How do you show collaboration at work? (+7 collaborative skills)
In this article, we will be discussing how you can show collaboration at work and its importance in the organization. We shall also be mentioning the various collaboration skills employees can use in the workplace. Collaboration aims to bring different people together to use their combined efforts in order to achieve a common goal. Collaboration is the secret of successful enterprises.
How do you show collaboration at work?
Collaboration can be shown or demonstrated at work in many ways. Some of the examples of collaboration in the workplace are discussed below:
Collaborating for work projects
Team members may need to collaborate in order to complete tasks and projects in the work process. Pooling in their various resources such as knowledge and skill sets can help teams move faster and more efficiently. In order to coordinate better for task completion, many teams use project management tools which can greatly decrease the workload.
Working on shared documents
This has become very common in remote working. Shared documents allow multiple users to work on the project, thus saving a lot of time. These cloud-based tools help employees access the right document and edit it alongside others in real-time. Shared documents can reduce the need for emails and other communiques that can contribute to collaboration overload.
Using communication tools
Digital collaboration tools offer great features for communication between team members. With the help of these platforms, employees can send messages to each and also share files and documents. They can also use these tools for voice-calling and video-calling. Online communication tools help coordinate smoother interactions between employees.
Attending virtual meetings
Successful organizations hold organized and carefully planned meetings. Collaboration tools can help leaders schedule meetings and also host them virtually. This cuts down the cost for organizations while also improving the effectiveness of the meetings. Virtual meetings can thus be used for feedback and realignments in the work process.
Using whiteboards for brainstorming
Virtual whiteboards can be used for brainstorming ideas in teams. These whiteboards can allow team members to post their opinions and suggestions, both synchronously and asynchronously. This helps those team members who might be reclusive in a group setting, giving them space and comfort to put out their creative ideas and feedback.
Importance of collaboration in an organization
When team members work together with mutual trust, goals can be accomplished faster and more efficiently. A few reasons why collaboration is important in an organization are:
Collaboration can lead to a flatter organizational structure
When there is effective collaboration in an organization, it leads to more communication between various functionalities and levels. Since it promotes transparency and openness in the organization, the structure becomes flatter which further increases teamwork. Flat organizations can lead to better innovation and development.
It increases employee motivation levels
Practicing collaboration efficiently in the team can improve motivation levels in employees. When team members know that they are working toward a meaningful and purposeful goal, they put in more effort. Motivation is also improved because of the support of their colleagues as well as the leaders in the organization.
It empowers employees to achieve more
Collaborative teams are not happy with the bare minimum. The leaders in these teams push their employees to do more and achieve more. Collaborative leaders identify individual strengths and capitalize on them. They also encourage constant learning and development of various skill sets. This helps employees develop both as a team and also as individuals.
Collaboration improves adaptability
Organizations need to be able to adapt quickly to changes and trends in the market. Those businesses which acclimatize sooner tend to become more successful and create better profit. Collaboration can help organizations in this by foreseeing risks and preparing for them in advance. It can also help in creating multiple alternative solutions for a problem or an issue.
It promotes accountability
When employees do not show accountability in their tasks, the quality of work can fall. Without accountability, the trust between team members can also be reduced. Collaborative practices can greatly boost the accountability of employees. Thus, they show better ownership of goals and as a result work productivity increases.
It leads to healthier employees
Research has shown that collaboration can lead to happier and healthier employees. Through collaboration, team members are motivated to develop themselves, not only in their work processes but also in their personal lives. Thus, they take better care of their physical, mental and emotional health. For an organization, healthy employees mean lesser sick days and better work.
Collaboration skills that employees can use
In order to have efficient collaboration, all the team members need to be equipped with the right collaborative skills. The different kinds of collaboration skills that can be highly useful for employees are explained in this section.
Active listening skills
Active listening is an important skill that every employee can use in the workplace. It refers to listening without judgement and trying hard to understand what the speaker is saying. Active listening allows messages to be understood clearly while also providing clarifications for any doubts.
A team member who wants to collaborate well should know how to effectively communicate through all mediums, whether it be verbal, non-verbal and written communication. When messages are shared in a clear and succinct manner, misunderstandings and conflicts can be avoided and workflows can become smoother.
A team is a group of individuals with varying feelings, skill sets and personalities. If there is no empathy in a team, it can weaken the bonds between the team members. Empathy not only strengthens team cohesion but also allows new ideas and perspectives to flow in the team. Empathy is increasingly necessary as technologies are becoming more human-centered.
Conflict resolution skills
Conflicts between members in a group should be resolved quickly and smoothly in order to avoid any festering resentments. Conflict resolution is not just the job of the team leader or manager. It is essential for every team member to have good conflict resolution and negotiation tactics.
Self-awareness leads to other great benefits such as humility, higher self-esteem and leadership abilities. It also helps employees understand their personal strengths and weaknesses. Thus, it can also allow better delegation of tasks and empowerment of other team members.
Sensitivity to diversity
With teams becoming increasingly diverse, sensitivity is important. Diversity can only be appreciated and well-understood when the team members are sensitive to different ethnic and religious backgrounds. When diversity is respected, it can be a great asset to a team, helping it create new perspectives and solutions for problems.
Promoting individual strengths
Every team member is equipped with unique strengths that no other employee has. When these unique strengths are empowered by other team members, they become valuable additions to the team’s resources. When their individualities are showcased and used, employees are also encouraged and motivated to commit more to the team.
Encouraging others to speak up
Collaboration does not only allow an individual to work closely with others. It also pushes them to empower and encourage others to collaborate. This is particularly important in team discussions and meetings, where everyone is required to participate but might not due to a fear of being judged or disagreed with.
In this article, we have discussed how you can show collaboration at work and its importance in the organization. We have also mentioned the various collaboration skills employees can use in the workplace.
Frequently asked questions: (How do you show collaboration at work?)
How do you effectively work together?
In order for a team to work effectively together, the following tips can be used:
Setting smart goals for the team
Team members need to know the goal they are working together for. If the goal is too vague and not specific, then the employees will not work specifically with goal-orientation. Smart goals are those which are specific, realistic and measurable at the same time. These goals encourage teams to work with a strong purpose.
Establishing a clear plan and outline
Once the goals have been set and shared with the team members, the plan needs to be outlined. Leaders need to take the time to discuss the plan with the team members and also encourage feedback and suggestions. Involving the team members in the planning process promotes commitment and motivation to achieve the goal.
Encouraging mutual trust
Trust is hard to build and takes time and effort. However, it is a necessary element in teamwork. There should be mutual trust between the leaders and the team members for a smoother workflow in the organization. Trust can be developed when leaders first demonstrate trustworthiness in the workplace.
Practicing clear communication
In order for team collaboration to be successful, there has to be clear communication between the various team members. The communication needs to be open and honest for it to create an impact in the employees. Team leaders can provide appropriate training for their team to be well equipped in verbal, non-verbal as well as written forms of communication.
How can collaboration improve team performance?
Collaboration allows team members to work in a smoother fashion together. It promotes individual productivity, work efficiency and overall team performance. Collaboration leads to these great benefits because:
Employees learn more from each other
Through collaboration, team members share knowledge, skillsets and other resources with each other. Thus, collaboration promotes learning in the team. The knowledge which is shared is also retained better as the learning takes place in an open and safe environment.
Problem-solving is better
Collaboration leads to faster and more efficient problem solving. This happens since many individuals work closely together. With diverse opinions and suggestions, the problem is studied from multiple angles. Collaboration can also bring solutions for problems which have not yet occurred, thus protecting the organization in the long run.
It eliminates silos
Collaboration breaks down barriers in the organization by eliminating silos. This promotes cross-functional and inter-departmental collaborations, thus creating a flatter organizational structure. It also breaks down barriers created by misunderstandings and miscommunications, creating a community environment in a corporate organization.
Teams work for larger causes
When teams practice collaboration effectively, they are committed strongly to the goal. They understand the value of the project and the impact it is going to create. Thus, they find meaning and purpose in the shared goal and are able to see the bigger picture. This also benefits the organization by increasing employee retention rates.
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