Fostering Teamwork And Collaboration

Teamwork and collaboration in an organisation is critical to its success. When team members have great working relationships and work well together, employees are more likely to enjoy their jobs. High morale among staff invariably leads to greater information flow, productivity increases, better results and higher profits.

#Teamwork and #collaboration in an organisation is critical to its success. Click To Tweet

Unfortunately this teamwork utopia doesn’t always happen, and various members of a team may find it difficult to work with each other. Your time could be wasted managing the issues of your staff, while enthusiasm among the group can be poor. Where inspiration is lacking, productivity suffers, and it’s a difficult situation to reverse.

To create and maintain a culture of collaboration, it’s vital that your staff buy into it. This cultural direction must become a natural part of the business, rather than something forced upon them by constant reminders and reinforcement. To generate this ideal culture with a new team, there is a range of strategies that you will need to employ right from the start.

Here's how to foster a culture of #collaboration. Click To Tweet

Fostering teamwork and collaboration

Communication is key

Your number one task is to foster open and clear communication channels between you and your team, as well as between the individual team members themselves. Everyone needs to be comfortable and confident to express his or her views without fear of being ignored or belittled.

Encourage everyone to share information amongst themselves, and emphasize and demonstrate the interweaving nature of each others’ roles. The way everyone communicates will be critical to the success of the team in meeting pre-determined goals.

Encourage creativity

This one goes hand in hand with communication. Every member of your team should be encouraged to contribute to the project, and every new idea should be considered valuable.

Not all ideas can be used, but when particularly good ideas are shared, make sure you act on them. If their ideas are being heard, they are more likely to be motivated when working alone or in collaboration with other colleagues.

Treat every member of your team as an individual

Every member of your team is going to have their own private and personal issues, and they are going to deal with those in vastly different ways. Every member will have their own style and personality, some will work well autonomously, while others need a group situation. Some don’t need or want any special attention, while others may need regular words of encouragement and praise.

It’s your job to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each member of your team, and then treat each of them in ways that generates optimum productivity and makes them feel like a valued member of the team.

Make life easier for everyone

Break down any barriers that may inhibit easy workflow, such as all communications being directed through a common channel, or weekly meetings to update everyone and provide feedback and direction. Make sure all of your team members have the right tools so they can do their jobs properly including hardware, software and the general work environment.

One such tool is Blrt, a fantastic and easy to use mobile app that allows team members to communicate with each other when they can’t do so face-to-face. Download it for free below:

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Make people who work remotely feel part of the project

We live in a world where more and more businesses and organisations are allowing people to work from home, and employing people who may live in another part of the country or even overseas. These members of your team are just as important as those you work with face-to-face on a daily basis. It’s your job to integrate them into the team, keep them motivated and make sure they’re across every aspect of the project as it develops.

Regular communication between you, the remote worker and other members of your team is vital, whether it’s by Skype, email, telephone or mobile apps like Blrt. Having people in your team who work remotely doesn’t have to be a barrier to efficient and productive workflow.

Foster an environment of trust and respect

It’s clear that managers who trust their staff to get the job done will see better results than managers who are constantly checking on their progress and direction.

By empowering your staff, you are likely to receive loyalty and respect in return. However, this does not mean you set them a task and forget about them until the due date. You need to be there for them if they need assistance, and you should interject if they’ve strayed off course. But once you’ve done this you should step back out of the way and let them get on with their job.

Make sure to let them know you’ve got their back, and if they ever need help, you’ll be there to support them all the way. When your team fully understands that you will support them through any difficulties, they will approach their jobs with confidence and contribute to the ideals of teamwork and collaboration.

Set team goals

This is another strategy that goes hand in hand with communication, but in a slightly different way. Whereas fostering creativity is very open, setting team goals is more definitive. By ensuring all team members are on the same page from the start, with clearly defined goals, then everyone knows where they stand and where they need to be by a specified date.

Deal with any issues early

As soon as any negative issues arise within the team or between specific individuals, it’s so important to deal with them quickly and sensitively. Allowing negativity to fester within a group will ultimately cause enormous difficulties for everyone in the team.

If staff feel as though they are truly being listened to, and that they can be open and honest with their feelings, you’ll be able to get a clear picture of what is happening within the group. You’ll then be able to take quick, rational and decisive action to ensure the group is on track to meet set team goals.

Provide incentives to collaborate

It can’t be all work and no play. Set achievable team goals and provide an incentive for them to reach it. It could be anything such as a half day off, lunch on you (make sure you’ve got the company credit card), or gift certificates and movie vouchers.

When everyone is in it together to reach a common goal, with a prize at the end of it that involves the whole team, morale and staff eagerness will grow.

Look at yourself in the mirror

If teamwork isn’t strong in your team, perhaps it’s not your staff that is the problem. Ask yourself if you are doing anything that is making it difficult for your staff to efficiently and easily get their job done.

Have you created an atmosphere that is conducive to great teamwork?

Have you built a framework where everyone can do his or her jobs?

Are you supportive of the needs of your staff?

A bit of honest self-reflection can do wonders for team morale.

Make teamwork part of performance reviews

It’s amazing how many organisations include easily measurable goals and targets in performance reviews, but then neglect or forget intangible factors such as how well an employee works within a team. By being open and honest, and setting the ground rules right from the start, no member of your team can ever complain of not understanding the requirements and responsibilities of their role.

If teamwork is part of what will be measured and included in performance reviews, and members of your team know this from the start, it will have a positive impact on how everyone works together.

Start with honest communication

It’s not easy getting a new team to gel instantly, and it can be quite confronting and challenging for you as the manager.

There will be different personalities to deal with, and the way you deal with potentially destabilising situations right from the start will shape the way your staff responds to you and their own attitudes to their work. However, by being open and honest, and encouraging an environment that is transparent, inclusive and supportive, you’ll be well on your way to reaching targets while having an enjoyable experience at the same time.

Start getting your team on the same page today:

About Blrt

Blrt helps you get your point across quickly by allowing you to talk, point and draw over images, documents and websites. The resulting video-like recording is called a Blrt.

Your Blrts require much less bandwidth than video and can be shared with anyone on mobile or desktop. This makes Blrt ideal for both collaboration and the creation and sharing of dynamic content, as public Blrts can be embedded into any webpage.

Once recorded, Blrts are stored in the cloud and are exchanged with others in a conversation-like fashion. A record is kept of the exchange, and new parties and media can be added at any time.

Blrt shifts time and place, allowing users in a conversation to participate in their own time. In an era where activity-based working and distributed teams are commonplace, Blrt is revolutionising the way people interact to get things done.

Get everyone on the same page

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