Photo by Yan Krukau

A productive marketing team does not exist in a bubble. Strong marketing teams are often well-integrated with the rest of the office, working with sales teams, web developers, and even with executives.

But what happens when the team in charge of communications fails to communicate? A team struggling with team collaboration can be costly for any company, and can even negatively impact revenue.

According to the Google for Work study conducted among senior staff and C-suite executives from 258 North American companies, it was found that 53% of respondents identified a collaboration-related metric as having the most significant influence on their organization’s profitability.

Here are some symptoms that might be a sign that your team is collaborating poorly, and some tips to help heal the team spirit.

7 Symptoms of Poor Team Collaboration and How to Address Them

1. Communication Within or Between Teams is Failing

Poor communication can be one of the first symptoms (and causes) of poor team collaboration. 

If you start seeing more cliques forming at work or notice an uptick in office gossip, it could be a sign that employees are dealing with some hidden frustration. When people find it hard to express their concerns, it can escalate into more serious issues like workplace bullying or excluding certain team members.

These problems can ultimately hinder productivity and happiness within the team. In fact, 48% of employees directly connect job satisfaction to good communication. So, keeping the lines of communication open and healthy is crucial for a harmonious and productive workplace.

Good communication practices stem from leadership. Managers should organize weekly meetings for teams so that members can voice concerns and address problems openly. When collaborating with two groups – for example, marketing and sales – team leads should meet privately and consistently to ensure both teams are working toward the same goals.

2. Your Office Experiences High Turnover

Sourcing and training new talent can be costly. If you notice an exodus of your top employees, it may be a sign of dysfunction in your company.

Create an exit interview process to find out what made employees leave. Maybe the pay rates aren’t competitive, or the office culture is not conducive to professional growth. You will only know if you ask. In the future, implement consistent one-on-one meetings with your team to open lines of communication and address personal challenges as they arise.

3. Creativity Has Plummeted

A high-performing marketing team is continually producing new content. However, if productivity or content quality has suddenly decreased, it might be the symptom of a deeper problem.

If leaders chastise employees for disagreeing with the group, a team might fall into toxic patterns of “groupthink” that leave little room for creativity. Other causes of a creative lapse might be a workload imbalance or a silo, which leaves one or two employees feeling like they do all of the work.

Create a set of rules that govern how projects are divided and discussed between teams. Remind team members that collaboration is most effective when individuals debate ideas in an honest and open environment. It is not always necessary to agree, but disagreements should be expressed respectfully.

4. Team Members Are Avoiding Responsibility for Problems

The blame game never ends well. Unfortunately, the tendency to avoid accountability for issues that arise is a problem that stems from company leadership.

If team members are looking for excuses to explain a missed deadline or a poorly performing marketing campaign, it may be time to confront the accountability issue head-on. Meet with individual team members and re-establish team values. Encourage company leadership to model accountability to create change from the top down.

5. Teams Are Holding Grudges

Conflict is inevitable when people work on a team. However, if people are harnessing resentment, collaboration will suffer.

When managing a team, it is your responsibility to help resolve conflicts quickly and decisively. Invest in team-building exercises that help your employees express their frustrations openly, to prevent workplace gossip and cliques that close the doors of communication.

Your marketing team represents the outward face of your company. If team members are struggling to communicate with each other, with their manager, or with another team, the results will show quickly.

6. Confusion and Overlapping Responsibilities

Undefined roles and responsibilities create a fertile ground for confusion and inefficiency within a team. When team members are unsure of their specific roles, they may hesitate to take ownership of tasks, assuming someone else will handle them. This leads to gaps in responsibilities and critical functions falling through the cracks.

Conversely, overlapping responsibilities can cause conflicts, as team members might unintentionally step on each other’s toes.

To address this issue, it’s crucial to establish clear definitions for each team member’s role and responsibilities. This involves identifying individual tasks, setting expectations, and outlining how each role contributes to the team’s goals. Likewise, you should regularly revise and update job descriptions since roles can evolve with changing project needs and team composition.

7. Quality and Consistency Issues in Client Work

Poor team collaboration and communication can negatively affect client work, too. Picture this: inconsistent branding materials, content riddled with errors, missed project deadlines, and design elements that just don’t align with the client’s vision. These are the telltale signs of a marketing team struggling to communicate and collaborate effectively.

Related Read: What to Tell Clients When You’ve Made a Mistake

To tackle these issues, consider investing in collaboration software like Gain. It can help ensure everyone is working together smoothly, reducing the chances of missing deadlines and making errors. Additionally, using digital collaboration tools can result in better-quality client work and strengthen client relationships.

The Bottom Line

Leaders are responsible for leading by example, showing employees how to solve problems, and creating spaces for dialogue. A collaborative work culture starts with leadership, so it’s important to be accountable, respect others’ viewpoints, and address concerns promptly.

With Gain, team and client collaboration in social media and marketing is easy. Our tool provides a unified platform where team members can seamlessly share assets and content, assign tasks, track progress, and maintain alignment across the entire marketing workflow. Plus, Gain takes the hassle out of getting content approved by smoothly moving content assets from one stakeholder to another and keeping track of all the changes and feedback.

Try Gain at no cost today!