Collaboration plays a massive role in the success of any organization. It allows teams to share the workload and keeps projects moving along smoothly. When the entire team combines their strengths to work together towards a common goal, significant results can happen.
On the other hand, teams that struggle to work together will likely fail to complete projects and meet goals on time. According to Clear Company, 97% of employees and executives believe lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project.
Often, team members get busy focusing on individual tasks and struggle to work together. Whatever the reason, a collaboration reboot can ensure everyone is aligned.
If your team has trouble collaborating, here are five ways to reboot the system and help everyone work together more effectively.
1. Uncover any issues
Before you implement any new tools or procedures, it’s worth taking a step back to evaluate why your team has difficulty collaborating. Is there a lack of trust, or is the work environment too competitive? It can be challenging to resolve the issue if you don’t get to the root of the problem.
It’s a good idea to meet with teammates individually and ask them for any insights or opinions they might have. Take the time to observe the team in action. See if there is truth to others’ ideas and draw your own conclusion. An outsider’s point of view should make it easy to identify the issue.
Exploring potential problems will give you a better sense of why your team is struggling to work together and how you can resolve any issues.
2. Participate in team-building activities
Games are a fun and effective way for team members to build new relationships or renew existing ones with each other. Get everyone together to play a team sport, go on a scavenger hunt, or participate in an escape room.
Team building activities and problem-solving games help everyone learn more about their teammates outside of the work environment. Not only are games an icebreaker, but they teach people how to trust one another’s judgment and how to communicate effectively.
Getting your company to participate in team-building activities gives employees a chance to connect outside the office. The more rapport teammates build, the better they will collaborate.
3. Invest in collaboration tools
Does your team currently use collaboration tools? If not, it’s essential to invest in team collaboration software, especially for remote or distributed teams.
Team collaboration tools allow employees to discuss any project challenges, ideas, questions, or tasks. They keep everyone on the same page and strengthen communication with instant messaging, video calls, and project management capabilities.
Gain aims to improve organization-wide communication. With Gain, you can collaborate with your team, gather feedback and approvals, manage projects, share files, and keep everyone in the loop.
Slack is another tool our team uses to instant message and send ideas to each other in real-time. The cloud-based platform offers private channels with an invite-only feature, file sharing, and information sharing to encourage collaboration.
4. Define and communicate team goals
Goals are vital to give your team something specific to work towards together. Without them, there’s little motivation for employees to collaborate.
Your team won’t get much done if everyone is distracted by working on their own projects. You must gather everyone together to discuss both short-term and long-term goals, how you plan to achieve them, and who is responsible for what. Encourage your team to collaborate to ensure they meet the objectives.
It can be easy to meet once a quarter to discuss goals and forget about them. However, you should address your team’s goals more frequently – ideally, several times a week. Holding a daily morning huddle can help remind your team that they are working towards a specific objective together.
Be sure to set a deadline to hold your team accountable and track progress to motivate your team.
5. Create a collaborative environment
If there is a lack of collaboration, you may need to consider your current work environment. Does it encourage collaboration? Do people feel comfortable enough to speak their mind?
Open and honest communication is an integral part of teamwork. For effective collaboration, every team member should be active in the conversation. Otherwise, you will have a few people dominating the group, which isn’t collaboration after all.
Always encourage team members to speak up and create a work environment where they feel safe to contribute their ideas without judgment. The safer the environment is to communicate, the more collaborative your team will become.
Collaboration has a massive impact on your team’s productivity. Without it, your team won’t get much work done. If everyone is struggling to work together, it’s best not to wait for things to improve. Take action by doing a collaboration reboot with your team and get everyone on the same page.