Technology has changed the way we work, and workplace collaboration between co-workers has become increasingly popular.
People often thrive when they’re able to work with and bounce ideas off other people. Employees will often feel part of something larger than themselves. It helps when everyone involved is engaged in what’s happening and adds to the dynamic of the group.
The strength of effective collaboration comes from supporting one another and great communication on the progress.
These are the best ways to build effective workplace collaboration:
- Set clear expectations: Those involved must have an understanding of expectations and know what roles to have to achieve the team’s goal. With a clear understanding upfront, everyone can work efficiently.
- Have a compelling cause: Team members should have the drive to work towards a common goal.
- Cater to strengths: It helps to have a clear understanding of each person’s strengths and weaknesses and assign roles accordingly.
- Foster cohesion: Cohesive team members feel a better sense of inclusion, and cohesive teams have a better chance for success.
Tip for success: Teams could have daily meetings to go over daily objectives and goals.
- Encourage innovation: Employees on these teams should be encouraged to brainstorm and come up with new concepts. The more connected they feel to the goals and the process, the more drive they’ll likely have to perform, impress, and be creative.
- Reward collaborative actions: Rewarding collaborative efforts informs team members of the values that are driving the business.
It’s also important to note that simply putting co-workers on a team doesn’t always yield collaboration. There often needs to be a designated leader to help keep things on track and achieve success. These leaders can provide context and hold teams accountable without getting in the way.
According to a Standford study, results show that feeling as though you’re part of a team makes people more motivated when taking on challenges.
Many believe the key to productive collaboration is purpose. Do you have purpose in what you’re doing in your career? When you feel like part of a team, do you notice a shift in your drive for success?
Slack surveyed 6,899 knowledge workers who said that successful companies:
- Focus on customers
- Invest in employees
- Are profitable
When collaboration is based on transparent communication, distinct responsibilities, and trust, customers can get more value, and workers become happier. All of these together can help a company become more successful.
What to know about collaboration and your company:
- To have success, it’s crucial to have a strong company culture. It doesn’t matter if there isn’t an overall attitude to share, support, and create together as a team.
- Collaboration helps drive engagement, which leads to better company performance.
- Internal teams work with external teams as we continue outsourcing, and more companies are partnering with other companies. Those businesses who can build strong, lasting relationships have an advantage over those trying to get there alone.
How collaboration will grow your business:
- It’s educational: Every person can bring unique skill sets, perspectives, and strengths to the table. Each of these can help the business grow and reach new levels.
- It solves problems: There’s power in numbers, and having extra people work on a project could help get it done more efficiently. Also, adding new perspectives and experiences can allow the business to rise above the original goal.
- Creates a supportive environment: When the right resources are available for employees to take advantage of, they can become advocates for the company.
- It promotes self-analysis: Collaboration encourages people to think critically and explain their thoughts. Others are then able to jump in and plug each other’s gaps.
- Helps employees see the bigger picture: Sometimes, it’s easy to get wrapped up in a specific task and lose sight of the overall goal. Getting input from others can help to keep the bigger picture in mind.
How collaboration varies among employees:
Research from Slack shows that employees thought they and their company valued “making money” and “efficiency” the most. They also thought their employers saw value in “doing something new and innovative.” While workers also wanted innovation, they thought “having autonomy” and “being part of a team” were more important.
Studies also show just how important autonomy is in the workplace. Employees want to feel as though they have a say in how they do their jobs, and better autonomy tends to lead to better productivity and retention rates.
When working with others on a project, employees want to have the freedom to pitch new ideas and get projects done the way they see fit. Feeling as though they have to follow particular procedures set by a company can be disheartening and, in turn, less productive.
Employees of different ages have different levels of experience and see things in different ways. The way workers value autonomy differs greatly among different generations too.
Younger employees value autonomy less in favor of innovation, while more experienced workers (45+) tend to value autonomy more.
This desire for autonomy seems to correspond with how workers view collaboration:
For younger employees, a top collaboration concern is trusting co-workers to do quality work. Those ages 25-44 valued distinct responsibilities as the key to good collaboration. Employees over 45 believe that being able to communicate well with others is important for collaboration in the workplace.
Essentials for team collaboration:
There are certain conditions teams should have to remain effective such as:
- The necessary information to complete tasks
- Agreed-upon goals
- Power to move forward
Many agree that open communication is also key. It’s hard to move forward and continue to make developments when team members aren’t explaining their progress.
Elements for effective teamwork also include:
- Commitment and Trust: Everyone involved should devote a certain amount of time and energy to advancing the overall mission.
- Open Communication: Communication should flow equally between everyone on the team.
- Adapting to New Conditions: Goals and strategies may change over time, and those on a team should be able to adjust and take these challenges head-on.
- Creative Freedom: Team members should be able to think freely and try to opportunities without the fear of consequences.
How to improve team collaboration:
- Inspiring Innovation: It can be beneficial to encourage employees to come up with and present their own ideas to the group. Others could also feed off this and develop those ideas further.
- Staying Organized: Having a strong leader who keeps everyone organized is crucial.
- Encouraging Open Communication: It might be helpful to have communication via email, Slack, CloudApp, or another digital tool, as people can be more open than they might be in person. Of course, in-person communication is essential as well.
- Report messages to the listener on a personal level
- Always present factual information
- Provide specific information in a brief way
- Ask questions to ensure understanding and clarification
- Listen actively
Depending on the size and structure of your team as well as various locations of team members, it’s important to have proper productivity tools in place to stay on track.
Internal collaboration can improve significantly with the use of CloudApp, as you can:
- Share screenshots of project progress.
- Quickly send two options from which others may choose on how to move forward.
- Easily ask for changes using lines, circles, arrows, emojis, etc. You can also blur sensitive information on a document.
- Offer clear instructions via video or GIFs to avoid unnecessary back and forth between people.
- Avoid another meeting by sharing your screen and portraying your specific ideas.
It also helps to have a tool to be able to provide immediate feedback both from the team’s leader and between members of the team.
Another helpful piece of CloudApp is the ability to create Collections where you can share photos and videos then invite other team members to view and collaborate on that particular piece.
You can decide how to organize your information as well as which Collections will remain private and which Collections you wish to share with others. With our Smart Search, it’s easy to find your files, and Cloud storage allows for access from anywhere.
Additional features our clients love are:
- Secure sharing (control privacy of your content)
- A full brand experience by adding your logo and custom URLs
- Analytics & insights
- Visual search
Are you ready to improve collaboration and overall productivity within your team? CloudApp is a beneficial tool to instantly share new ideas with others.
Sign up today for a free CloudApp account. The platform can help improve team collaboration and how information is shared.