Collaboration in the office is when two or more people (often groups) work together through idea sharing and thinking to achieve a common goal. Put simply, it is teamwork taken to a higher level. Teamwork is often a physical joining of two people or a group to accomplish a task.
Collaboration is an extremely powerful way of working. When a team or department is collaborating effortlessly, freely sharing information and able to communicate naturally, they can work at their most effective level.
A collaborative environment doesn’t just happen, you must develop and nurture it. Here are 10 tips that you can use to build a collaborative working environment.
- Create a Clear & Captivating Reason
To create cohesion, team members need a compelling reason to be a part of the company mission. The more persuasive and exciting the mission, the easier it will be to inspire team members to participate in what your company is seeking to accomplish. By providing a clear and captivating cause to be involved with, team members will naturally become as passionate about the objectives as you are. For collaboration to work effectively, the vision, goals and purpose needs to be crystal clear.
- Publicise Expectations
Collaboration needs to be clearly communicated to team members. To nurture this, team members need to be given well-defined individual and shared tasks and responsibilities that they will undertake within the team. With this clear understanding, each team member will be able to work more effectively without inadvertently stepping on anyone else’s toes.
- Determine Team Goals
To drive success in team members it is imperative that you establish and set measurable goals for each team member on a regular basis. These goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound. By writing these goals on a Mobile Dry Wipe Board your team will be able to keep these goals in the forefront of their mind. It is important to review and refine goals regularly. The outcomes of goals need to be made available to the entire team as a way of measuring and celebrating progress and ascertaining where improvements can be made.
- Leverage Individuals Strengths
To inspire and empower each team member, it is preferable to work and play to their strengths. You may wish to conduct psychometric testing and share the results amongst your team. This is a fantastic team building exercise as it enables individuals to get to know themselves and their team members in a more meaningful way. It also provides team members with the information about individual skill sets and who’s good to go to for what.
- Nurture Cohesion Between Team Members
Cohesive teams are undoubtedly more successful because each team member is included in most major decisions. When team members feel empowered and included like this, they feel the significance of their role, which in turn causes them to perform their role better. To maximise effectiveness, teams should arrange short daily meetings whereby each member discusses their objectives for that day. This will prevent duplication of effort and eradicate competition between individuals.
- Encourage Creativity
For teams to flourish they must be inspired and encouraged to brainstorm and question in an open forum. Individuals need to be taught to believe that any difficulties and complications that they face can and will be overcome. When a can-do attitude is encouraged it motivates people to live up to those can-do expectations. Always remember to ask individuals their thoughts and their reasoning behind their ideas on a regular basis. The more united and understood employees feel by their manager, the more inspired they will be to perform, be creative and exceed expectations.
- Acknowledge, Reward & Commend Collaborative Behaviour
Whether shared through video, newsletter, annual report or at your company conference, stories of collaboration break down the walls of independence and recognise collective achievement. By assigning performance rewards and bonuses to collaborative efforts, you will send the right messages to team members about the values that are driving the business.
For collaboration to work effectively it must be focused and consistent, with resources and remuneration dedicated to its success. You may have a handful of successful individuals in your organisation already, however you can enhance and increase your productivity by getting these individuals to work as a collaborative team. When team associates feel they are a part of something exceptional they are more enthusiastic and willing to work together to achieve desired goals.
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