindedness generally refers to being more interested and considerate of team members' perspectives. This skill typically enables you to develop healthy relationships and establish good communication with colleagues. Open-minded individuals are usually optimistic and eager to listen to other members' opinions. With this skill, you can think critically and rationally as it makes you open to experiences.
Benefits of collaborative methods
A collaborative team can achieve results that may require more resources and time for an individual to obtain. Here are the benefits of collaborative methods in the workplace:
Through collaboration, individuals can deliberate on issues and provide new solutions that benefit a company. It encourages creativity because individuals of diverse expertise come together to participate in brainstorming sessions and think critically. A company can have a productive work environment by implementing collaborative strategies.
When team members work together, they understand their roles in achieving a common goal. They can modify their approach to a project based on the unique demands of a situation or a shareholder's preference. To avoid project delays, these individuals can effectively respond to changing circumstances, such as a pandemic. Collaboration provides a platform that enables colleagues to streamline workflow while facilitating effective conversations.
Increases employee engagement
Implementing collaborative methods can make employees more engaged and committed to accomplishing a company's goals. When individuals work as a team, they typically learn from each other. This can contribute to their overall career and professional development. With this, they can accomplish individual and company goals. Collaboration also encourages a positive work culture in the workplace.
Improves quality of services and products
An organization focusing on collaboration may create quality services and products for customers. Members can streamline communication, use resources jointly, and solve problems to improve workflow through collaborative methods. They may provide a product or service faster, enabling a business to meet customers' needs. With this, it can maintain a high customer retention rate. Customer retention rate refers to the percentage of individuals who return to make a repurchase from a business.
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