Bridging the Collaboration Gap Amongst Teams

Collaboration is paramount to a successful business and yet, it can often feel like one of the more challenging aspects to truly attain. Collaboration is more than just setting meetings and meeting deadlines. True collaboration is people working well together because they want to. This happens when there is a shared vision and understanding of a common goal, along with mutual trust and respect.

We’ve put together a list of things you can implement in your company, to encourage cross-team collaboration, leading to happier employees, and a more streamlined workflow.

Focus on Culture

We could start to create a list of team collaboration tools and make a practical list of “tactics” but building collaborative workflows begins with a much deeper origin: company culture. You’ll be doing yourself, your employees – and ultimately, your customers – a favor if you have a look at the cultural dynamics within the organization.

Some key elements of a good collaboration culture include:

  • A sense of community. When people feel valued, that their perspectives and contributions matter, and that they are truly a part of the bigger picture, they are more likely to be open to exchange ideas and ask for help when they need it. There’s a balance, of course – your company can’t function on brainstorming sessions and happy hours alone (though it is important to meet outside of the limitations of meetings to connect on a personal level to instill a sense of community). 

Collect team members regularly to discuss tasks, ideas, and goals. To enable cross-team collaboration, invite people from other teams to join, share a space, and communicate face-to-face; it will give them a sense of how to work together.

Show that every voice is valued and allow everyone a chance to be heard. Younger, less senior team members have a valuable perspective, and it’s important to invite them into the conversation.

Consistency is Key

Being consistent helps to form streamlined workflows. When employees and teammates know there is a clear process, and why and how it works, it is easier for everyone to follow. When all teams clearly and consistently manage expectations, they will be on the same page and can rely upon one another. By setting reasonable expectations, everything runs more smoothly.

Communication shows up again in this article (we told you it’s important!) and this time, it’s about having regular communication through proper channels. Using tools such as Slack helps to ensure everyone knows how and where to communicate updates between teammates and other teams.

Holding regular face-to-face meetings ensures everyone knows when and where they can share their progress, questions, or bottlenecks. Ultimately, the more predictability there is in the check-ins and communication culture, the more collaborative individuals can be.

Depending on the nature of your business, having regular one-on-one meetings with management to provide feedback and give a more personalized space for sharing from employees can also help to support the broader aspects of working together. We recommend also having regular meetings amongst managers whose teams collaborate with one another, to provide high-level updates. Set these meetings, and keep them!

Conclusion

Teams that collaborate together are happier and more productive. Investing time and attention into creating a collaborative culture, means creating a safe space for constructive and consistent communication, and ensuring everyone has a clear shared vision of the common goal. This will increase productivity, lead to more satisfied customers and employees, and be a catalyst to business growth.

With these team collaboration best practices, we hope you’ll see that the onus is on the entire organization to create a thriving collaborative environment, because nothing worthwhile was ever achieved alone.

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