Getting your team to work together is crucial. A football team of players that won’t pass to each other will never win. A restaurant with a brilliant chef is useless without the waiting staff. The same goes for any business. Here’s how to encourage team collaboration.
Cultivate openness and transparency
Is your team open about everything going on in the business? Do all employees know their colleagues’ salaries? Is everyone up-to-date with what they need to do, and is there a reliable system for communicating updates and changes? Anonymity breeds a lack of collaboration. If nobody knows who is doing well or not, then you can’t actively encourage team collaboration. Employees with their own agendas, or people who are only out for themselves, will not work productively in a transparent environment.
Encourage collaboration across departments
Two heads are better than one. If one member of your team knows about numbers and calculations, and another knows how to write the perfect tender, then they will work together well. By cultivating collaboration across departments, you can encourage people to think beyond their own roles. Problem-solving, creativity, and innovation are all encouraged by teams that communicate across boundaries.
Have the right technology in place
Collaboration technology can encourage team collaboration by creating a social outlet that goes beyond the four walls of your office. For example, Asana is a great tool for collaborating. Monday.com is the perfect tool for document sharing. Downloading tools like Asana and Monday.com will help your team collaborate with ease.
Lead from the top down
Employees are less likely to collaborate if they feel that their leader is not open to collaboration. If the boss only hires people who are ‘yes men’ or want to think just like them, then there is no room for team collaboration. A truly successful leader will listen closely to each member of their team, and will always give praise where it is due.
Do away with office politics
It can be difficult to keep team collaboration going while simultaneously giving each member of your staff a chance to shine. However, if you have a good manager who does not allow office politics to flourish, then the need for collaboration will increase. When employees work together toward a common goal, they will be more willing to share ideas, credit for successes, and support each other through tough times.
If your team is doing well, then reward it! A small bonus or award will help your employees see that you recognize their efforts when it comes to team collaboration. Doing so on an individual level can also encourage teamwork. If one employee is particularly helpful at collaborating, give them a small bonus to encourage their efforts. In this way, everybody will be incentivized to collaborate effectively with each other.
If employees feel that they have freedom and flexibility over how they work, then team collaboration might just come naturally to them.
Some managers think that it is a good idea to give their staff as little responsibility as possible so that they cannot make mistakes. However, this is the fastest way to repel independent workers and discourage team collaboration.