As a manager, you would know how difficult it can get to encourage collaboration within a department.
Collaboration is essential between team members to increase productivity at the workplace. People thrive in an environment where there is open communication, and teams are willing to work together.
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With multiple work locations and diverse work cultures, the challenge only gets bigger. To create a collaborative mindset, each team member should be encouraged for active participate in the group dynamic.
This article will show you seven different collaboration techniques that will help improve team performance. But before that, let’s talk about the importance of collaboration in brief.
The Importance of Collaboration in the Workplace
Collaboration is nothing but a group of people working together towards achieving a common goal. It brings about a positive change in the performance level of each member in the following ways:
Helps in Problem-Solving
Collaboration brings together a team of competent, experienced, and knowledgeable people, which, when combined, results in excellent problem-solving skills. It enables people from diverse backgrounds to thrive together in a harmonious environment.
Collaboration techniques challenge people to think, articulate, and understand their strengths and weaknesses. When people work in a team, they need to have clarity about their roles, skills, and responsibilities.
Provides Opportunities for Growth
Whenever teams collaborate, it gives them an opportunity to go beyond their capability level. Every member is forced to come out of their comfort zone and take their business function to a new height. Thus, it becomes a culture of continuous learning and support for growth and development from each other.
Team collaboration techniques inspire value when all members work towards the same goals. It gives them a sense of purpose, and they find reasons to work together.
Collaboration Techniques to Increase Collaboration & Productivity at Work
1. Engaging in Team Building Games
Contrary to popular belief, taking breaks in between work only increases productivity.
You can utilize these breaks to create bonds between team members. One of the most efficient ways of building relationships is by organizing team games. It could be as simple as playing their favorite sports such as football, volleyball, and more, or you can practice problem-solving games.
It’s a great way to teach employees to trust each other’s judgment and communicate effectively. Playing games as a team collaboration technique act as an ice-breaker, and they get a chance to connect with each other.
2. Improving Communication Within Departments
For easy collaboration between team members, effective communication is a must.
One of the most significant risks associated with any project is that the team members might miss out on critical information. Especially for enterprise-level, where the teams are large, it’s quite easy to forget to invite a remote member to a meeting. Using a collaborative tool that allows for exchanging instant messages and making video and conference calls can strengthen internal communication.
Besides, a project manager needs to create an environment where team members trust each other to share information, challenges, and, most importantly, feedback. They should feel comfortable to voice their opinion and find help from each other. Only then, it can help sustain a harmonious environment at the workplace.
3. Using a Collaboration Software
One of the best and modern collaboration techniques is to harness the power of online collaboration software.
This software acts as a collaboration platform whereby employees are easily able to store, share, and communicate information. The portal makes it easy for team members to talk and discuss daily tasks, policy changes, challenges, ideas, group activities, and more.
Project collaboration software results in increased speed and clarity, which allows teams to avoid delays. These systems are cloud-based, which enables the centralization of all information and speeding up access by providing real-time information.
In short, it makes the whole collaboration process easy and quick.
4. Establishing Goals and Expectations
To foster collaboration, managers need to define individual roles and responsibilities in a project.
When there is a clear understanding of the project roles, each team member works efficiently without stepping into each other’s toes. They take part in shared responsibility without creating any conflicts. Team members become naturally passionate about their goals and objectives.
If the goals are not defined, they will find all kinds of reasons to not work together. These goals provide a purpose that needs to be achieved. It helps break down barriers and create a positive environment both on an individual and team level.
It is one of the most effective team collaborative techniques that help improve performance levels.
5. Encouraging Innovation
For a team to grow, there needs to be a sense of community and synergy within members.
Team members must be encouraged to actively participate in brainstorming sessions. They should be comfortable questioning the status quo in an open environment. It is only possible by building trust and encouraging them to come up with new ideas instead of restricting them to defined boundaries.
The more connected they feel to their leader, the more motivated they are to perform. Their reasoning and ideas should be regularly heard, and constant feedback can provide them room for improvement.
Without communication and cooperation, no business can survive in the long run. This collaborative technique acts as a full-proof plan to increase efficiency at work.
6. Making Employees Socialize Out of Work
Socializing with coworkers outside the work is another successful team collaboration technique as it opens channels of communication.
Many are of the opinion that mixing business with pleasure is never a good idea. But on the contrary, it helps build a good rapport with your team members, and thus, boosts team collaboration.
For instance, organizing yoga sessions for all your employees outside work is an excellent team collaboration technique to bring them closer. It fosters a sense of community and creates a better understanding by breaking down the wall of any mistrust between members. They start to see where they share common interests, connect with each other on an individual level, and helps decrease false objectifying.
7. Recognizing and Rewarding Collaborative Behavior
If you are looking for a collaborative technique, then recognizing and rewarding effort is one of the ways of doing that.
Corporate success is a joint effort of every member involved. Research shows that 82% of employees feel that their efforts are not recognized enough by their supervisors. It acts as discouragement, and they refrain from actively participating in team-shared responsibility. In fact, 40% would put in more effort if they thought it would be recognized.
Collaborating can be encouraged by attaching performance rewards and bonuses for their team efforts. Some other ways are by including perks like paying for their further education, giving them extra holidays, and more. It shows that they are being valued, and it drives a sense of belongingness in them.
Effective collaboration is the key to success for every business — whether big or small. It helps improve productivity to a great extent by bringing all the members closer.
To make collaboration work, efforts need to be consistent. These team collaboration techniques promote a meaningful bond, and members become more willing to work together to achieve the company’s goals.
Besides, the business environment is continually evolving. It’s crucial to keep in mind to realign the collaborative models with the demands of the current business situations.
Share with us some of the tips on successful collaboration techniques for improving team performance that has worked for you and your company.