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The key to success for any team is strong collaboration. A team that doesn’t communicate well is more likely to make mistakes and get less done. If you’ve recently established a new team within your business, it’s important to establish strong collaboration from the beginning so that you can get the most from them.
In fact, teams that are extremely connected can produce a 21 percent increase in profitability. If we accept that strong team collaboration is important (and 75 percent of employees would agree), the question then becomes, how do we achieve it? Below, we’ll outline 5 ways that can help you establish successful team collaboration, which in turn will hopefully lead to better results.
Set Up Team-Building Events
A great place to start is with team-building events. Team-building events are activities designed to help your group get to know one another. They can be simple ice breaker games that you play for ten minutes before the first meeting or something much more complex. You can even schedule some team-building events outside of work, to give your employees a more relaxing environment to talk.
One great team-building activity is an escape room. In an escape room challenge, participants are “locked” into a room and they must try to escape by solving puzzles within an hour. There are plenty of escape room locations all over the country or you can set up your own in a conference room and have it centered around your business.
Another great option is going to happy hour. Have all the team members meet at a local bar or restaurant after work and relax for a few hours. If your team works remotely, you can even do something like a virtual happy hour where you can pick a theme, send everyone some snacks through the mail, and play some games over video conference. The purpose is simply to help your team members feel more comfortable with one another, so you have plenty of options to choose from.
Make Use Of The Best Collaboration Tools
The next piece of advice is to make use of collaboration tools. It’s hard for a team to collaborate if they have to do all their communicating via email or in person. This is especially true for remote workers, who need to rely on technology exclusively for their communications.
The type of collaboration tools you should use will depend on your needs. If you have a project that will require team members to exchange a lot of ideas, video conferencing software might help. For projects with a lot of moving parts, you may need some project management software that has collaboration tools.
If you have some specific needs that you think the current market of products doesn’t fill, consider building your own collaboration apps. With something like Microsoft’s Power Apps, you can easily develop your own app based on your needs. You can even hire a Power Apps consulting company if you’re new to this. A consulting company will be able to help you design your perfect application and give your team the collaboration tools it needs.
An important place to improve communication within a team is when a new team member arrives. You need to get this new team member caught up as quickly as possible and help them feel involved right away. This is why it’s a good idea to analyze and find ways to improve your onboarding process.
For example, when a new person joins a team, maybe go through another team-building exercise. This helps everyone meet the new person and can help the new member feel more comfortable early on. You can also go out of your way to help the new person integrate themselves within the team or to ensure they are voicing their opinions in meetings. Best of all, simply ask the new member what they need. They may have something in mind that will help them collaborate better that you didn’t think of.
Provide Communication Training
Sometimes simple communication training exercises can go a long way. Some people never learned how to properly collaborate within a business and they may not know they are doing something wrong. A few hours spent instructing the entire team could prove beneficial to everyone.
For example, you could talk about how to properly write a business email. Or you could spend some time talking about the right way to track changes to the project. If you notice someone within your team is struggling with a certain aspect of collaboration, consider giving the same training to everyone. This reinforces everyone’s skills and that one person will not feel singled out.
Finally, get some feedback from your team occasionally. This is especially helpful when a project ends, as you can use what you learn before starting the next. Send out a questionnaire or talk to everyone individually. Ask them specifically about the collaboration process, including what they feel went well and what could be better. If you start to hear the same answers from multiple people, you’ll know it’s something to work on going forward.
Let Strong Collaboration Propel Your Business
If you can establish strong collaboration within your business, it likely won’t be long before you start to see the benefits. When teams work well together it produces better results, saves you money, and makes the team members happier. So, if you feel that collaboration and communication among your team could be a little better, start with the strategies above and watch as they help to grow your business.