Team Collaboration: A Complete Guide
The modern-day workplace is more team-centered and flexible than ever. With the new normal, remote teams are also a well-integrated part of most companies. Bridging the gap between remote workers and in-house team members is more achievable with the use of technology. Professionally managed team collaboration has improved work relations and has had a positive impact on productivity across many different sectors and fields. Building a team with strong collaboration skills doesn’t happen overnight. Managers spend a lot of time strategizing and planning team collaboration efforts to find the model that works best for their business.
What is team collaboration?
Team collaboration refers to when two or more people work together as a group to achieve a shared goal or result. It applies to every field of work and even in day-to-day activities. For example, 2 people building a doghouse together or 10 volunteers organizing a fundraiser are collaborating to produce a specific result. A start-up developing a new mobile app with a team of 20 experts also uses team collaboration. The bottom line is that when people work together, they can achieve goals of greater quality at a faster rate than from working alone.
How can you achieve successful team collaboration?
To create a successful team, there are several important factors to carry out a smooth workflow.
Communication is a top priority in team collaboration. Effective communication looks like team meetings to clearly define and outline goals, roles, tasks, deadlines and foster team interaction. Apart from meetings, written instructions, reports, guidelines and memos are also necessary for sharing information and keeping everyone in the loop. Team members must also be able to communicate with each other in addition to open communication with superiors. Most team building occurs from interpersonal relationships, working together on the same task or discussing solutions or ideas and engaging in training programs with the people you work with.
Everyone is unique and has different perspectives to offer. Being open-minded allows more room for tolerance and acceptance of views that differ from your own. This prevents conflict between members of a team. Open-minded thinking encourages more empathy, understanding and patience amongst team members, especially if their personalities clash. It also promotes creativity and allows people to learn more about each other and build mutual respect and trust.
One important factor in forging a successful team collaboration is organization. When working on a project, there must be a plan to follow. Having structure and organization is vital to ensure things run smoothly. Teams must have proper systems in place for data sharing, records, proper task scheduling and communication. Everyone can be aware of all the project details, know what their roles and duties are and have a calendar of events such as meetings, deadlines or submission dates for tasks. Organization also helps with recording data such as how resource usage, costs, client bases and tracking of employee productivity levels, to name a few.
Everyone on the team must be willing to take personal responsibility for their actions. This includes being punctual, working on their delegated tasks within their specified timeframes, and pulling their weight no matter their role. For example, you may assign each team member to a different part of a project which affects the others in some way. Like on an assembly line. If someone messes up their part, it can affect everyone else’s work. The responsibility to get the job done lies on each team member’s shoulders.
What are the best tools for team collaboration?
There are many tools available that make team collaboration easier today. One of the best tools teams can benefit from is collaborative software. Collaborative software usually uses a platform where members can communicate, share and analyze data, keep organized and track their progress as well as their peers. Software and apps include features that provide the following tools:
- video conferencing
- instant messaging
- phone calls
- file sharing
- organizational planning
- workflow planning
- data entry and analysis
- resource management
- inventory management
Also, there are tools that track employees’ work hours, task completion, and much more. Whatever your team may need to be more effective there is a program out there to suit. However, your team doesn’t need tools such as these, when you accomplish the same through frequent face-to-face meetings, taking notes, texting, or emailing each other.
Can remote workers be part of team collaboration?
Remote team members can be part of team collaboration even when stationed away from the workplace. Thanks to the technology available today, achieving collaboration through online interactions such as video conference calls, phone calls, emails, and all other forms of electronic messaging systems is standard procedure.
Access to project data is also possible if your team is using integrated software downloaded on multiple devices and used from anywhere in the world. Frequent communication is essential when remote team members are part of the collaboration. Zoom meetings and other conferencing apps became widely popular with the rise of remote work during the pandemic and is now a staple in every sector.
Is team collaboration sustainable?
Once guided towards a team-centered approach, employees become acclimatized over time to the idea and practice of team collaboration. Prompting more interpersonal relationships, group projects, and promoting the development of traits such as accountability, adaptability, and empathy in your workforce can help staff to be more open to teamwork. There are many benefits to team collaboration and once team members experience them, they eventually feel motivated to continue working together.
Team collaboration helps each individual grow and learn valuable life skills in addition to boosting their productivity levels at work. Teams that mesh well are happier, produce better quality work, and learn from each other. This creates a more experienced workforce which is a great asset to any company or business. Working together as a team also builds community and promotes a healthy, happy workplace!