Teams exist because they are better at thinking of new ideas and accomplishing objectives than individuals. If you don’t foster team collaboration, it can end up costing you in productivity.
No one is able to run an entire company alone. As businesses grow, they have to hire employees. By necessity, these employees must be able to work together.
When your team doesn’t collaborate well, it can impact your profitability and productivity. A lack of collaboration and cooperation can make teams less satisfied, which can impact employee morale and retention. Once your teams can collaborate at a high level, you can enhance communication, productivity, and problem-solving.
Why is Team Collaboration Important?
The main reason why team building is important is that it allows you to harness all of your team’s strengths and ideas. Team collaboration helps your team draw on a range of creative ideas. Additionally, you can delegate roles and tasks, so your team can use comparative advantage to become more productive.
Right now, your team could be a complete mess, or it could simply need a little fine-tuning. Either way, there are a few exercises and tips you can use to boost collaboration among your team members.
How to Improve Team Collaboration
If you aren’t sure how to boost collaboration levels, you aren’t alone. The following team-building exercises can help your teams learn how to work together and become more productive.
1. Encourage Mentoring and Collaborative Leaders
One of the best ways to encourage collaboration is by modeling the behavior you would like to see. Good (and bad) behaviors become a part of a culture’s norms when leaders do them. If you want to encourage a certain attitude, model it in your own life first.
As a part of this strategy, it’s important to encourage mentoring and coaching. At Nokia, mentoring and coaching have been a part of the company’s culture since the firm was tiny. When you are first hired by the company, your mentor goes through a list of every single person you need to know and how they can help you.
This kind of strategy helps to instantly create a professional network for employees. Later on, they can draw on this network for advice, professional growth, and troubleshooting. In addition, mentors help to provide team members with direction and support.
2. Use Time Tracking Software
You don’t have to micromanage everything your team does. To encourage collaboration, you can get everyone to use team collaboration software. This kind of software allows you to delegate tasks and track project completion in real time.
More importantly, team collaboration software makes it possible to collaborate from any location. Projects can be updated as people complete additional steps, which makes teamwork more efficient. Plus, managers can track every second that team members work as well as time-off requests.
3. Set Expectations
It’s hard to achieve your team’s objectives if people don’t have clear expectations and goals. In a team environment, it’s easy for each person to assume someone else will handle a task. Because of this, you need to determine which tasks people will be responsible for.
Once someone is assigned a task, you must also tell them your expectations. Being specific about your expectations helps to prevent confusion, encourage accountability, and boost productivity.
4. Host Kickoff Meetings
While team-building exercises and software programs are great, nothing can take the place of a pre-project kickoff meeting. Sending out an email isn’t enough to convey all the expectations, tasks, and deadlines your team will need to meet. In addition, emails don’t allow the type of back-and-forth you need to answer questions and get feedback.
Instead, take some time to talk to your team about the project during a kickoff meeting. Then, use this time to address each stakeholder’s assumptions about the project, so everyone can be on the same page.
5. Give Team Members Autonomy
Initially, you should set some ground rules about your expectations. For example, you should let team members know which communication channels to use and when they need to complete their tasks.
Once everyone is aware of the role they are expected to play, you should set them free. Give them the autonomy to complete their work. As long as your team members know who to contact for help and how to contact them, you should trust them to finish their tasks on their own.
The Best Team Collaboration Software
For teams to do their best work, they must be able to communicate with each other. You can encourage team collaboration by investing in the right software programs. To get started, try one of the following top tools for collaboration.
Slack has made a name for itself as a go-to source of team collaboration tools. If you don’t already have a messaging system, Slack is a great way to communicate in a digital space. Plus, it can be integrated with many other systems.
Time Tracker by eBillity
With Time Tracker, you can get time-tracking software that can instantly update from any device and any location. This software can help you with collaboration, resource allocation, and project monitoring. Plus, eBillity’s time and billing software can be used to create business reports and comes with many different integrations.
Trello is a kanban-style collaboration tool that allows users to streamline their project management needs. You can use it for managing clients and working with teams. In addition, Trello lets you create boards, write out to-do lists, manage tasks, and so much more.
Improve Your Team’s Productivity
If you are ready to improve your team’s productivity and become more effective, the right team collaboration tools can help. With Time Tracker by eBillity, you can get time-tracking software and other tools for managing your team members. To find out more about how eBillity can help your team, sign up for a 14-day free trial today.