7 Tips for Collaborating with Your Team (with Examples)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 17 April 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Collaboration is common across many industries and can draw upon the strengths of multiple employees at once to produce a high standard of work. Being able to communicate effectively in a team is key to productive collaboration. As every individual has different approaches to their work, it's beneficial to know how to collaborate effectively with a diverse group of people. In this article, we explain seven helpful tips for collaborating within a team to facilitate a more productive and enjoyable working environment.
Top 7 tips for collaborating with a team
These tips for collaborating with your team members can be beneficial for implementing a productive and effective working environment. Creating an open and enthusiastic team dynamic is often a goal for those who manage or work within a team, as it can boost job satisfaction while generating a higher standard of work. To develop an effective and creative work culture, consider using the following seven tips for collaborating with your team:
1. Establish a common goal
A common goal allows team members to understand what their collaboration is all about and what they're working together to achieve. Sharing a goal focuses the attention of your team, and tasks and duties can be assigned to team members based on their strengths and time constraints. Knowing the goal allows team members to clarify their understanding of tasks, reducing the likelihood of miscommunication. Once you have set a common goal, you and the team can decide what action is best to take next.
Goals can also boost motivation and work flow, fostering ideas and problem-solving, aiding your team's productivity. Throughout the collaboration process, the common goal can serve as a guide to ensure everyone stays on task. You may also break down a larger goal into several smaller and more achievable ones. You can place these smaller goals onto a timeline by which you hope to achieve each aim, to help keep your team on the right track.
2. Set up a workflow plan
A workflow plan comprises smaller steps or events that are required to achieve the common goal. Using the goals defined in step one or breaking them down into smaller goals can help you plan your workflow. Creating a workflow plan or chart can provide your team with a visual aid to serve as a reminder of both common goals and set deadlines for projects. As collaborations often require more than two people to work together simultaneously, staying organised is paramount to achieving a high standard without causing undue stress to team members.
Workflow charts simplify busy schedules and allow teams to stay focused and on task. Employees can benefit from workflows by understanding their own deadlines, along with the deadlines of other team members that may affect them. When you're working with a large team, consider writing the name of the team member assigned to each task within the workflow plan. This may not only help team members understand their specific responsibilities, but it can also help others locate the appropriate person if they need assistance or desire an update on a task.
3. Identify where your team strengths lie
A powerful team typically has a diverse set of strengths. It can be beneficial to know the individual strengths of team members when collaborating to accomplish common goals or complete projects. Tasks and responsibilities can be delegated more effectively to those who can perform them to the best of their ability based on their skill set. Structuring collaborative efforts logically is essential for organisation and to prioritise the strengths of your team to achieve a high level of work.
It's important that team members recognise and utilise one another's strengths to benefit the entire project. For example, during a sales strategy meeting, if one member of your team is proficient in search engine optimisation (SEO), they may be able to provide ideas on how to improve the digital marketing of your project. Team members can improve their performance by learning from colleagues and using each other's strengths to develop new skills. This may also result in higher job satisfaction, as team members may feel more appreciated for their skill set.
4. Show leadership
A skilled leader may motivate their team, conduct quality checks on their work and set up a consistent and constructive feedback plan, creating a positive team dynamic. Team leaders can set an example of strong and open collaboration, as our team members are likely to react and adapt to the environment they create. Teams can motivate members to achieve their best results by practising a committed work ethic.
A team leader can show they're open to new ideas by practising active listening and asking for feedback during meetings. They can also foster a working environment that facilitates growth by showing a supportive attitude towards team members developing new skills or contributing new ideas.
5. Consider using technology
You can effectively collaborate from anywhere in the world when you use online communication methods, such as emails and video calls. If you're collaborating on a global scale with a diverse team, technology can be an efficient way to collaborate with each member. You can use technological communication platforms to help your team organise a project and to share ideas instantly. Keeping a digital calendar and regularly meeting on video calls are two excellent methods of increasing collaboration within a team.
It's possible to manage the timeline of multiple team members on one project using digital workflow and task management tools, which can be an efficient way of keeping a team informed about upcoming deadlines. You can also keep the information pertaining to collaboration projects in these tools, making it a logical and accessible way to organise project data. Video calls or conferencing technology can also give team members in different locations a chance to build work relationships in a way that mirrors face-to-face communication. A lot of video call software allows for the recording of meetings, which may be useful for future referencing.
6. Encourage responsibility and honesty
Open-mindedness, responsibility and honesty characterise a collaborative environment. A successful collaborative environment relies on team members being honest about their limitations, time constraints and technical abilities. For example, if someone is having difficulties meeting a deadline, it's important that they feel comfortable sharing this with the rest of the team or the team leader.
When you have an honest and responsible team, you can create a project plan that's tailored around any challenges the team is facing, which may still allow it to meet its goals. Honesty and a sense of responsibility are especially important during collaborative projects, as the tasks of others may rely on the timely completion of work. An honest and open atmosphere may also encourage team members to voice their ideas and opinions, helping them to build confidence and feel supported at work.
7. Examine company culture and make changes where necessary
Take note of how the work culture may affect your team's ability to collaborate. Work relationships may influence the dynamics of a team, so it's important to strive for a trusting and respectful environment that facilitates productivity. This can also boost job satisfaction and make the workplace more enjoyable for team members, which can help individuals feel more comfortable sharing their ideas. Having a supportive workplace can also lead to open discussions, allowing team members to freely share their ideas and opinions.
This can be beneficial to a collaboration project because of the variety of skills and experiences that each member can provide if they feel comfortable and confident doing so. Active listening, providing positive feedback and making members feel valued can help to create a positive work culture.
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