Oxford Leadership Academy HR expert Bria Bacon states that “How a team talks together will determine how well it works and if there is a lack of respect then there will be no collaboration.” Team collaboration, therefore, mainly revolves around how members of a team communicate and interact with each other. Such collaboration between team members might sound simple but achieving it is harder than most people may think. To improve team collaboration, therefore, different organizations try to employ a variety of strategies but which among these standout and guarantees results?
a. Encourage socialization outside work
One of the oldest phrases that most organizations have been operating on is Do not mix work with pleasure. This statement is true to some extent but also poses a challenge when you are trying to improve team collaboration and interactions among your employees. Allowing your team members to meet in settings outside the workplace assists them in knowing each other properly and also improves how they interact with one another. Organize field events, lunch or other team building activities where the people freely talk to each other on all matters non-work. In such a setting people are more likely to lighten and open up making comfortable with each other. This will consequently be reflected back at the workplace where all of them will can now collaborate more freely boosting the general performance of the firm.
b. Provide team collaboration tools
Over the years, construction of working premises has been designed in a manner that motivates collaboration among employees. This is why there are so many open layout offices hoping to make individuals collaborate more effectively. Unfortunately, this alone is not enough. If you want your team to work together and stay in touch with each other whenever necessary, then you need to look beyond how your office is designed. You have to invest in collaboration tools. This includes video communication and chatting software such as ezTalks Cloud Meeting. Through the multiplatform ezTalks software, you can have your entire workforce constantly connected regardless of where they are. It improves teamwork within and without the premises since the software can also be used to interact with other individuals on the field. Communication will, therefore, be enhanced enabling the employees to conduct group tasks, projects and also attend to meetings whenever they are called upon.
c. Training employees to embrace interdependence
An organization has to function as a family if it's to achieve its ultimate goal. Each department within a firm could have its own objectives but it is crucial that they are continuously reminded on why they have to work with other departments to attain the overall target. The best way to achieve this is by encouraging them to trust each other and embrace teamwork. Most functions of different departments are interlinked meaning that they have to rely on each other on daily basis. It is hence, important for the employees to understand the working and importance of team collaboration. Let them be aware of why it is important and train them on how you hope to achieve interdependency. This will be a massive step towards improving team collaboration within your company.
d. Generate Team Charters
You cannot effectively take part in a group project if you don't know why the group exists, why you are part of it or what your role is. One of the biggest reasons why most team projects fail is the lack of clear guidelines outlining the goal of the team. It's for this reason that it should be every team's first task to clearly come up with the purpose, mission, roles and all other relevant items for smooth running of operations. Make sure that the final expectations are stated and understood by all participants, schedules should be drafted and shared in advance, and budget and resources should be tabled for everyone to know. Once all these are clear to everyone then each team member will be signing up for something they are well aware of which will make collaboration not only smooth and effective but also fun!
e. Provide executive support
In many organizations, the management comes up with departmental goals and objectives, delegates them to the junior employees and then disappears until the deadline day when they come back to evaluate performance. This is a destructive culture that can be attributed to 75% of team failure cases according to a research conducted by Harvard Business Review. To improve success rate, all the team members need to not only collaborate within themselves, but they should also have a line of communication with their superiors and other executive employees. This helps to motivate and keep them goal oriented. Team members are more likely to feel the vitality of a project if they can see interest and more direct participation from the guys on top. Of course, this might pause a challenge maybe because executive members have busy schedules and all, but they should try as much as possible to take part in especially the crucial weekly or monthly project reports. They can also take part in any other meetings remotely through highly interactive video collaboration software like ezTalks Cloud Meeting. Such support helps a business in answering the essential question on how to improve collaboration in a team.