11 Cornerstones of Awesome Team Collaboration

11 Cornerstones of Awesome Team Collaboration

Teamwork is like ingredients. It’s like how a chef makes a chocolate cake. A chef cannot make a chocolate cake out of a bag of potatoes. It’s just not possible. And you cannot make a team that works out of people who like each other or dislikes each other or whatever.

But in the corporate world, there are tight deadlines, and if you do not meet those deadlines you can face serious consequences. A successful project management is all about bringing together people that come from various departments and make them work in a seamless manner. It is a job of a manager to integrate the efforts of his team and deliver projects on time. Here are some tips that will help you to make efficient team collaboration:

1. Put the walls back up

Although the conventional wisdom tells us that shared offices and open work spaces create a lot of noise and mental fatigue which results in energy drainage. There is an ongoing research on whether to use open space or a cubical for workspaces. But it is also said that when employees work in a comfortable and quiet environment, they work distraction-free and feel confident to come out of their shells. This is where ideas are born. When Steve Jobs created Pixar. One thing he did was open work space environment where people from all departments can collaborate anytime. This is also a good way to engage with more people and come up with a diversified solution.

2. Use Open Door policy

Small corporations have rules & regulations while big companies have cultures. Cultures that are deeply engraved in every vein of the body. These are not just statemented to put on paper, but instead, cultures are what makes brand special. A successful company loves to keep an open door policy. Right from janitor up till the CEO every employee can speak to anyone without going over any hurdles.

3. Swap Desks

The easiest way to collaborate with your team is to swap desks, as per Sam Shank, CEO, and Co-founder of HotelTonight in his brilliant article on team collaboration. A strategy applied by Tony Hsieh in Zappos. In order to be efficient and creative Tony preferred changing places of employees so they can collaborate with different departments and come up with cool concepts.

4. No Agenda, No Meeting

Less meeting. More doing. Teams that work together, grow together. But a survey suggests that meetings are the worst nightmare of most of the employees. Reason? When the meeting is set up without any agenda, it is just wasting the time of everyone. The point of setting up an agenda of the meeting is to stay focused and make something productive out of it.

Just like this tool, for a company to succeed you need to start a meeting with a short agenda, why the meeting is held? The best option is to email the agenda to all the attendees in advance.

5. Remote work is a necessity

The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 24% of employees worked from home at least part of the time in 2015. Companies that allow remote work or work from home policies need to build communication and collaboration into the lifestyle of the company. Use video conferencing, chat programs, screen sharing & remote desktop access, and project management tools to bring employees together virtually around your goals.

This is an era of technology. Companies that succeed are the ones that use the tools well. Tools that help team collaboration, support remote work in the organization. For instance, for team collaboration and task management, you can use TaskQue. A tool designed to assign automatic tasks to your employees with idle status. Extremely helpful tool for small businesses.

But ensure that all the employees know how to use the remote tools. Do some training sessions with your employees and give them an option to work remotely from home.

6. Be open to ideas

Companies like Google and Apple have policies that allow even the janitors to solve problems. As mentioned in the book Google guys. “Management of Google take a problem and put it on the bulletin board. Whoever solves the problem gets the reward.

To have more collaborations among the team you need to listen to everyone. Sometimes the brightest of ideas come from least expected resources.

7. Let the team Micromanage themselves

The best is to give the people ability to manage themselves. When you trust people and give them the responsibility to manage, they do wonders. Give the people power, and they will do their best to make it up to your expectations. Things start to go south when you try to manage every single detail. Do not make this mistake and let the team sort their stuff.

8. Be transparent right from the start

If you really want to deliver your projects on time make sure you stay transparent at all times. Lean into it. Good or bad doesn’t matter. But what matter is you are there for it. The simple act of being transparent will help your team collaborate in a more efficient manner.

9. Value Each other’s Strengths

Everyone have strengths and weaknesses. Sign of a good team is that everyone supports the strengths of people and works on the weakness of every individual. An excellent read on the subject is StrengthsFinder 2.0 book and it was very eye opening.

10. Do a recreation activity

A good way to build strong communication is to indulge in an activity with your teammates. When you play with your colleagues, it builds an authentic bond of trust and understanding. Psychology suggests that in order to understand a person, go play with that person. When you play, the person gets relaxed, and when the person is relaxed he creates a better connection with other people.

11. Allow Feedback from everyone

One sure way to succeed in business is to let everyone speak and share their ideas. Sometimes systems can be improved with the suggestions given by novice of people. Make a habit of collecting feedback from everyone regarding the new product and add value without feeling bad about not speaking up.

Improved team collaboration takes more than sticking everyone in a room and hoping individual genius will compound in a group setting. Real business-oriented collaboration requires careful planning, investment in technology, and breaking down outdated ideas of what teamwork and productivity look like.