Are you wondering how your team can achieve more – communicate better, generate valuable insights, and fulfill your business goals? Is it possible that some teams in your organization rarely interact, thus affecting how fast or efficiently they work? Your secret weapon, in this case, is collaboration in the workplace.
But what is it, and how will it benefit your business? In this article, we will give you the reasons to promote collaboration in the workplace, suggest some strategies to get you going, and share the best collaboration tool. By the end of this article, you’ll have the best tips to promote effective workplace collaboration and boost team performance!
Let’s get started!
Before we dive into this topic, did you know that collaborating with your team is so much easier and faster if your business adopts the use of a visual communication tool like Zight? Instead of sending an email, just send an annotated screenshot; if a colleague is stuck on a process, record a video of your screen showing them how to do something quickly. Get all that and more by installing the Zight Chrome Extension or downloading Zight for your PC or Mac.
What Is Collaboration In The Workplace?
Collaboration in the workplace refers to individuals or teams working together to achieve common goals, solve problems, make decisions, or complete tasks. It involves sharing ideas, resources, and responsibilities to accomplish mutual objectives rather than working in isolation or in a competitive manner.
Collaboration revolves around:
- Transparent communication
- Distinct responsibilities
- Trust among team members
- Flexibility and adaptability
- Conflict resolution
By fostering a culture of sharing, support, and teamwork, collaboration enables employees to contribute their unique expertise, leading to increased engagement and better company performance.
Slack surveyed 6,899 knowledge workers who said that successful companies:
- Focus on customers
- Invest in employees
- Are profitable
And when companies use effective collaboration, customers get more value, and workers become happier. All of these together can help a company become more successful.
In a collaborative workplace, you can rely on the best collaboration tools to bring individual team members and remote teams together to work toward a common goal. So, what can you do to encourage team members to collaborate in your workplace?
To succeed, it’s crucial to have a strong company culture – an overall attitude to share, support, and create together as a team.
Benefits of Workplace Collaboration for Your Business
Each team member on your team has different skills and expertise to offer. When you encourage workplace collaboration, everyone brings something unique to the table, which will only move you closer to your business goals. Here are more benefits of collaboration in the workplace:
1. Collaboration Is Educational
Workplace collaboration serves as an ongoing educational platform.
Each team member contributes unique perspectives, insights, and problem-solving approaches, exposing others to diverse viewpoints. This continuous learning environment enhances individual knowledge and nurtures a culture of growth and development within the organization.
In addition, collaboration promotes critical thinking as team members articulate and defend their ideas, fostering intellectual agility.
2. It Solves Problems
There’s power in numbers, and having extra people work on a project could help get it done more efficiently.
With varied backgrounds and experiences, team members bring multifaceted approaches. These different viewpoints challenge conventional thinking and encourage innovative problem-solving. Team members collaborate to identify blind spots, offer constructive critiques, and bridge gaps in understanding, resulting in more comprehensive and powerful solutions for your business.
3. Creates a Supportive Environment
Providing collaboration tools and opportunities fosters a sense of belonging and advocacy among the workforce. This supportive atmosphere will bolster employee morale and loyalty, inspiring them to advocate for the company’s mission and values.
4. Promotes Self-Analysis
Collaboration requires team members to articulate and explain their thoughts and ideas. They will express and defend their viewpoints in the process, promoting critical thinking and self-analysis. Other team members will also provide constructive feedback to refine ideas and strategies.
5. Helps Employees See the Bigger Picture
Sometimes, it’s easy to get wrapped up in a specific task and lose sight of the overall goal. Getting input from others can help to keep the bigger picture in mind.
The holistic approach enables employees to grasp the broader context, align their efforts with the larger organizational vision, and make more informed decisions that support the collective success of the team and the company.
6. Increases Efficiency
Collaboration streamlines workflows and reduces duplication of efforts. So, when you leverage the talents of different teams with effective collaboration tools and coordination, you benefit from faster decision-making, leading to increased efficiency and productivity across the organization.
7. Fosters Employee Retention
Collaborative environments that value each employee’s contribution create a sense of belonging and job satisfaction. Employees are likelier to stay with a company that recognizes and appreciates their input, fostering higher retention rates and reducing turnover costs.
How To Improve Team Collaboration
According to a Standford study, being part of a team makes people more motivated when taking on challenges.
Many believe the key to productive workplace collaboration is purpose. Do you have a purpose in what you’re doing in your career? When you feel like part of a team, do you notice a shift in your drive for success?
It’s also important to note that putting co-workers on a team doesn’t always yield successful collaboration. There often needs to be designated team leaders to help keep things on track and achieve success. These leaders can provide context and hold teams accountable without getting in the way.
So, how can you improve team collaboration in the workplace?
Here are some key strategies to ensure your teams collaborate better for a better workplace:
1. Inspire Innovation
Encourage employees to share their ideas and solutions with the team freely. By creating a platform for open brainstorming sessions, your mixed skills team can build upon each other’s concepts, leading to creative and refined innovations that propel the team forward.
Also, have a compelling case for your project, and ensure your diverse or remote teams are motivated to work toward a singular goal.
2. Set Expectations
A collaborative environment has each team member understand their expectations and know what roles to have to achieve the team’s goal. With a clear understanding upfront, everyone can work efficiently.
But as you set expectations, also cater to the strengths and weaknesses of all team members. This will make it easy when assigning team members roles and determine how well the members work together.
3. Keep the Team Organized
Strong leadership is essential for effective collaboration. Have capable project managers who keep the team organized, assign clear responsibilities, and ensure everyone remains on track. A well-organized team maximizes productivity, minimizes confusion, and efficiently achieves its objectives.
4. Encourage Open Communication
When promoting collaboration, foster open and transparent communication among team members using digital tools like email, Slack, or Zight.
These platforms can create an environment where individuals feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and ideas, leading to more candid and constructive exchanges.
In-person communication is equally valuable for building strong relationships and fostering deeper connections within the team.
5. Cultivating Effective Communication Skills
Team members need strong communication skills to promote effective collaboration. This includes conveying messages on a personal level, sharing factual information, and providing specific details concisely. Asking questions to ensure understanding and seeking clarification further enhances communication by reducing misunderstandings and facilitating a unified collaborative experience.
6. Foster Cohesion
Cohesion is a sense of unity and trust among team members. So, if you want collaborative teams, ensure they feel a strong bond and support each other, thus encouraging a natural sense of teamwork. When there’s cohesion in a team, there will also be better communication, shared responsibility, effective conflict resolution, better commitments, and improved team spirit.
You can encourage frequent team meetings so your members can understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
7. Celebrate Success
Team collaboration takes effort and dedication, so ensure you recognize and celebrate your team’s success. Recognizing individual and team contributions fosters a positive atmosphere, reinforces collaborative behavior, and motivates team members to continue excelling.
Essentials for Team Collaboration In the Workplace
There are certain conditions teams should have to remain effective such as:
- The necessary information to complete tasks
- Agreed-upon goals
- Power to move forward
Open communication is also key. It’s hard to move forward and continue to make developments when team members aren’t explaining their progress.
Elements for an effective collaborative workplace also include:
- Commitment and trust: Everyone involved should devote a certain amount of time and energy to advancing the overall mission.
- Open communication: Communication should flow equally between everyone on the team.
- Adapting to new conditions: Goals and strategies may change over time, and team members should be able to adjust and take these challenges head-on.
- Creative freedom: Team members should be able to think freely and try to find opportunities without fearing consequences.
How Collaboration Varies Among Employees
The study by Slack above shows that employees thought they and their company valued “making money” and “efficiency” the most. They also thought their employers saw value in “doing something new and innovative.” While workers also wanted innovation, they thought “having autonomy” and “being part of a team” were more important.
It shows just how important autonomy is in the workplace. Employees want to feel they have a say in how they do their jobs, and better autonomy leads to better productivity and retention rates!
When working with others on a project, employees want the freedom to pitch new ideas and get projects done how they see fit. Feeling as though they have to follow particular procedures a company sets can be disheartening and, in turn, less productive.
Employees of different ages have different levels of experience and see things differently. The way workers value autonomy differs significantly among different generations too.
Younger employees value autonomy less in favor of innovation, while more experienced workers (45+) value autonomy more.
This desire for autonomy seems to correspond with how workers view collaboration: A top collaboration concern for younger employees is trusting co-workers to do quality work. Those aged 25-44 valued distinct responsibilities as the key to good collaboration. Employees over 45 believe that being able to communicate well with others is important for collaboration in the workplace.
Productivity Tool-Zight (Formerly CloudApp)
Depending on the size and structure of your team and the various locations of team members, it’s essential to have proper productivity tools to stay on track.
- Share screenshots of project progress
- Easily ask for changes using lines, circles, arrows, emojis, etc. You can also blur sensitive information on a document
- Offer clear instructions via video or GIFs to avoid unnecessary back-and-forth between people
- Avoid lengthy meetings by sharing your screen and portraying your specific ideas
Also, when you want to improve workplace collaboration, you want to have a tool to provide immediate feedback from the team’s leader and between team members. Zight allows you to create Collections where you can share photos and videos and invite other team members to view and collaborate on that particular piece.
You can decide how to organize your information, which Collections will remain private, and which Collections you wish to share with others. Zight’s Smart Search feature makes it easy to find your files, and Cloud storage allows for access from anywhere.
Here are some more features that make Zight one of the most innovative solutions for collaboration in the workplace:
- Secure sharing (control privacy of your content)
- A full brand experience by adding your logo and custom URLs
- Analytics & insights
- Visual search
Are you ready to improve collaboration and overall productivity within your team? Zight is a beneficial tool to share new ideas with others instantly.
Sign up today for a free Zight account. The platform can help improve team collaboration and how information is shared.