If you want a company to succeed, it is highly important to ensure that everyone working for it has strong collaboration skills and that any teams in it are working in an effective manner. Both of these things play a huge part in affecting the retention of staff by improving their morale, whilst also improving the quality of the output that they deliver. This clearly shows then that it is difficult for a company to progress if collaboration and team working do not exist.
Where these things do not happen, then it can potentially cause some real problems for a company. After all, as Helen Keller once said, on our own we are only able to do little, but together as a team we can do much more.
This is why we have put together a list of different strategies that companies can use in order to improve both collaboration and team working within the workplace. To understand why a company would want to do this though, we must first take a look at why collaboration and teamwork are so important.
The importance of collaboration and team working
Very similar to a normal type of team, a collaborative one is made up of members that all have different and complementary skill sets. This is where the real importance of collaboration lies. However, as important as collaboration is, without team working, it is practically useless, as this ensures that all members of the team are working to reach the very same goal.
An example of collaborative team working, is when a group of people pulling on a rope whilst engaged in a tug of war competition. Each of these individuals use their own individual skills and expertise, whether that be strength or flexibility, to achieve the shared goal of pulling the other team over the centre line.
The leadership strategist, Luis E. Romero, states that the biggest key to achieving success, whether that be in business or in life in general is effective team working. As part of this process, individuals are required to develop a certain level of humility, manage their own egos, get involved in conflict resolution, effectively communicate with one another, and commit to achieving a common goal.
Developing these skills
Whilst there is the option of going through a programme of formal training, the bestway to learn how to learn the skills or collaboration and team working is through making it happen within the workplace on a daily basis.
- Collaboration – it is important for the entire team to know what each other needs / wants and who is the best suited to pick up each task. This allows the team leader to be able to effectively manage and distribute tasks to the team. To ensure that this is done accurately, all information needs to be correctly organized and shared amongst the team. One way of helping with this is by using one of the many collaboration tools that are currently available on the market. By providing different learning opportunities to a team, it will encourage them to grow and become more effective at what they do. Where a team member possesses a particular skill or has some knowledge on something that no one else has, they should be encouraged to share this with the rest of the team so that it can be used to reach the desired outcome. For the best collaboration within a team, each and every team member needs to be able to deal with their character, mindset, and with handling projects of various sizes. There is no space for the holding of grudges and so all team members must have the ability to be able to apologise for their actions and forgive others for theirs in order to be successful. Everyone should always have the goal of the project that they are working on at the very forefront of their mind at all times.
- Team working – there should be no member of the team that is isolated from what the goal of the project is. Everyone’s actions need to be aligned with the overall goal and should be part of the decision-making process. Complaining and being negative is something that can affect the rest of the wider team and so should be avoided in a team situation. When working to tight deadlines, it is important to ensure that the way in which you are using your own time does not negatively impact upon the wider project and all other team members involved with it. Being an active listener is a great way of making other team members feel valued, whilst also minimizing the chance for any misunderstandings to occur. In any team, conflicts will happen and so being able to resolve these is a valuable team working skill to have. Everyone one in the team needs to be reliable and stick to any work deadlines that may be in place. Maintaining good amounts of eye contact and always using a person’s name are both highly effective ways of creating respect between team members. Enthusiasm is contagious and so as soon as one person begins to display signs of this, it will work its way through the rest of the team members. Everyone should be comfortable enough to share their ideas with the rest of the team and be open to the idea of critical feedback. Building up good interpersonal skills is essential to ensure that this can happen.
The Key Takeaway
Effective collaboration and team working will happen naturally when all of the team members have developed the necessary skills for these things to come into motion. The reason why achieving this is so important for companies is that they are able to achieve so much more when and where this happens. Additionally, it is a great way of creating a workforce that is healthy and where staff are treated as adults and as individuals. Not only does improving collaboration and team working make success so much easier, but it also helps companies to keep hold of their best staff.
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