What are five strategies for effective collaboration?
This article will be discussing five strategies for effective collaboration. We shall also look at the essentiality of collaboration in the workplace and the challenges you may face when you are trying to collaborate. Lastly, we shall be examining the various characteristic traits that make a person collaborative.
What are five strategies for effective collaboration?
The five strategies that can be used for effective collaboration are:
- Using team-building activities
- Implementing collaboration technology
- Encouraging creativity in the team
- Promoting socialization outside the workplace
- Stimulate cross-functional collaboration
Collaboration is a familiar buzzword used often in corporate lingo. Organizations, team leaders and managers are highly seeking candidates who can contribute to collaboration in the workplace. This element has been found to be the secret of many an organization’s success. The five strategies that can be used for effective collaboration are explained in detail as follows:
Using team-building activities
Many organizations spend a lot of time in team building exercises when fresh candidates join. However, these activities should not only be used during orientation and induction but also later in the work process. However, leaders need to carefully consider the type of activities they are going to organize, otherwise it can lead to a counterproductive effect.
Implementing collaboration technology
Digital collaboration technology is being widely used in organizations, especially in those which work remotely. These tools are not only used for communication but also for sharing information and project management purposes. Collaboration tools allow team members to access workspaces at their convenience of time and space, thus promoting effective collaboration.
Encouraging creativity in the team
Employees love to display their creative side in the workplace. However, very few organizations encourage this in team members. Research studies have shown that employees feel more satisfied at jobs where they were allowed to express their creativity. While encouraging creativity and innovation from employees, team leaders also promote the value of collaboration in the team.
Promoting socialization outside the workplace
While teams can interact well with each other in the workplace, they still may not let their guards down and get that personal with others. In order to foster collaboration, leaders can encourage their teams to meet and socialize outside the workplace. This allows team members to get to know each other much better and build healthy relationships that can be useful for collaboration.
Stimulate cross-functional collaboration
There are many barriers to collaboration and one of them is the presence of silos in the organization. This mainly happens when there is very little cross-functional interaction and collaboration. However, cross-functional collaboration can be highly beneficial both for learning as well as sharing of resources and networks between teams in the organization.
In addition to these strategies, a few more are explained below:
Demonstrate good collaborative practices
The best way to encourage collaboration in the workplace is by having the leaders and managers demonstrate it. When leaders actively advocate collaboration in their daily tasks, employees automatically get inspired and replicate it. In this manner, team members also learn the right way in which collaboration should be practiced.
Set the right size of the group
While creating groups for tasks or for projects, leaders should pay close attention to the size of the group. This can also depend on the type of collaboration process. In open collaborations, there might be a large number of people involved in order to generate plenty of ideas. However, in closed collaborations, the size may be small in order to protect sensitive information.
Bring in complementary team members
The team members who are present in the group are the most important element of the collaboration process. These team members should possess the right skillsets and expertise. Most importantly, their personalities and working styles should be complementary to each other. This can greatly affect the working environment and achieve goals at a smoother rate.
Get interesting projects
When there are very simple tasks or projects involved, team members may not collaborate as they do not find a need for it. However, when interesting projects that require critical and analytical thinking are brought about, it forces the employees to closely work together. This type of interdependence in the team encourages effective collaboration.
Know when to step back
Leaders initiate the collaboration process and guide it along the way. However, when leaders are too involved in the process, it can come across as threatening and holds a risk of micromanagement. Leaders need to know when to step back and let the team members collaborate and work on the project by themselves.
As teams are becoming remote and organizations are going global, the workforce is becoming largely diverse. This diversity of cultural backgrounds, ethnicities, languages and religious beliefs should be understood and celebrated. Encouraging your team to showcase their diversities and understanding each ones’ backgrounds can greatly help the collaboration.
Recognize effective collaboration
When leaders observe great collaboration being practiced in teams, this should be recognized and celebrated as a successful feat. However, many organizations only focus on immediate profit as an achievement worthy of celebration. When this happens, it makes employees more task-oriented and can discourage them from spending time on collaborative strategies.
Capitalize on individual strengths
Every employee has a unique asset or strength that can be highly valuable to the organization. Leaders and other team members need to be able to discover hidden talents and empower each other to use them. This not only leads to happier employees but can also help organizations come up with innovative designs and products. s
Provide training for collaboration skills
For the collaboration to be successful, every team member needs to be equipped with the right collaboration skills. However, not everyone is born with these skills. Leaders and managers need to provide adequate training for these skills to ensure smooth and effective collaborative practices in the organization.
Importance of collaboration in the workplace
Organizations emphasize collaboration increasingly in the workplace for the plenty of benefits it brings to the company. Some of these benefits that make collaboration highly important are:
It leads to happier employees
Many research studies have proven that collaborative workplaces lead to happier employees. This happens as employees feel more valued and understood by their organizations. They are also given opportunities to develop their careers. They are also well supported in their work processes, creating a positive environment for them to thrive in.
There is more learning and growth
Collaboration promotes learning in the organization. In collaborative teams, the members bring in their various skill sets, knowledge and expertise for the achievement of the shared goal. Since they are interdependent on one another, the team members are exposed to new information and also innovative tools and other resources, helping them learn and grow.
It encourages creativity and innovation
Collaboration encourages team members to freely give their ideas and suggestions, no matter how wild it may be. The ideas are thoroughly listened to and understood by all the team members who give honest and respectful criticism and insights. This attitude coupled with a healthy dose of autonomy motivates employees to perform better and achieve more goals.
It makes more satisfied customers
Collaborative practices in the organization lead to smoother work processes. These lead to better development of products, smoother supply chain management and decisive problem-solving. Through collaboration, companies can put out more human-centered products that have more meaning and value to their customers.
Challenges you may face while collaborating
Collaboration takes time and plenty of effort. This wonderful initiative can go through many challenges when it is being implemented in the organization. Some of these challenges are:
- When there are no immediate results due to the collaboration process. This can demotivate the team members and may even lead the management to discourage the collaboration.
- When the process is too costly and expensive for the organization. Collaboration requires the investment of time, energy and money which many organizations simply cannot afford.
- When there is collaboration overload due to the presence of too many tools in the organization. This can cause the sharing of too much information and multiple notifications popping up every now and then. Team members can find this stressful and frustrating
Characteristic traits of a collaborative person
Individuals who are great at collaborating with others share many characteristic traits. Some of these characteristics are:
- They are highly focused on the ‘we’ more than the ‘I’
- They practice active listening while communicating with others
- They motivate and empower others in the team
- They bring up new ideas and suggestions
- They are highly observant and point out loopholes in projects
- They give mutual trust and respect
- They are highly curious and eager to learn
This article has discussed five strategies for effective collaboration. We have also looked at the essentiality of collaboration in the workplace and the challenges you may face when you are trying to collaborate. In addition, we have examined the various characteristic traits that make a person collaborative.
Frequently asked questions: (What are five strategies for effective collaboration?)
What can I do for collaboration?
As an individual, you can encourage collaboration in the organization by using the following methods:
Demonstrating good collaborative practices
The best way to encourage collaboration in an organization is to lead by example. When you demonstrate great collaborative practices, you can inspire others to do the same. This means communicating openly and honestly, showing accountability and responsibility in your work and also giving high commitment to the team goals.
Being trustworthy and trusting others
A very important element in the process of collaboration is trust. When there is high trust between team members, they will depend on each other and also support each other a lot more. This helps them take on calculated risks and also provides comfort in the workplace. You can build trust in the team by demonstrating high trustworthiness, yourself.
Motivating and inspiring others
In order to foster collaboration, you can also motivate and inspire others. This can be to take up additional roles, to step out of their comfort zones, to collaborate with a specific network or just to listen to someone’s problems as a trusted colleague.
What are the five dimensions of collaboration?
The collaboration process has five main dimensions. These are:
- Healthy autonomy
- Mutual trust and respect
- Good administration and governance
What is commercial collaboration?
Commercial collaboration or business collaboration happens when two or more brands or businesses team up in order to create more profit. This can be in order to create a new product, target new customers and also for the process of learning and development. Through these collaborations, organizations can develop and expand, enlarging their impact in society.