Webinar 📢 - Quiet Quitting is a modern form of Disengagement- How are managers dealing with it?
+

10 Smart Ways to Better Team Collaboration

18 min read   |  
Last Updated on
team-collaboration

Are you looking for ways to enhance team collaboration? Does your team seem lost during brainstorming sessions or, worse, look away, completely clueless about things?

if that is the case, then you can safely say that there is a lack of collaboration. Compelling team collaboration is much easier said than done. Although it is difficult to create an environment where collaboration comes naturally, it is possible in a few lucid but requisite steps.

From communication strategies to adopting the right tools, there's a lot to consider. How do you ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals?

10-Smart-Ways-to-Better-Team-Collaboration_Henry-Ford-Quote

Let's explore the possibilities together and understand a few strategies to facilitate collaborative team work. We have taken the liberty to highlight 10 important steps through which you can effectuate smooth team integration.

These handy and certain tips will help in fostering team spirit pushing your team towards building a robust workforce.

What is Team collaboration?

10-Smart-Ways-to-Better-Team-Collaboration_What-is-Team-collaboration--

Team collaboration is all about coming together to work on a common goal through communication, collaboration, and constructive conflicts. A well collaborated team functions like a well-oiled machine resulting in progress and success.

But team collaboration cannot be announced suddenly and implemented immediately. The team may need clarification, resulting in an utter mess and loggerheads. Thus, it’s best to heed the phrase, ‘proceed with caution!’

So, how to proceed without attracting rumbling from the team force?

The idea is to get the elements of collaboration right, like shared goals, team-minded leaders, and a clear collaboration strategy. It will create a domino effect of enhanced employee engagement, innovation, and an enriched client experience.


According to industry estimates, the team collaboration market will grow by 9.5% between now and 2030, reaching $56.67 billion. Around 80% of users say that a platform for collaboration is essential for their work. However, 40% of businesses claim they had never used such a tool before 2020.

Importance of Fostering Team Collaboration?

Collaboration in the workplace is directly related to employee autonomy and healthy company culture. Although nowadays, it’s used more out of convenience and has become more of a buzzword, it is not a meaningless cliche.

  • Believe it or not, collaboration makes teams click and companies successful.
  • It encourages employees to have a say in the decision-making process.
  • It creates an environment of trust where employees feel their ideas are valued and taken seriously.

It brings everyone to work towards the same common goal as a team while improving the organization's overall corporate culture.

However, the problem occurs when people are stuck behind desks and start detaching from the company mission and the team. This is where employees speak different languages, and the work gets done in silos resulting in confusion, chaos, and expensive delays.

A collaborative culture has become an essential part of modern business. The traditional "lonely" working environment is on its way out, and collaboration is what propels corporations forward. As a result, good team collaboration is emerging as a key success factor in many organizations, including your workplace.

Difference between team collaboration vs. team work

Did you know that team collaboration and team work are relatively different concepts?
Today, although the FAANG companies focus more on team collaboration, while another few 100 follow the same, the line between team collaboration and team work has blurred because the two concepts are closely related and often used interchangeably. So, to understand team collaboration better and how to foster effective teamwork, let us glimpse into the key differences between the two.

Team Collaboration

*Team collaboration refers to working together and sharing ideas, resources, and responsibilities to achieve a common goal.

*This involves effective communication, building trust and respect, and a willingness to collaborate and support each other.

*More focussed on working together as a team.

Team work

*Team work refers to the effort of the members of the team that is put in while working together towards a common goal

* Fostering team work involves coordination and cooperation of team members and the division of tasks and responsibilities

* More focussed on the end goal

Benefits of Team Collaboration

1. Better Creativity and innovation:

Well, let us put it like this for you! If your team members have no collaboration and coordination, there won’t be any exchange of ideas, and your team's creativity may go down. After all, two minds are better than one, right?

Team collaborations at a workplace functions in the same way. When you bring the whole team together, it results in intense brainstorming sessions and sharing of ideas. This offers a ripple effect of ideas, creativity, and motivation.

A great example of a successful team collaboration would be Disqus and Classy.org,
where the team has the autonomy to put their ideas in Asana, a collaboration tool. The management then reviews each idea over video conferencing sessions or face-to-face discussions to choose the most innovative and innocuous ideas.

2. Transparent Information Flow

It is a fact that, without proper communication, even the best teams fail. Fostering healthy team work and collaboration may result in transparent flow of information resulting in better trust and improved morale.

10-Smart-Ways-to-Better-Team-Collaboration_Transparent-Information-Flow

Sharing information will allow team members to hold each other accountable for their actions and make identifying and resolving problems easier. It helps build relationships and is a real step towards maintaining good company culture.

3. Brings Organizations Together

Collaboration helps bring departments together, working in isolation or with minimal interaction with others. For example, the research department in your office or any ad hoc team. Collaborating with multi-skilled professionals will break the silos and allow free communication, resulting in successful projects.

4. Allows Newbies to Catch up

Team collaboration can allow new team members or "newbies" to catch up by providing them with access to the knowledge and resources of the rest of the team.

When team members collaborate, they offer newcomers the opportunity to learn from more experienced individuals and to catch up on the latest trends and developments in their field.

In return, experienced professionals can learn the cool lingos and previously-gained knowledge to update themselves. This two-way affair is a great way to break the ice during collaborations.

5.Crystal Clear Communication Channels

Collaborations increase the scope of clear communication and knowledge-sharing by several notches. Having clear communications open-up channels between internal and external departments, thus, defining individual roles and responsibilities. Various collaboration tools help the process by facilitating communication, tracking progress, and coordinating work.

10-Smart-Ways-to-Better-Team-Collaboration_Crsytal-Clear-Communication-Channels

Good team collaboration is like a relationship where honesty, willingness, and trust form the pillars. That is why we often see strong teams solely focused on delivering success and stability to the company because that is what truly matters!

10-Smart-Ways-to-Better-Team-Collaboration_But-what-do-you-think-good-team-collaboration-is-

As per a study, companies with fewer initiatives for employee collaboration outperform those with more collaborative working environments by five times.
It's also important to note that good team collaboration doesn't just happen on its own; it takes a lot of work and effort from every team member to make it happen, as well as regular check-ins, feedback, and setting expectations.

A well-carried out task not only brings appreciation and satisfaction but also results in forming a potent team force that is efficient, professional, and righteously originative.

If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself,"
Henry Ford

Example
To make the concept clear, let us take an example. The partnership between Louis Vuitton and BMW turned many heads as it wasn’t a very obvious partnership.

But these megacorps epitomized this partnership by collaborating to increase the value of these swanky brands. LV offered to bundle a 4-set suitcase set with its new flagship model, the BMW i8, at an additional cost, but one that was justified nonetheless.

Do you think garnering this partnership was easy?

I doubt that, as the pairing was odd and went against many team partnership policies. However, this was possible because these syndicates have nailed team collaboration by having a dynamic workforce and project managers that think, work, and implement unanimously, resulting in innovative brand partnerships.

Although efficient teams often stick to innovation and creativity to benchmark their success, successful collaborations hinge on some rudimentary guidelines, like employees’ willingness to come together and create personal connections.

10 Ways to improve team collaboration.

Building collaboration is a challenging task. Bringing everyone to a consensus despite minor differences requires effort, patience, experience on the manager’s end, and dedication and understanding on the team member’s end. However, if you face ‘the wall’ while collaborating with your team, read the tips and ways below.

1. Maintain an open-door policy.

The quickest way to thwart any collaboration is to put doors and restrictions. That is why the open-door policy is such a rage, as it offers a scope of open and constructive communication. Employees should feel that they are heard and respected for their opinions.

So, what can go wrong in this situation?

  • Open door policy may give the assumption that the management will always favor the employees. It can cause misunderstandings.
  • The employees' productivity may decrease as they take up every opportunity to vent their complaints, taking up management’s time too.

2. Online dialogue participation

Online dialogues offer a structured approach to topical discussions as the team and project managers come together for face-to-face brainstorming sessions.

Open dialogues are in vogue today as they are ‘bringing down the wall’ separating employees and their superiors, quite literally! Such actions have set new standards for team collaboration.

So, how can open dialogue promote team collaboration?

Setting the tone is important. After all, ‘it is never what you say; it’s how you say it!’ Setting the tone of open communication during conflicts, brainstorming sessions, and meetings will allow the team to show the same level of compassion while working together.

3. Aligned efforts and goals

If team members are not clear on the goals they are working towards, they may end up working on tasks that do not align with the team's overall objectives.

So, how do you think team collaboration can improve it?

Team collaboration brings everyone on the same page and can be used to define responsibilities. If everyone on a team knows the overarching goals, they can align their collaboration efforts to achieve them.

4. Use of effective collaboration software and tools.

The adaptability of technology, like collaboration tools and software, is a good place to start. It can help teams work together efficiently and collaborate in real-time, share documents and files, and track progress on projects.

But, technology can be a major roadblock for Luddites, who may need help. So, what can be done?

  • Identify the team's needs to choose the right tools for collaboration.
  • Research and evaluate the various collaboration software and tools available to determine which ones are most suitable for the team.
  • Set clear guidelines for using collaboration software and tools, including how and when they can use them.
  • Provide training on how to use the software and tools to effectively collaborate.
  • Monitor usage of the collaboration software and tools to ensure that they are being used correctly and effectively.
  • Encourage adoption and make them aware of the benefits of doing so.

5. Open-mindedness towards new ideas

Open-mindedness toward new ideas allows for a more diverse and inclusive approach towards problem-solving. It encourages team building and pushes members to think creatively and develop innovative solutions.

An open-minded manager will have teams that respect, lead, and works together towards shared goals.

But open-mindedness can also bring in distractions, like;

  • Lack of focus: If a manager is too open to new ideas, it can lead to a lack of focus and direction, as the team may pursue too many ideas at once.

  • Decision-making difficulties: When there are too many ideas on the table, it can be difficult for the team to decide which ones to pursue. It can lead to delays and frustration.

  • Limited resources: If a manager is open to too many new ideas, it may not be feasible to pursue them all due to limited resources (e.g., time, money, personnel)

  • Resistance to change: While open-mindedness towards new ideas can encourage creativity and innovation, it can also lead to resistance to change from team members who may be more comfortable with the status quo.

How can a manager improve this situation?

  • A manager should strike a balance between being open to new ideas and maintaining focus and direction within the team.
  • It is important to establish processes for considering and implementing them in a way that benefits the team and supports the team's overall goals and objectives.
  • Team building and collaboration exercises are also a great way to collaborate and have shown excellent results as per the studies.

6. Transparency & conflict resolution

Transparency helps create a sense of trust within a team by ensuring that all team members have access to the same information and can see what is happening within the team.

Transparency and conflict resolution are generally considered positive qualities in team collaboration.

However, if not done carefully, conflict resolution may take an ugly turn resulting in hindrances like,

  • Time-consuming: Resolving conflicts and establishing transparency can be time-consuming, distracting the team from their other tasks and goals.

  • Emotional Stress: Conflict resolution and transparency can sometimes involve dealing with strong emotions, which can be challenging and draining for team members.

  • Distractions: Focusing on conflict resolution and establishing transparency can distract the team from their other work, which can hinder progress.

  • Disruptions: Addressing conflicts and establishing transparency can sometimes require major changes or disruptions to the team's existing processes or systems, which can be disruptive and challenging to implement.

So, how can it promote collaboration?

  • It is important for the team to find an equilibrium and not allow them to hinder collaboration.
  • Encouraging healthy contests and discussions will help employees resolve conflicts face-to-face.
  • Weekly meets and zoom sessions are also a good way to keep everyone on the same page.

Conflict resolution in a timely and effective manner will allow the team members to work effectively without letting any differences get in the way of their work. This encourages collaboration within organizations and helps in building effective teams.

7. Empower your team Members

A good manager is one that not only leads the team by example but also empowers its team members to be organized and autonomous while working in a certain structure.

However, a major hurdle that may come with autonomy is the dominance of the decisions of certain members over others. Autonomy may come at a price of lack of experience, autocratic thoughts, and idiosyncratic individuals.

So, how can a manager turn the tide and use it to fuel collaboration?

  • The manager should delegate tasks and responsibilities based on the individual's skill set. it will encourage the team to take ownership of their work.
  • Encouraging risk-taking comes with its sweet advantage. It allows members to take measured risks and try new approaches, giving them the confidence to get the job done.

A great way to promote collaboration with team is to refer to an engaging reward and recognition platform. Vantage circle is an ingenious rewards and recognition platform (R&R) that offers meaningful engagement and helps track the progress of engagement initiatives.

The Rewards & recognitions program of Vantage circle helps harness the power of your rewards and benefits to the fullest. Whether you're looking for a bespoke solution or guidance on how to make the most of your entitlements, with the help of this platform, team members can show gratitude to each other and celebrate wins, big or small.

8. Creating Overlap Zone

Overlapping zones serve the purpose of bringing together employees without any intimation. It could be the canteen, cafeteria, or even the smoking room.

Often work problems may make your team members agitated and hyper-aware of everything. Taking a step back and discussing the stymie with colleagues may encourage excellent results and workplace collaborations.

But, did you know creating overlapping zones can be a major bottleneck in collaborations?

Overlapping zones in an office can hinder collaboration if designed or used properly. For example, suppose two teams share the same space, and one team consistently makes noise or uses the space in a way that disrupts the other team's ability to focus. In that case, this can create conflict and hinder collaboration between the teams.

So, what is the solution?

  • It's important to regularly monitor the use of the overlapping zone to ensure that it meets all teams' needs. If there are any issues or conflicts, make adjustments as needed
  • Communicate the details of the overlapping zone like purpose, noise levels, hours of operation, and the types of activities permitted in the space.
  • Communicate effectively to all team members to avoid any confusion

9. Personality Tests

Personality tests can help team collaboration by providing insight into the strengths and preferences of team members. This can be particularly useful when working on collaborative projects, as it can help team members understand how best to communicate and work with one another. Meyers Briggs personality test is a great way to start this exercise.

However, the snags that you can find here could be;

  • Limited validity of tests
  • Inaccurate results
  • Stereotyping and oversimplification of personalities
  • Misuse of information etc.

So, how can you help?

  • Use personality tests as a starting point for understanding team dynamics. Such tests provide insights into team members' strengths, preferences, and communication styles. This can promote team collaboration.
  • Encourage team bonding exercises that can bring the team together and foster the collaboration and and an all-inclusive community

10-Smart-Ways-to-Better-Team-Collaboration_Creating-Overlap-Zone

10. Listen before you speak

10-Smart-Ways-to-Better-Team-Collaboration_Listen-before-you-speak

If you are wondering how this can help in team collaboration, let us explain. Listening before speaking promotes team collaboration because it allows for a more inclusive and equitable exchange of ideas.

When team members listen to one another before responding, everyone can share their thoughts and perspectives. It can lead to more diverse and creative solutions and a greater sense of buy-in from team members, not to mention increased empathy.

There are several reasons a manager should listen before speaking to improve team collaboration:

  • It shows respect: When a manager takes the time to listen to team members actively, it demonstrates that they value their opinions and ideas. it can help build trust and respect within the team, fostering a more collaborative and inclusive work environment

  • It helps identify potential issues: Actively listening to team members can help a manager identify potential problems or issues hindering collaboration. A manager can help improve team dynamics and collaboration by identifying and addressing these issues.

  • It allows for diverse perspectives: Actively listening to team members allows a manager to gain diverse perspectives and insights that can help make informed decisions.

  • It allows one to understand better where team members stand: Active listening can help the manager understand their opinions and preferences to align the team's efforts towards a common goal.

What skills should team members have for better collaboration?

Collaboration skills will define the dynamics of a team. Although teams comprise many individuals, the collaboration plan will fall flat without adequate skills. The major skills needed for collaboration are;

  • Written communication for offering written updates
  • Verbal communication to express ideas clearly,
  • Active listening to gather information and act accordingly,
  • Feedback to keep the team motivated and trying.
  • Inclusivity to feel respected and empowered.

Some Examples of Team Collaboration

Collaboration is an essential soft skill you shouldn’t ignore. Statistics state that modern employers struggle a lot while implementing team collaboration. However, here are some examples we hope can make the going easy for you.

Document Sharing

Cloud-based document sharing through dropbox and drive in real-time has catapulted team collaboration to new heights. Such digital tools have become a special favorite of managers trying to collaborate.

Scrum Management

Collaborations call for many responsibilities, and sometimes important work may take a back-set. To solve these and help teams collaborate smoothly, cloud platforms like Asana and Monday ensure that teams can create an effortless workflow. These forums highlight the priority tasks helping the members move together as a team.

Online Video Software
Video meeting Software like Zoom has pushed employers to consciously look at meetings and opt for video platforms to save their employees' time. Online platforms are quicker, more efficient, and easy to use.

Conclusion

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."
– Helen Keller

We have seen that team collaboration is an essential element of success in any organization. You can create an environment conducive to collaboration and success by utilizing the right tools and strategies. With the right approach, you can create an exciting and productive team collaboration experience for everyone involved.

By working together, teams can create innovative solutions, reach ambitious goals, and build a better future. We hope we have persuaded you to embrace team collaboration and make it part of your team’s culture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Team collaboration?

A: Team collaboration is all about coming together to work on a common goal through communication, collaboration, and constructive conflicts.

Q: What are the importance of fostering team collaboration?

A: Collaboration in the workplace is directly related to employee autonomy and healthy company culture. It encourages employees to have a say in the decision-making process, creates an environment of trust, brings everyone to work towards the same common goal as a team and improves the organization's overall corporate culture.

Q: What is the difference between team collaboration and teamwork?

A: Team collaboration refers to working together and sharing ideas, resources, and responsibilities to achieve a common goal. Teamwork refers to the effort of the members of the team that is put in while working together towards a common goal.

Q: Why is good team collaboration important in modern business?

A: A collaborative culture has become an essential part of modern business. Good team collaboration is emerging as a key success factor in many organizations as it propels corporations forward and improves the overall corporate culture.

Q: How to proceed with team collaboration without attracting rumbling from the teamforce?

A: The idea is to get the elements of collaboration right, like shared goals, team-minded leaders, and a clear strategy. This will create a domino effect of enhanced employee engagement, innovation, and an enriched client experience.

Q: How to overcome the problem of employees being stuck behind desks and detaching from the company mission and the team?

A: To overcome this problem, it is important to create an environment of trust where employees feel their ideas are valued and taken seriously. Also, creating clear goals, team-minded leaders, and a clear strategy can help in enhancing employee engagement and improving the overall corporate culture.

Q: How to ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals?

A: To ensure this, it is important to have clear and concise communication, build trust and respect, and a willingness to collaborate and support each other. Also, having shared goals and a clear strategy can help in ensuring that everyone is working towards the same goals.

Q: How to effectuate smooth team collaboration?

A: To effectuate smooth team collaboration, it is important to have clear and concise communication, build trust and respect, and a willingness to collaborate and support each other. Also, having shared goals, team-minded leaders, and a clear strategy can help in creating a domino effect of enhanced employee engagement, innovation, and an enriched client experience.

Q: How to create an environment where collaboration comes naturally?

A: To create an environment where collaboration comes naturally, it is important to have clear and concise communication, build trust and respect, and a willingness to collaborate and support each other. Also, having shared goals, team-minded leaders, and a clear strategy can help in creating a domino effect of enhanced employee engagement, innovation, and an enriched client experience.

Q: How to spread the spirit of team collaboration?

A: To spread the spirit of team collaboration, it is important to have clear and concise communication, build trust and respect, and a willingness to collaborate and support each other. Also, having shared goals, team-minded leaders, and a clear strategy can help in creating a domino effect of enhanced employee engagement, innovation, and an enriched client experience.

Q: What are some communication strategies to facilitate team collaboration?

A: Some communication strategies to facilitate team collaboration include: clear and concise communication, regular team meetings, using the right communication tools, and encouraging open and honest communication.

Q: What are some tools that can be adopted to enhance team collaboration?

A: Some tools that can be adopted to enhance team collaboration include: project management software, collaboration tools, communication platforms, and team calendars.

Q: How can team leaders facilitate team collaboration?

A: Team leaders can facilitate team collaboration by setting clear goals, fostering a positive team culture, fostering open communication, providing opportunities for team members to share ideas and give feedback, and encouraging team members to take ownership of their work.

Q: How can team members contribute to team collaboration?

A: Team members can contribute to team collaboration by actively participating in team meetings, sharing ideas and giving feedback, being open to constructive criticism, and being willing to work together to achieve common goals.

Q: How can team collaboration be measured?

A: Team collaboration can be measured through employee engagement surveys, team performance metrics, and feedback from team members and stakeholders.

Q: How can team collaboration be improved?

A: Team collaboration can be improved by setting clear goals, fostering a positive team culture, fostering open communication, providing opportunities for team members to share ideas and give feedback, and encouraging team members to take ownership of their work.

Q: How does team collaboration impact overall business success?

A: Team collaboration can impact overall business success by fostering innovation, improving employee engagement, and enhancing the overall corporate culture. This can ultimately lead to better customer experiences and improved financial performance.

Q: What are some common obstacles to team collaboration?

A: Some common obstacles to team collaboration include poor communication, lack of trust, lack of shared goals, and lack of leadership.

Q: How can remote teams effectively collaborate?

A: Remote teams can effectively collaborate by using collaboration tools, setting clear communication protocols, holding regular virtual team meetings, and fostering a positive team culture.

Q: How can team collaboration be sustained over the long term?

A: Team collaboration can be sustained over the long term by setting clear goals, fostering open communication, encouraging team members to take ownership of their work, providing opportunities for team members to share ideas and give feedback, and fostering a positive team culture.

This article is written by Vaishali Goswami, an active member of the content team at Vantage Circle. Between being an active writer and a traveler, Vaishali can be found wound up in books about psychology and human behavior. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com.

+
Sign up to our newsletter
+
View Vantage Rewards