In the beyond-borders and digital business environment, a successful collaboration comes to the first pace. Complex projects require teams of 100 people and more, while a decade ago, this figure didn’t exceed 20 employees. In some cases, they are people sitting in one office, but for the most part, co-workers may never meet in person. Because the project success depends on a team, eco-interpersonal relations are what management and HR need to bother about. Read this article to find out what are MUSTs concerning building effective teams.
Why is team collaboration necessary?
63% of US companies say retaining employees is far more complex than hiring new ones. Companies’ daily expenses on looking for suitable candidates total at around $3,000,000! Another figure – almost ⅔ of employees say they’d work harder if they felt their efforts were appreciated. These three numbers answer why bothering team building is essential. Failing to keep talents, multiplied by the low motivation of those remaining, can ruin strategic plans and make long-term business development unmanageable.
Today, the corporate reality is compounded by the obligation, or readiness, or both – to switch entirely too remote. And this is a double-edged sword. At first blush, there’s an apparent cost-saving effect – no need to rent or maintain office spaces, pay employees to travel to work, or organize corporate events. Plus, people are willing to have this opportunity to work remotely. But upon closer inspection, it’s clear that an employee’s connection to a particular company drops sharply. This, in turn, negatively affects the overall teams’ microclimate.
Enhancing team collaboration is what’ll help your company to overcome these threats, hence, save time and money.
Components for effective team collaboration
Imagine you were asked to evaluate your particular team’s collaborative environment. Where do you start for the answer? Because people relations are intangible, it’s usually challenging to make reasoned assessments, isn’t it?
The good idea is to decompose the overall score into few relevant components:
- interpersonal relations
Do you feel inner comfort when asking a colleague or boss for something? Do you know somebody whom to ask for support? If both answers are “No,” interpersonal relationships at your current workplace are relatively poor.
- individual motivations
Different people have different motivators. That’s completely okay to the point where this doesn’t complicate mutual efforts. It is an essential Team Leads’ or HR managers’ job – to get to know what drives peers and how to use it for a common cause. After all, happy people work 31% more productively.
Without helpful gadgets or programs, even highly motivated co-workers are not going to last long. Phone conferences, messengers, online whiteboards – experiment with the software to find what’s best applicable for collaborative purposes.
- problem and conflict solving mechanisms
The majority of what seems to be conflict is no more than a communication breakdown: a listener simply interprets incorrectly what vis-a-vis is saying—thinking of letting misunderstandings take their course? That’s risky, indeed – ⅓ of all failed or delayed projects are communication breakdown consequences.
- workplace ethics
Are you aware of a written or unwritten code of conduct within your team? Is it in line with your life codes? Personal boundaries and inalienable human rights must be respected – by all team members. Otherwise, there can be no talk of any long-term collaboration.
There are many arguments for building diverse teams. Their innovation revenue is 19% higher, compared with peers that have a below-average level of leadership diversity. These teams are better at problem-solving and, on average, have higher employee engagement ratios. What to say – even such a giant as Google Inc actively promotes inclusiveness policy and even publishes Annual Diversity Reports.
A true leader is indispensable for a team’s success. Depending on the situation, he or she becomes a coach, medium, manager, strategist, motivator, developer. At the same, a leader has a vision of matching project components – to make it all work.
Six collaboration best practices
Make sure new teammates are incorporating into the work process – develop pieces of training, give access rights to tools and working documents. Leave some time for a newbie to get to know the office and the team. If part of the team works remotely, make sure their onboarding will be similar to those in the office.
Take an excellent custom to set measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-framed goals only. It is essential to share KPIs risks and context with all stakeholders. Don’t make KPIs once and for all – review and adjust them according to your team’s progress. This will turn them from being just numbers to indicators of teamwork efficiency.
Programs speed up workflow in multiple ways, so why not use them? Apart from corporate DBMS or forecasting tools, there’s software that helps to coordinate simultaneous performance—for example, Weje.
The next time your team works on a project, use a single workspace from the very beginning – to save time on matching and assure equal information distribution. Create a dashboard and share access rights between co-workers. Then – detail the workflow. Use Weje’s built-in calling or mind mapping tools to agree on work areas.
Group information into distinctive cards or assemble scattered report pieces – with the help of a native interface. Corporate knowledge bases, Kanban boards, presentations, roadmaps – use Weje to improve team collaboration from different perspectives.
Feedback is good, and the timely one is even better. Millennials expect feedback – 60% of employees say they want to receive it daily. Whatever written or verbal form you’ve chosen, make sure to follow the rules: be specific, use “I” statements, do not criticize publicly, and never forget to mention positives.
Transparent career ladder
The non-financial element of motivation, such as career promotion, is essential for employees’ dedication. Guide them and support career goals – recommend training opportunities, encourage networking or establish mentorship. It is also a common practice to fully or partially cover professional learning costs.
If you want to build trust, soften tension, establish communication, and increase collaboration – a wilderness adventure retreat or a pizza on Friday will serve this purpose very well. The only limitation here is – not to force people.
Don’t treat a productive collaboration as a given. Design a good environment and experiment with general recommendations. Remember, minor details taken together can significantly affect the performance of a team member.