For many years, businesses have invested in teamwork. The basic idea is to work together to achieve a common goal. While that’s okay, it’s not enough! Most people assume the difference between the two to be a matter of semantics. Well, collaboration goes beyond teamwork. It is the driving force for continued efficiency and the necessity for improving business outcomes. Want to learn more about collaboration? Perhaps you are wondering which tools aid in workplace collaboration? In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about building an effective collaboration in the workplace.
What is collaboration? A collaborative team?
As noted, most times, people confuse the difference between teamwork and collaboration. However, the latter is a slightly different version of a traditional team. In a collaborative team, members have varying areas of expertise but still share the same goals, resources, and leadership. Employees tend to feel seen, heard, and safe to share their thoughts. In essence, you ought to understand the importance of healthy communication.
Setting up a collaboration
Collaboration spurs multiple benefits to your company. Even so, the success of collaboration depends on several things. The first place to start is to ask yourself these questions:
- Can your team members be committed to working together?
- Do they have the needed skills?
- What is your objective? Reason for collaborating
- Can you create the conditions for success?
- What is the expected return on investment from collaboration?
Benefits of Effective collaboration in the workplace
Well, there are many benefits of collaboration in the workplace including improving productivity and growth. Here are a few other benefits:
- Faster, better customer-driven decisions
- Increased return on investment (ROI)
- Increased productivity, which leads to an increase in output and revenue
- The decreased conflict between employees and employer
- Translates to more innovation
- Building stronger teams.
Now that you know the benefits of collaborating in the workplace, let’s look at some of the tools that can make this easier.
Tools that aid effective Collaboration in the Workplace
Effective collaboration cannot happen if there are no tools to aid it. These tools not only promote internal teamwork within a company but also provides space for external feedback. Luckily, there are quite a good number of collaboration tools in the market.
Project management tool- Asana. The tool allows you to assign tasks to other teammates, add followers to the project, and monitor deadlines. Asana makes work back planning and management easy
A Secure file sharing tool– It is one of the tools that come in handy for effective collaboration in the workplace. Some of the highlights of secure file sharing include; simplified remote file access, proper data privacy, and quick file sharing and transfer. You will need to smoothen your team’s ability to share and work on the same files. Keep in mind that security is a key factor to avoid costly breaches.
Slack, Basecamp, and Zoom. These three are some of the best communication tools that foster smooth collaboration. You can use Slack to communicate with each other, Base camp to communicate with clients, and Zoom for all your internal and external meetings.
Trello– A project management tool that allows you to monitor projects and assign tasks.
Profit.co – OKR Software that helps you align your distributed team and execute your strategy faster.
Other tools that aid collaboration are Google suite, Invision, Skype, Sprout Social, and more.
How to improve team collaboration
There are many ways, skills, and techniques that brands can use to improve collaboration in the workplace. Let’s dive into the top four proven ways recommended by industry experts:
Invest in proper communication
Miscommunication is the culprit that undermines team performance. If you want to foster effective collaboration with your team members, you must find a way to address or close all communication gaps. Look at the three facets of communication, misunderstanding, on-understanding, and misinterpretation. Collaboration is curtailed when your team members fail to understand things correctly, don’t process or receive information, or assume people have the information they need. As a leader, you need to set clear intentions and communicate openly. Once you get this right, you can maximize communication tools for efficiency.
Have a clear set of goals
This is quite simple. If people don’t know what is expected of them, then there is so little that can be achieved. Make sure your team members understand the purpose and vision of your project. Aligning your purpose through goal setting ensures that everyone is committed to success.
The best way to get people to work together is to align their interests. Through communication, help your team members understand the value of each other’s work. Tell them how everyone’s work contributes to the fulfillment of the larger goal.
Collaborative teams in many instances are formed to get lots of work done in stipulated timelines. As the team leader, master the art of time management. Otherwise, the whole team will suffer. Learn how to prioritize and schedule tasks accordingly. Make sure that you can complete the work that your team is depending on you to complete.
That’s it! We hope you now know a thing or two about building a collaborative workplace including the tools and strategies to employ.