The pandemic drove many companies to adopt flexible and remote working arrangements to stay afloat. What was previously undermined as an effective way to stay productive has become the norm, and managers have since realized that collaboration in the workplace can be successful even if people don’t see each other every day.
Many employers also used to believe that siloing employees was the best way to get tasks completed. However, as workloads become more complex, having several people provide insights based on their areas of expertise appears to get the deliverables moving faster. That’s not to mention the fact that teamwork and collaboration in the workplace have positive effects on one’s mental health and overall productivity.
So how do you make sure that your own teams have a healthy collaborative relationship that drives your business to success? We’ve prepared a list of ways your company can boost the spirit of teamwork.
What Successful Workplace Collaboration Means
Collaboration happens when two or more employees work together to produce a single outcome, be it in person or virtually. But people can also be in one team but fail to hit milestones or, worse, do not feel happy being there. So what does success mean in this situation? Most successful environments have these things in common:
- Members feel that their team is a safe space and that they are seen and heard.
- Meetings and work sessions are efficient and, while the atmosphere is light, tasks are getting completed.
- Teams have standardized workflow processes that everybody understands and uses.
- There is trust and healthy communication among members.
It’s no easy feat to get people together from different backgrounds and even time zones to work toward a shared goal. But there are strategies that managers and team members can apply to boost happiness and productivity at work.
Ways to Achieve Effective Collaboration in the Workplace
How do you make collaboration succeed in the workplace? Here are some tips.
1. Practice top-down leadership.
Lead by example. This sounds like a cliche, but that’s the management style that every manager or owner should adopt if healthy collaboration is the goal. There’s nothing less motivating than having a leader who is always by themself and refuses to get down and dirty with the rest of the team. After all, collaboration is about working alongside each other.
2. Encourage transparency and openness.
Nurture an atmosphere where people are motivated to always do their best but are also not afraid to make mistakes. A successfully collaborative workplace is one where people aren’t scared to share their failures for fear of judgment or punishment. Teams should be confident that they are in a safe space to learn from their errors and find ways to bounce back.
3. Provide opportunities for cross-department collaboration.
Teams shouldn’t be cooped up in their little world alone. Not only does this limit interaction and the flow of ideas, but it can also slow growth and innovation. Collaborating across departments reminds team members that there’s more to the company than just their niche. It also inspires them to step out of their comfort zones and try new things that will keep the workplace fun and interesting.
4. Identify individual strengths and build on these.
Teams are composed of individuals with unique personalities, skills, and vulnerabilities. In the mission to create a collaborative environment, these factors must be considered as tasks are delegated. This ensures that strengths are placed in the right areas and weaknesses are well compensated for.
5. Cultivate an idea-sharing culture.
Every member should be confident to share an idea with the rest of the team, and there should be no judgment when this happens. Establishing an open sharing culture helps break communication barriers, especially in teams composed of members with different backgrounds. Allow people to speak up and share their thoughts, no matter how small or big (or dramatic).
6. Set clear and realistic goals.
Teams succeed when they know what they are aiming for and can devise a plan on how to get there. Simply telling people to do their jobs and achieve short-term milestones does not help with productivity and morale. Managers must share the big picture, or the WHY of the entire project, so teams can be flexible in finding ways to meet endpoints.
7. Celebrate success publicly.
Announcing successes and publicizing appreciation shoutouts for individuals and teams can help boost performance significantly. It also nurtures a culture where success is not something that’s merely defined by money, but also by milestones hit and goals achieved. By boosting team members’ confidence through public shoutouts, they become more inspired to contribute the next time.
8. Equip teams with the right resources.
Ensuring that the office has all the necessary equipment, supplies, and comfort perks helps to ensure that people stay productive, but how about for remote teams? For this unique setup, companies can provide the hardware and software needed to help employees succeed at their roles even from home.
Another great alternative is to establish a co-working space where staff can freely visit and use resources if they want to step out of their homes once in a while. You can rent a shared space that’s fully equipped with all the productivity and communications tools. MAC6, for example, is home to coworking areas of different sizes to accommodate small to large teams, plus unlimited coffee (a must!) and other perks.
9. Offer rewards and positivity.
Rewards are not always monetary. You can reward a team through public appreciation or maybe even a gift card to the local pizza shop (or whatever is in your area). Incentives also do not need to be tied to a goal. It can be based on a new idea or innovation that will benefit the rest of the company. This is where out-of-the-box thinkers should be recognized as well.
Equip Teams With Great Collaboration Tools At MAC6
MAC6‘s coworking spaces aren’t just about providing you with rooms and tools to hold an office. We provide a positive community for individuals from different companies and backgrounds to grow and expand their horizons. In addition to the dozens of fully-equipped spaces that you can rent for the short- or long-term, we also foster personal and team development through our Leadership Academy.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your team or schedule a tour to appreciate our facilities and amenities.