Team collaboration is an integral part of every company. Without it, your company will rapidly decline and evaporate. The biggest part of collaboration is communication, and its effective communication that drives good collaboration. There are however, multiple ways to increase that communication effort and in turn increases the overall collaboration.
Today, we take 7 simple ways that you can implement more collaboration in your company and in your team.
Team Building Games
Games have been an integral part of human learning since humans walked the earth. But there are good problem solving exercises that are both fun and have a very strong learning component. Depending on the core problem you want to address, you may find very creative ways to establish a better relationship between the company and its employees, which builds confidence and trust between the two.
The idea is to get employees to work well together, picking up on each other’s strengths and weaknesses and jumping in to help each other when needed. It starts to build a solid foundation for a great working relationship, which by default encompasses collaboration traits. These relationships may start outside of the working environment but the skills taught come into play in the work environment for the betterment of the employees and company.
Through the team building exercises you employ, it is possible to find creative ways to streamline any project you undertake. The object is to be able to make the process as efficient as possible so that it can be done quickly and remain under the budgeted costs, then to shift onto the next project to repeat the process. Part of it could be actually rewarding employees for being able to complete a project before it gets to the completion due date.
With streamlined processes you gain two critical attributes, a time savings and increased productivity. Saving time on your projects is usually seen as a higher profit margin for the company, which trickles down to the employees in the forms of better benefits or wages. It also increases productivity because those employees can be used on the next project more quickly, which further increases the above benefits.
Team planning software is arguably one of the most effective ways to both streamline processes and improve employee communication. By using an online team planner, employees will be able to operate collaboratively on projects and will get a clear overview on how their team is operating.
To increase engagement between the company and its employees, the employees between each other, and between the clients and the employees; the company should ensure that everyone has the requisite skills. This goes beyond just being able to just take part of meaningful conversations and conflict resolution skills. There are techniques that can be employed to gain better results on the client facing side of your company as well as internally.
Engagement is a loose term for communicating. Effective communication isn’t just about clearly stating objectives or delegating; but being receptive and listening, and setting the overall tone.
Improve Employee Communications
There are two prime methods that can improve employee communications. The first is simply to share, the second would be to lead by example. Sharing of information is vital in any endeavour. The more information that can be shared and thus more gathered from perspective, translates into alternative thinking processes, and insights. Then pave the way by acting as you want others to act.
Using online software can help facilitate better lines of communications. It also holds a written accord which can be used to help when it’s time to focus on some conflict resolution, or building better soft skills for employees.
Have an Open-Door Policy
It has been proven that a closed door creates an atmosphere of secrecy which can manifest both physically and psychologically. By opening the door, you can create an open atmosphere that craves communication and collaboration; on a regular basis. It also creates a sense of transparency which most employees crave.
Open door policies make it easier to communicate with others because it reduces barriers. It makes people feel that their co-workers are more approachable, and thus better able to help each other in times of need. This will lead into the availability of using two-way feedback.
Encourage Two-Way Feedback
There is nothing worse than submitting something and having it returned with a note saying to correct it. It often leads to wondering how. Being able to effectively communicate what is wrong and how to best correct it establishes a basis for communication that breeds better collaboration. This is especially true when working with remote teams. Verbal communication may appear to be the best; however it pales to a written accord because it is almost impossible to retain everything that was stated.
Two-way feedback also allows the employees to voice concerns and opens insights into problematic situations within the project from a differing perspective. It is often overlooked that managers don’t have the technical aspects of a job that their employees are responsible with.
Have a Clarity of Roles and Responsibilities
Unclear instructions can give rise to miscommunications. This is a common problem in most workplaces. Employees may not always be sure what is expected of them which can cause them to flounder. Having clear cut roles and the responsibilities of those roles helps to mitigate this all too common failure.
Having a clarity of roles and responsibilities reduces employees from suffering from blaming others when a job is not completed. It reduces the possibility of having an out of balance workload, and an excess of idle time. It will also reduce the creation and attention to non-essential work to fill spare time. It will also reduce the possibility of an employee suffering from poor morale.
This minimises the amount of confusion that can accompanied in some projects. It also helps maintain a schedule for periodic milestones within a project provided that the employees fully understand what their tasks are as they pertain to each project.
Collaboration is a bedrock foundation for relationships. Working relationships need to be cultivated and strengthened regularly to remain effective. There are a few different ways that you can get your employees to start collaborating.
You can start with team building games or exercises that build upon communication and trust between teams of people. From there you can incorporate manners to streamline projects as you move forward.
Improving your engagement by offering more training or opportunities for your employees to communicate with everyone that can be involved in a project. The soft skill sets of employees can also be improved to allow better communication and collaboration.
Managers are finding that having an open-door policy greatly affects those that they work with by providing a means for direct communication and coaching when it is needed. This policy also encourages two-way feedback that becomes vital in getting projects done in an efficient manner. Finally, having a clear picture of the roles and responsibilities are for each employee leads to employees working outside the box to collaborate with each other so that a project can move forward more smoothly.