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Team collaboration - how you can improve it!

4 min read

There is much more to successful teams than social cohesion. Teamwork means developing new ideas together or mastering complex projects. This requires special skills and standards. Some of these can be quickly established in your team, others require longer learning or training processes. This article gives you a good overview of the topic and reveals the 10 tips you can use to improve teamwork!

Why better team collaboration always pays off!

  • Transparent flow of information: If the team members communicate well with each other, annoying misunderstandings or unnecessary duplication of work can be avoided. The fact that this also shortens response times benefits customer satisfaction.
  • Greater satisfaction: If team members feel valued as an important part of the bigger picture, they contribute their individual strengths even more effectively. This creates a sense of togetherness, which also reduces the fluctuation of talent in the team.
  • More complex projects possible: The different skills of the team members can be combined in a team. Employees learn from each other through interdisciplinary dialogue. As a team, they achieve better results than a group of lone wolves. The acronym for team is also fitting: Together Everyone Achieves More
  • Promotes innovation: An intensive exchange (e.g. brainstorming) among team members often brings new ideas and solutions to light. The team members inspire and motivate each other.

10 tips for better team collaboration

Is your team not yet able to realise its full potential? Fortunately, with just a few (small) changes, teamwork can be improved quickly:

  • Clear communication: How should communication take place? You need a plan for this - and it's best to forge this together as a team that is to grow closer together. Among other things, you could clarify which information should continue to be exchanged by email and which directly in a collaboration tool.
  • Active participation: All members want to play their part in achieving a goal - and they also want their contribution to be recognised by the other team members and their superiors. Nowadays, collaboration can also take place at different times and from different locations. Collaboration tools provide features such as documents for joint editing or whiteboards for dynamic brainstorming. Teamwork does not always just mean pure harmony: you also learn about your own point of view through (constructive) dialogue with other opinions and approaches.
  • Give feedback: As a team leader, you should not only emphasise individual achievements, but also focus on successful teamwork. In this way, you avoid competitive thinking and increase the sense of unity in the team.
  • Celebrate joint successes: It doesn't always have to be a company trip to Mallorca after a completed project. You can also show your appreciation for your team with serious "little things" such as an appreciative "Well done" or "Great team effort".
  • Agree goals together: Okay, sometimes the management level determines where the path should ultimately lead. However, you as a team can break down these often quite abstract goals into specific individual goals. The OKR method (objectives and key results), for example, works quite well: you turn the "What should be achieved?" into several individual tasks according to the motto "What do we have to do to achieve the what?".
  • Time for focussed work: Intensive dialogue between team members is important. But so is time for undisturbed work. In some companies, there are "meeting-free" days of the week for this purpose. However, emails and notifications still flutter in. Many collaboration tools therefore have a "do not disturb" function or notifications can be temporarily deactivated. As a team leader, you can effectively relieve your employees by encouraging them to "work in peace" at times.
  • Status of availability
    On Stackfield, you can indicate to other users that you do not want to be disturbed. Notifications are paused automatically.
  • Less information overload: If all relevant information is available to all team members at all times, this saves time and nerves. So it's all the better if you don't have to rummage through several platforms, personal folders and mailboxes in search of important documents. Ideally, all project-related information should be stored in one central location - for example in a collaboration tool.
  • Bring structure to the team: Working together as equals is great - but who is actually the right contact person for certain decisions or problems? A clear allocation of roles helps here. Quick answers and short decision-making channels keep the workflow moving.
  • Onboarding for new team members: With well-organised onboarding for new team members, you as team leader ensure smooth processes in your team. Help "greenhorns" to quickly familiarise themselves with the other team members, work processes and communication norms. The quicker the "newcomers" feel "at home" in the team, the more likely they are to be a real asset to your team.
  • Define your leadership role: In order to fulfil your leadership role as a team leader, you should know what your team expects of you: How much "leadership" do the team or individual employees want/need? Where should there be a little more guidance and where a little less direction? So always take time to reflect on your leadership role.

Improving team collaboration step by step

As you can see, for teamwork to be successful in the long term, various competences and structures need to be interlinked. Many of these can be quickly adapted with little effort. You don't have to optimise all areas immediately. Start with small changes and be surprised at how much teamwork will improve after just a few steps!

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Cristian Mudure
About the Author:
Cristian Mudure is the Founder and CEO of Stackfield. He loves digital business models and spends his spare time on the tennis court.
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