This post will be discussing various strategies you can use to encourage collaborative working. We will also be looking closely at what collaboration is and the importance of collaborative teamwork in an organization. Collaborative working leads to high productivity and work efficiency in an organization. And thus, it is becoming a well-established approach in business.
How do you encourage collaborative working?
In an organization, collaborative working can be encouraged using several strategies. A few of these strategies are listed below.
- Communicating properly with the team
- Setting clearly understood goals
- Assigning tasks appropriately
- Sharing the organization’s vision often
- Acknowledging and using strengths and talents
- Creating a positive environment for work
- Sharing knowledge and promoting learning
- Advocating collaboration from the top
- Encouraging suggestions and ideas
- Using the right collaboration tools
- Encouraging cross-functional collaboration
- Offering the right rewards
Teamwork and team collaboration is essential for business productivity. Many research studies show that teams accomplish goals better and feel more motivated to work when there is effective collaboration. The strategies to encourage collaborative working in an organization are explained in the following section.
Communicating properly with the team
Communication should not only be frequent and regular with the team members. It should be effective in transferring ideas and communiques. The communication used should be open and honest while maintaining respect for all team members.
Setting clearly understood goals
The goals that are set for the team should be clearly understood by the team members. Clearly understanding their goals and their responsibilities allow them to work efficiently. It also guides the work process.
While assigning goals and tasks, the team leaders should create both team goals and individual goals. The individual goals should align with the team members personal expertise as well as persona.
Assigning tasks appropriately
The workload should be shared equally by everyone in the team, including the team leader. If some team members are doing the majority of the work while the rest are relaxing while on the job, it can bring down the team morale. The tasks assigned should also be in line with the knowledge and expertise the individual carries.
Sharing the organization’s vision often
Every organization has a vision and set of values that all members are expected to understand and follow. The vision can often point the team to a greater cause and can give more meaning to their projects. Sharing the organization’s vision often helps the team members work as one and can improve team cohesion.
Acknowledging and using strengths and talents
While team members come to an organization with their impressive profiles, they still have a lot more to offer. When these individuals are encouraged to use their strengths and talents, they not only stay with the organization longer, but also improve their productivity levels. It is a team leader’s role to recognize hidden talents and promote their usage in the team.
Creating a positive environment for work
A positive environment does not only include the people and their mindsets, it can also refer to the physical resources. Providing the right resources to employees so that they work comfortably can greatly improve the collaboration. Team members should also be encouraged to be optimistic, even while going through challenges and hardships.
Sharing knowledge and promoting learning
When team members learn together, they also collaborate better together. Team leaders should ensure there is plenty of knowledge that is being shared, so that the team learns and develops continually. Sharing knowledge can also open up new ways to solve problems and can lead to better work processes.
Advocating collaboration from the top
Collaboration, to be implemented effectively, should be advocated and led from the top. When leaders and managers demonstrate positive collaborative practices, the team members also take it up easily. Team leaders who collaborate well tend to also demonstrate other great leadership qualities. They communicate better, make better decisions and gain the trust and respect of the team.
Encouraging suggestions and ideas
A collaborative team that allows suggestions and ideas to flow can achieve their goals better. When suggestions are encouraged, it creates a positive and creative environment to work. The team members also communicate and interact better with each other. A creative team can be highly useful for an organization’s success by coming up with innovative ideas and products.
Using the right collaboration tools
Since remote working has become a norm, virtual teams are increasingly becoming common. While this has many advantages, collaboration in virtual teams can still be a challenge. In order to make the best use of employees, management needs to use the right collaboration tools.
Time has to be taken while considering implementing collaboration tools. A great collaboration tool is one which has several features, is easy to use and offers strong security features. Using the right tool, team collaboration can be implemented regardless of the geographical locations of team members.
Encouraging cross-functional collaboration
While collaboration between the members of a team is essential, collaborating with other teams can also be beneficial. Through this, many resources including knowledge and expertise can be brought in to accomplish a project. Cross-functional collaboration can also help in solving problems faster as well as career development of individual team members.
Offering the right rewards
Hard-work is important but it is also crucial to celebrate victories. It also is useful to celebrate small successes along the way. When team members feel appreciated and acknowledged, they are motivated to do more. It also acts as a catalyst for further collaboration between the team members.
What is collaboration?
Collaboration is basically the process of getting many individuals working together towards achieving a specific shared goal. Collaboration allows projects to be completed at a faster rate and also improves the quality of work.
Here, the communication and interaction between individuals is constructive and highly creative. With employees opting for remote-work increasingly, collaboration is also becoming challenging and at the same time direly important.
Importance of collaborative teamwork
Collaborative teamwork focuses more on the team as a unit rather than individual team members. The importance of collaborative teamwork is summarized below:
It promotes a flatter structure
Effective collaboration breaks down hierarchies and increases communication between different levels. Since organizations are opting for flatter structures these days, collaboration is also being given much importance.
It increases motivation levels
Employees are highly motivated when they work in collaborative environments. Many research studies have proven that team work can positively improve work productivity, employee motivation as well as employee satisfaction.
Team members become more accountable
Since collaboration promotes openness and transparency, team members also show more accountability when it comes to individual responsibilities. Due to this, deadlines are met on time with efficiency and ease.
It improves problem solving
Employees solve problems better when they work in teams. In teams, many resources and skill sets come together. Thus, they pool together information in order to solve problems in a better manner.
Brings meaning to the work
Since collaboration encourages team members to focus on the bigger picture, team members find more meaning in their tasks and roles. This further motivates them and allows them to think bigger and better. Teamwork promotes growth and development in organizations, bringing great changes and helpful innovations.
Increases the level of engagement
Collaborative working encourages the active engagement of all team members. Through this approach, the workload is shared equally by everyone on the team. Thus, company time is not wasted as no team member is idle. This ensures on-time project completions.
This post has discussed various strategies you can use to encourage collaborative working. We have also looked closely at what collaboration is and the importance of collaborative teamwork in an organization.
Frequently asked questions: (How do you encourage collaborative working?)
How do you encourage collaboration in the workplace?
Collaboration can be encouraged in the workplace through the following ways:
Creating an open environment
This is in contrast to traditional organizations where information is not accessible to all. Many employees in such organizations are not aware of what is happening behind closed doors. However, in order to implement collaboration effectively, the organizational climate should be more open. In this environment, honesty and accountability thrive.
Encouraging management to lead the way
When collaboration is implemented from the top down, it is better accepted by all. Team leaders who demonstrate collaborative practices also tend to have better leadership skills.
Using the right technology for collaboration
Since many organizations are using digital technology, collaboration can be encouraged via these very tools themselves. There are also digital tools specifically designed for the purpose of collaboration. When the right tool is used, it can encourage employees to further collaborate with each other.
What are the types of collaborative working?
Collaborative working is basically of two main types:
This is collaboration that is practiced inside an organization. It refers to collaboration between team members, collaboration between departments or functionalities and collaboration between different levels and hierarchies.
The whole aim of this collaboration is to create a flatter organizational structure and improve communication and interaction. This allows more creativity and better work productivity in the organization.
External collaboration refers to collaboration that is implemented outside the organization. It can be with another organization or business. It can also be with a certain community and even network.
This type of collaboration is used for many purposes like training, learning, knowledge and resource sharing. It also can be for the purpose of launching a product or fast-tracking marketing of a product.
What is the most important rule for collaboration?
The most important rule for collaboration is setting clear goals for the team. When collaboration is done without a specific purpose, then the team members would not actively participate in it. It is not only about setting clear objectives for the team, but also ensuring everyone understands it.
Once the team members have clearly understood the goal of this collaboration, they should also be educated about their specific roles and responsibilities. Tailoring roles according to individual strengths can be a good way to ensure the task is completed efficiently.
The team should also be aware of the values or ground rules that are going to guide this collaboration. This ensures communication is done right and that conflicts are resolved properly.
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