By Oscar Waterworth
Among many of the challenges that modern companies face nowadays, among the biggest ones is certainly how to create and nurture that rare beast: teamwork. Of course, it has been a buzzword for ages, but not many work environments actually succeed in breeding true collaboration and team spirit. Here are some of the ways to encourage its development in your company.
Make Yourself Heard
To get what you want, you have to ask for it first. Running a team has its fair share of difficulties, but plenty of times they can actually be attributed to inadequate communication. Rules, standards, guidelines and policies exist for a reason: they create a clear frame for your employees. If everybody is on the same page about collaboration being not just desirable, but a necessity, it’s much more likely you will actually achieve it.
Set Clear Goals
To unite people, you always need a common goal. Goals need to be set in a clear and precise way, with a reasonable deadline and complete transparency. Make sure all of the channels of communication are in perfect order, and provide your team with adequate organizational tools. A good online collaboration tool for your project can go a long way in keeping everybody focused and organized. United around a common goal, your team might surprise you by working together and parsing it into manageable tasks which all lead to the desired outcome.
Creativity and a reasonable amount of freedom can be the spark that brings people together. Creativity often results in original, sometimes even revolutionary ideas, which can lift team spirit and give birth to enthusiasm. Don't be afraid of a questioning attitude. Have regular brainstorming activities, or just open unstructured conversations that encourage freedom of thinking. Explore different creativity boosting tactics and adopt the ones that work for you.
Transparency is one of the building blocks of a great team. Nothing gives people a sense of belonging like being included, or at least familiar with every part of the creative process, including decision making. Give your team a say; you might be surprised at the useful input they contribute. A cohesive team is also an immense asset in terms of organization. These teams are usually easy to manage, make few mistakes and are extremely efficient as there is little delay and idling.
Get to Know Your Tribe
Knowing each of your team members, their skill set, personality and interests can be invaluable. It can help you always find the best man for a particular task, foresee and prevent any problems, and manage them in a more efficient way when they do arise. Team building exercises and activities might seem corny and sometimes even awkward, but they actually work. Doing fun stuff together, getting to know each other and building trust is the best way to find and nurture that elusive team spirit. To ensure a positive, collaborative environment, look for these characteristics in your team members.
Play to Their Strengths
Not every team member is suited to every task, and that’s normal. A wise manager knows how to assign tasks for maximum success, and also how to create mini-teams that perfectly complement each other. Within reason, try to give each team member the opportunity to do the things they are interested in and to gain experience and knowledge consistent with the direction they want to steer their career in. Don’t forget to reward significant accomplishments to up the morale and motivation.
Create a Custom Workflow
One of the core tools that will help you increase collaboration in your workplace is a streamlined workflow. Using cloud-based tools, collaboration software, and adequate communication channels can really transform the work you do and take it to the next level. A streamlined workflow boosts collaboration without interfering with the actual completion of tasks. Time wasting decreases significantly, while team cohesion strengthens.
Companies that cultivate a collaborative culture are much more likely to succeed. Collaborative efforts often far exceed the sum of individual accomplishments. A healthy atmosphere at work is also a huge draw for employees. Teamwork not only yields excellent results, but it also creates a bond between team members which ultimately boosts employee satisfaction, and, consequently, loyalty to the company.
Oscar Waterworth is a writer and a senior editor at Bizzmarkblog. He frequently blogs about the latest developments in the tech, marketing, and business industries. To stay updated with Oscar’s latest posts, you can follow him on Twitter.