How to Get Your Team to Collaborate Like Pros

Collaboration is more than about gelling as a team. It can be the value driver behind long- and short-term successes, as well as finding new ways to approach objectives and nurturing an innovative culture.

Why is team collaboration so important?

A collaborative team effort improves vital elements of boosting business such as planning, strategy and growth. In fact, 97% of employees and executives believe lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project.

We’re not talking about a quick fix here. It’s important to build on the current foundation and create an environment where everyone is not only committed to their roles, but ultimately dedicated to reaching the same goal.

Effective best practices to improve team collaboration

The following are effective tips on how to achieve a successful collaboration. You may have individual heroes to call upon for specific needs, but it’s teamwork that makes the dream work. And a collaborative effort can not only eliminate mistakes but also lead to a more optimized performance

Define clear roles and responsibilities

We’re not just talking about skimming the surface here, you need to go into some real depth when defining roles and responsibilities.

Defining clear roles eliminates confusion and empowers your team to blow past roadblocks. For example, if a specific problem within a certain area of expertise arises, who is responsible for dealing with it?

If certain team members have been a part of the team for a while, remind them of their roles and responsibilities. Clarity leads to better planning, which leads to better results.

Identify potential risks and doubts

Who ever achieved something great without taking risks? That said, identifying potential risks or roadblocks that may appear in the journey to success can be a major help in maintaining a united collaboration – especially if processes are put in place early on to deal with them.

If any member of the team has any doubts before or during the collaborative process, it’s better to encourage them to speak up immediately. As a leader, you want everyone to be as transparent as possible, as well as comfortable with each other’s concerns. Otherwise, fear and anxiety could creep in and what may seem like a small concern initially can gradually grow into something unnecessary.

This process should be continuous. Establishing periodical check ins, once a month or once per quarter, help to make sure things are on track and to gain a better understanding of what’s working, what isn’t and what needs to be adjusted.

Create employee engagement

Let’s face it, it’s not easy to create the perfect synergy among a team of individuals with a variety of expertise. It’s not just about getting to know your team outside of the workplace, it’s about identifying where each member is now and where they want to be.

Good leaders build teams that last. Try surveying your team. Discover their individual pain points and work on communication processes that break through roadblocks and allow your team to problem solve – pain free.

Employee engagement is key for collaboration and the more needs that are addressed, the better the team unity becomes in striving for the same goal.

Understand what it’s going to take to be successful

Mapping the vision of success early on enables you and your team to set expectations and thereby envision success. What does success look like to each of your team members?

In 2018, the top factor responsible for project failure was, lack of clearly defined and/or achievable milestones and objectives.

Identifying your performance measurement goals—which must be relevant, time based and above all, realistic—gives your team a collaborative tool to continuously review and reevaluate. We’ll get to the tools a little later.

Create experiential learning

Just as the name suggests, experiential learning is the powerful process of learning through experience.

Experience-based learning can be highly effective because it can help to establish lasting behavior change by acquiring new habits. Experiential learning exercises have a way of revealing team dynamics that can then be examined and discussed.

Exposing your team to different learning experiences can also be great for developing relationships. Combining the different skillsets and perspectives of a diverse team enables and encourages colleagues to guide each other and solve problems collaboratively.

Establish an open-minded environment

Embracing your team’s suggestions means you’re creating an open dialog and a more accepting collective attitude. Giving the opportunity of open dialog to your employees for exchanging views can create an environment where constructive criticism is valued.

Having an open-minded environment empowers team members to contribute innovative ideas. With the right constructive criticism, your team can develop good ideas into great ones and also improve trust in one other along the way.

Keep in mind that not all team members will be as confident to get involved or let their ideas be heard. Find ways to accommodate different learning styles in order to make the collaboration process as comfortable as possible.

Inspire collaboration with Hyper Island’s team toolbox

As a leader within facilitation, Hyper Island understands the important of team performance and collaboration.

We know there’s a greater need for real collaboration between diverse people, which demands skills to successfully support effective group dynamics.

That’s why we’ve created the ultimate toolbox for those that want to approach projects more creatively and collaboratively in their team or organization.

At Hyper Island, we want to inspire meaningful and sustainable change. We believe that the leadership skills needed today demand the competence and confidence to bring people with a variety of skills and cultures together to collaborate and consider multiple viewpoints.

Click here to check out our toolbox and come up with the best solutions to complex problems.