Would you consider yourself to be part of a collaborative team? It’s important to understand the benefits of being part of such a team, and how it contributes to the success of projects. ‘Collaborative teams’ constantly work to the strengths of their individual team members, make an effort to maintain transparent communications, and are pro-active in tracking the progress of projects.
Why should teams focus on collaboration?
Without collaboration, teams can quickly become inefficient and unproductive, leading to poor results that can affect a company’s overall performance. Putting it into perspective, here are three key statistics on workplace collaboration according to Strategic Retreats –
Employees spend 74 minutes a week trying to contact customers or colleagues.
5 hours a week are spent writing e-mails, searching for information and internal collaboration.
39% of employees say people in their organisation don’t collaborate enough.
There are multiple ways a team can become more collaborative. And so, here are ten habits of highly collaborative teams (and how your team can become one, too).
Start with strong leadership
Identifying a ‘project manager’ or ‘team leader’ at the beginning of a project is important. The leader of the team will be the backbone of the project – a guide for the rest of the team throughout the process, responsible for ensuring a smooth operation and the delivery of a successful result. They can also encourage, boost morale, provide feedback, and give constructive criticism when necessary.
Establish goals early on
In order to be a collaborative team, you should all understand what is trying to be achieved, have identified common goals, and have a clear vision. And not only is it important to be clear on your goals; when everyone on the team understands the direction in which to go in, then there’s less of a chance for the project to go off track, too.
Be organised and prepared
Collaborative teams are organised and prepared for projects. Folders and documentation are on-hand and ready for instant access, meetings are set and planned in advance, and each team member is aware of what they need to be doing to contribute to the project.
Work to the strengths of individual team members
By focusing on delegating tasks based on the strengths of each individual team member, there’ll be less hierarchy and more collaboration. What’s more, according to a Gallup analysis, the people who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged at work and 8% more productive.
Be pro-active in tracking progress
Collaborative teams are prepared to prioritise and re-prioritise, make room for improvement, and keep up-to-date with the tasks as the project goes on. Additionally, the use of an audit trail can assist in keeping track of progress, as they show the changes and updates that are being made by team members.
Have transparent communications
Keep everyone involved in the process. Having open, honest and frequent discussions makes it easier for collaborative teams to work together towards their common goal. And when in doubt, they aren’t afraid to ask questions. By using a collaboration tool like Clinked, team members can add comments and feedback to documents, and can have real-time conversations from anywhere.
Build trust between team members
Having trust between team members will mean that problems can get resolved quickly, confidence and morale can be built up, and communication is stronger; all of which can lead to better results. To show trust, team leaders (and members) can delegate tasks (see point 4) and avoid micromanaging the other members.
Encourage team to go mobile
Improve the connectivity and engagement between team members by encouraging them to go mobile. Because then, even if you have individuals who are working from different locations, they can remain connected with the rest of the team and can stay on top of the project. It’s also worth noting that flexibility can lead to happier and more productive team members.
Keep each other motivated
Collaborative teams motivate each to reach the end goal. They celebrate the wins, use their strengths to help each other, and keep spirits high as deadlines get closer. Motivation can come from encouraging creativity, strong communication with team members, and a shared vision.
Did you know that 26% of millennials say recognition motivates them to do their best at work (Staples)
Prepare to adapt and evolve
If there are tools that are available, then they should be made use of. Considering the implementation of new tools is also worth thinking about if necessary. For instance, if you’re struggling to share hundreds of documents with your clients or team members, or you need to encourage more transparent communications between members; look for a collaboration tool, that can help with both (and more).
Is software the solution?
If you’re looking to improve the collaboration between your team members and clients, then it’s worth considering a software solution like Clinked. With Clinked, you can share multiple files, have real-time conversations and more; all from within a secure, branded environment. You can go to our website to find out more, and try our free 10-day trial today.