The culture of an organization is driven by the vision, mission, and values that guide the behavior of its employees. The mantra of most present-day business is that “We must collaborate”. Collaboration within and across teams in an organization is a sign of an engaged workplace as it brings the best out of individuals and contributes to the growth and success of both individuals and the organization. Collaboration also reduces the workload and lets people focus on their areas of expertise and share their knowledge to help others.
Why should Teams collaborate?
A team should collaborate to reach better outcomes faster by harnessing the abilities of its members while contributing to the growth of the individuals. Let’s explore some further reasons.
- Learning from each other – Team members who collaborate will always have an opportunity to learn from each other. Diverse teams bring diverse perspectives, experiences, and talents to the table. Forming such teams not only ensure better outcomes but also result in knowledge sharing and upskilling of the members.
- Better problem-solving – Collaboration in an organization leads to better problem solving as people with different skills and knowledge come together and lend their perspectives to it. Team members with different areas of expertise can contribute to devising a more robust solution.
- Breaking down silos – A successful organization always encourages collaboration within and across teams. Feedback from people who have different skillsets and perspectives on the issue will ensure that the problem is comprehensively defined and that will lead to better solutions. It is thus important to break down silos to enable collaboration and foster a culture of innovation.
- Improving individual and collective participation – When working together, each member should participate equally. It is all about mutual effort and engagement. Each of them should give input, brainstorm unique ideas, and find answers to problems of various projects from time to time. Effective collaboration within and across teams in an organization makes this easy, and it also resolves many of the obstacles that stand in the way of achieving the end goal of the project.
- Drives Innovation – Collaboration facilitates the exchange of ideas and thoughts among team members who then weigh in on them with collective expertise. It acts as a catalyst for innovation and helps transform ideas into the final product/solution.
Tips for enhancing collaboration in an organization
- Aggregate and Adapt: A project manager who encourages collaboration will bring ideas to the table by collecting ideas and suggestions from their teams. This helps them to aggregate the skillset of the entire team. A collaborative team will give successful results by staying adaptive and flexible.
- Be Transparent: The most effective people who collaborate do not worry about the titles and roles. They are more focused on finding the solutions rather than on who finds them. Also, they share information across the board that increases a sense of workplace community. Keeping an open mind is not only about encouraging everyone to give innovative ideas, but also about listening to others’ ideas. The organization must create a collaborative work environment where employees keep an open mind about sharing ideas and listening to others and their suggestions, concerns, and criticisms. This leads to better teamwork, enhanced trust, and most importantly greater team productivity.
- Energize and Power up: An energized team is the strongest asset of a team in an organization. An effective collaborative team will make sure that every team member works smart and hard. It will bring positive energy to a conversation by helping the team members feel valued.
- Team building activities: Teams can collaborate better if they participate in team-building activities like blind drawing, scavenger hunts, workspace makeover, mannequin challenges, and so on. Such activities will bring a positive impact on the workplace culture which will improve communication, motivate employees, increase productivity, and help employees to know each other well.
It is important to foster a collaborative environment to improve productivity, engagement, and innovation.