Collaboration – the buzz word in today’s professional scenario has gained much momentum with the shift from the traditional office that was confined to just the four walls, to a virtual office that is transcending various physical barriers. Today’s organizations integrate smart collaboration tools to coordinate and manage teams working on various floors in the office, across geographies and time zones, and from home. Collaboration tools like Zapty, Slack, Skype and Google Hangouts have helped simplify team management and broaden the scope of teamwork and communication. Apart from these tools, there are some team building tips that can prove handy to improve collaboration. Here are ten that can get you off to a great start.
- Chalk out roles and responsibilities – Imagine the chaos a team will go through if the members are unaware of their roles and responsibilities. In fact, such a scenario will lead to the disintegration of a team even before it gets to gel as one. Thus, it’s crucial to assign definite roles and responsibilities before embarking on the collaboration journey.
- Communicate the purpose – Often, when people are asked the reason behind ‘why they are doing, what they are doing’, they rarely have a confident answer. Understanding the purpose of the task is an important aspect of collaboration because unless people are clear about the purpose, they won’t be able to communicate the same to others.
- Be accountable – An important aspect of team building is to have an unwavering focus on accountability. Even a team with has excellent interpersonal relationships among its members can fail to deliver, if they are not accountable for their individual commitments towards a particular project. Hence, it’s crucial to nurture a strong sense of ownership within the team.
- Have a single point of contact – Imagine that your team is working on a creative project for an apparel brand. The client has access to communicate and instruct all the team members. Do you think it will make it easy for you to get through the project? Not really, because eventually all of you will have different instructions and this could lead to confusion. So it is wise to route all communications through a single point of contact when working with a client.
- Remain connected – With a host of multi-platform instant messaging apps, remaining connected with your team becomes easy. This enables collaboration across a team where all members are available for each other.
- Encourage individual thinking – No two individuals think alike, and this aspect of human nature should be leveraged to build a collaborative team. Encouraging individual thinking and aligning these ideas with team goals will boost creativity, innovation and confidence within the team.
- Act together – The success of a team depends on how well team members get their act together. The more people share, discuss, and brainstorm regarding a challenge at hand, the better equipped they are to accomplish the task.
- Reinforce relationship building – Every team has its share of variety. While there could be various personality types ranging from the quiet folks to the more articulate ones, what is important is to nurture strong relationships. This will foster better communication among team members and enable improved collaboration.
- Be pleasant – Everyone likes to deal with a person who is happy, smiling, and approachable. A pleasant disposition will help in making the team members feel comfortable. This creates an atmosphere that enables a free flow of thoughts and ideas from team members, and that is a big plus in your efforts at promoting collaboration.
- Drive change together – Progress happens when organizations learn to do things in swifter, smarter and effective ways. This calls for change in the way people and processes work, and change is not easy when it is a one-way event. Hence, it’s crucial to take the team into confidence and help them to own the change process, and become active drivers of the transformation.
Thus, while collaboration tools smartly streamline workflows and manage teams, it is crucial to have some smart, people management ideas as you go about building a great team.