7 Ways to Achieve Effective Collaboration in the Workplace

December 17, 2017

One thing is certain, (usually) you can’t choose your co-workers. However, you can always choose to keep looking for ways to achieve effective collaboration with them. We’ll help you on that journey by giving you the best 7 ways to do it.

Enough to get you started.

Darwin said that in the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.

It has never been truer than today when it looks like the entire world follows one old and simple rule: eat or be eaten.

Seeing that kind of atmosphere, why not create a safe and friendly environment at your workplace, especially considering the number of hours we all spend there? To be precise, more than 47 a week.

The problem?

Being a team member has its advantages and disadvantages. The final responsibility is not all yours, but the result depends on teamwork.

If you don’t get along, the success runs further and further away. And that is something you can’t hide, even if you somehow manage to conceal a deep discontent with your co-workers. If the team is not a genuine team, all is in vain.

And it is not only the project outcome in jeopardy.

Think about this, too: you spend more than 8 hours, 5 days a week, working together and communicating with many different people you are connected to by simply choosing the same industry.

It’s worth to put a little effort in making that liaison work, right?

So, let’s get started.

1. Know your people – Their strenghts and weaknesses

7 Ways to Achieve Effective Collaboration in the Workplace

To start with, almost 97% of workers believe that the lack of a good team structure impacts the final outcome of a project. We don’t have to quote the exact research analysis, as they all come up with the same result more or less.

The bottom line?

We all know that if the breaks are squeaking, the car is not working. The same goes for a team. It has to be as silent as the Rolls Royce is, but also reliable and solid. So, this way is the first step to building your own Rolls Royce among teams.
How?

Well, first of all—identify your strengths.

We all come from different places, and that’s a fact.

But, if you manage to find the beauty in diversity, you win. With different personalities come different perspectives, and which is more important? Different ideas.

Work on leveraging the outcome of this distinction to achieve harmony and success.

The key step is to identify what people are good at, and what are their weak spots.

*Once you do, create a scheme, where you pair them with convenient and apt tasks and roles. *

When you form this puzzle into a particular and clear image, it will help significantly in terms of effective collaboration due to a better understanding of different types of personality that create your team.

When the employee finds himself before a task that suits his strengths and is shorn of his weak points—he will be more confident and will manage his duty with ease and more productively.

Another good side of this practice is the possibility of connecting with people who complement each other and who create a great team.

For example, creative people are usually excellent in conceptualizing and idea making, so when paired together, a very structured and organized person can help envision that idea and make it happen.

Once you finish reading this article, do not waste time—run and analyze your team!

Only good can come out of it.

Let’s move on.

2. DETERMINE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

7 Ways to Achieve Effective Collaboration in the Workplace

Now that you have “scanned” your team it is time to put into action the info you gathered — by assigning roles and responsibilities.

First of all, divide the given project (or at least its known and defined stage) into tasks. Analyze each task, evaluate it, and then match it with a person who is in possession of the ability necessary for the task.

Next step is to create so-called subtasks, tasks within the tasks. By dividing the project into highly layered segments, you actually get a wide picture perspective, almost a panoramic view where nothing passes you by.

As this is a bit complex process, we highly recommend you to use Teodesk software.

Its Project Module is multifunctional, yet very simple and easy to use.

The main objective of this integrative and user-friendly module is to help you keep control over all activities.

7 Ways to Achieve Effective Collaboration in the Workplace

With a Project Overview, you are provided with a clear summary of the progress by showing the executed tasks, subtasks, phases, and a number of blocked or paused tasks.

And by using a Project Filtering, all phases and tasks are easily retrieved, and any item can be found by filtering on assignee, due date, status, and the name of task or keywords.

Learn about how Teoesk can help you to bring your business on a whole new level:

All elements (among them communication, documents, tasks, income and expenditure, competencies of team members or any other element) can be monitored with one single click — filtered by the person in charge, status, keyword or any other category you design.

Teodesk work board offers dozens of different features to manage a variety of fields in your business. Use it to simplify the operation routine and understand better your work environment.

By following this advice, you will actually empower each and every team member by creating a sense of importance. When a team member understands his role and knows that his task is his because of his strength and that it goes for everyone—he will be even more respectful to the other co-workers while working together.

So, go on, multitask and pull all the strings! Everyone will be happier—including your business!

3. Create an atmosphere of trust

7 Ways to Achieve Effective Collaboration in the Workplace

When it comes to the team values, there is only one thing equally important as the respect.

It’s trust.

Not easy to make, even harder to maintain. We could easily say it’s a foundation of the solid collaboration.

The one you most certainly aim to create.

If you are in charge then it is mostly up to you to create a safe environment, based on trust. If you are a team member, you should make an effort to nurture and contribute to the strength of the circle of trust.

Setting up visible and realistic goals is a good way to start. It shows that you are able to manage performance in a way that motivates team members. Every success is fuel for another race. Every pat on the back shows an employee that his effort is not invisible or underrated.

And not only that, but by setting up many small milestones, one can really get a hold of the project’s nature and its course. Every single move is monitored and controlled, and team members really understand what is expected of them and how their role relates to others in the team.

And when a team can trust each other, it is easier to have a healthy approach to the project, and admit a mistake the moment it occurs, so the damage is minimized.

We say: the only open atmosphere is a healthy atmosphere and the healthy atmosphere is a trust builder.

4. Nurture creativity

7 Ways to Achieve Effective Collaboration in the Workplace

No matter what your industry is.

Whether you are producing bolts or distributing salt, a bit of creativity won’t kill you. Quite the opposite.

A little bit of unconventional thinking can go a long way. But remember, it is not enough just to say to the employees to express their creativity and expect the magic fountain of innovative ideas.

No. It all starts with a company’s leadership.

Start with meetings.

Encourage your co-workers to question and brainstorm everything. And we mean EVERYTHING, every single little thing.

This will bring a breeze of fresh air into somewhat well-known practice.

Allow questions like why or why not and put them in a non-judgmental framework.

If you follow this advice, you will eventually create a specific and unique company culture that can easily outrun your rivals. Not to mention how fulfilled and loosen up your employees will be.

Just step outside the box, there is a beautiful world out there.

5. Make the office home-like

7 Ways to Achieve Effective Collaboration in the Workplace

It’s simple math. 8 hours of working (even more, but let’s stick to the official version), 8 hours of leisure, and 8 hours of sleep.

When you put it this way, it seems that people are spending an equal amount of time at home as in the office. So, why not make an office a real second home?

Personalizing one’s work space is an old trick. Encourage your employees to bring familiar items to the office, to refine a bit the working atmosphere.

Family portrait, plants, mugs or even rugs — all this can make them feel even more attached to the firm. Prevent them from feeling alienated or disconnected from the work and think about how a work environment reflects them.

Do not prohibit social networking or news reading during office hours. We know and you know that nobody works effectively for 8 hours.

If someone does, he is not doing a great job that is for sure. You can set a so-called happy hour, when they can freely chat with each other, meditate, check out the latest news or Facebook.

This could do wonders for the productivity — they would be better rested, more focused, and likely more productive. And, they would feel more appreciated.

Giving a work environment a personal touch and making a home-like office is one of the best things you could do, both immediately and in the long run.

6. Listen to your employee

7 Ways to Achieve Effective Collaboration in the Workplace

The voice of the employee is something that should be very important to a true leader. The old saying goes that when big bells ring, little ones are not heard. Do your best not to be a big bell as the music will die.

Socrates said that nature has given us two ears, two eyes, but one tongue—so that we should hear and see more than we speak.

Do not underestimate the insight of the employee; it is the best raw material you could ever have if you want to make your place work.

Modeling a balanced and even collaboration among the entire staff means that senior leaders have to create and sustain a system where they listen and try their best to understand employee’s feedback.

Putting an employee in the middle of a decision making process sends a strong message to everyone in the company about the organization’s commitment to the agile workplace approach.

The key is in upgrading internal communication to the collaboration level. And the easiest way not to lose anything from the sight and not to overlook any employee is to use Teodesk as its Employee Module feature allows you to manage in one place all the necessary information about any employee and use it to create a perfect team by matching their skills and experience to the demands of any work or project.

7. Lead by your own example

7 Ways to Achieve Effective Collaboration in the Workplace

As a leader, if you don’t support all the innovative tools and strategies you propose or approve to make a workplace a better place, all is in vain.

If you don’t, what makes you think your employees will?

It goes pretty much the same for the employees as well. If one of them doesn’t put an effort into facilitating any kind of transition, other will just follow. Unity is a very strong and powerful instrument in making a difference.

A chain reaction in a positive attitude is inevitable but only if everyone is in it.

No matter where are you in an authority chain, just lead by your own example as the constructive change will affect you in an affirmative and progressive way, be sure.

So, communicate, compromise, and always stay open for the innovative tools for better collaboration.

So far you learned 7 most effective ways to create a fertile soil for a quality collaboration. What is left now is to implement any or all of them and simply feel happy and fulfilled every time you set foot in the office.

The company is people, and when people are not in harmony and satisfied, business suffers. Make sure not to overlook any sign of inharmoniousness. Act preventive to hold-up any tie-up, so make sure you don’t forget – no one can whistle a symphony.

It takes a whole orchestra to play it, as H.E. Luccock once said.

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Internal Communication
Assigning Roles and Responsibilities