Collaboration in the workplace used to be limited to personal brainstorming and project coordination. But the way we work is changing. especially how we worktogether.
As companies become more global and complex, most work is increasingly team-based. A study published inHarvard Business Review1found that “the time managers and employees spend on collaborative activities has increased by 50% or more over the past two decades.” The same study found that in many organizations, more than three-quarters of an employee's day is spent communicating with co-workers.
So how can today's workforce collaborate successfully while navigating common structures and work dynamics that stand in the way of effective collaboration in the workplace? What kind ofCloud-Collaboration-Toolsshould companies use to be successful? First, let's define what collaboration means and what it looks like when done right.
In this post we will see…
- What effective collaboration looks like
- The benefits of working together
- The 6 principles of effective collaboration
- The 5 essential skills you need to collaborate at work
- Tools to help with workplace collaboration
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What is "workplace collaboration"?
Essentially, collaboration is when two or more people work together to produce or create something. This can be done in person or virtually, thanks to the various communication tools and cloud-based programs created for this purpose.
Although there are manyeffective collaboration and communication strategies, the most successful work environments tend to have a fewimportant similarities🇧🇷 They are places where employees feel seen, heard and safe to share their ideas. They conduct efficient meetings and work sessions. They have standardized systems and collaborative processes. Your teams understand the importance of healthy communication. You may have worked on one (or more, if you're lucky!) before.
More important,Understand executives and executivesthat successful collaboration in the workplace is not only good for your employees, but also for your customers and your bottom line.
The benefits of better collaboration in the workplace
It may seem like a no-brainer to secure yoursThe team works effectivelytogether at work. Because as the saying goes: "Teamwork makes dreams come true", right?
However, it is not easy to bring people from different backgrounds and depending on the size and structure of your company from different time zones together for a common goal. However, the benefits of effective workplace communication and collaboration far outweigh the downsides.
Lately,more and more companiesThey begin to assemble teams that bring people together from across the organization to brainstorm problems and come up with new ideas that benefit the company.
For example a consulting companyFesthost aGlobal innovation challengewhere each of their local offices holds a breakout session to answer a question from the executive team. The generated ideas are registered in the company's internal platform for exchanging ideas and checked by theInnovation Working Group:
Initiatives like these not only help companies to open up the diverse perspectives of their talents,But studies show thatthat groups tend to innovate faster, spot mistakes faster, and come up with better solutions to problems than individuals working alone2.
What do some of the best places to work in the world have in common? They strive to connect their employees to build stronger teams and social networks. Working towards the same goal not only gives team members a strong sense of purpose, but working together also allows team members to fill in each other's knowledge gaps and split the work to play to everyone's strengths.
Case in point: HR technology company Workday has evolveda New Connections programspecifically designed for new hires to help them form strong bonds with their peers. Through the program, employees spend half a day learning the value of connections and the other half work on a community project to deepen their connections inside and outside the organization.
And the results speak for themselves. In which2019 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For86% of employees at award-winning organizations said they can count on people working together (vs. 74% of employees at non-award-winning organizations), and 91% said people care about each other (vs 82% of the employees of the non-winning companies). -Winner). 🇧🇷
More experienced and qualified employees.
When teams work together, they have the opportunity to learn from each other, which contributes to their overall personal and professional development. Working together also challenges people to think, articulate and learn more about their competencies, which can help them develop self-confidence and a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.
For example, according to a study published inHarvard Business Review3, Teams often benefit from a mix of cosmopolitan and local members. They are people who have lived in multiple countries, speak multiple languages and have deep roots in the field they work in.
Cosmopolitan members bring technical knowledge and experience applicable to many different situations, while locals bring in-depth knowledge and perspectives of a region's politics, culture and tastes. Bringing in these two types of members allows them to share knowledge and learn from each other as they tackle the projects at hand.
A better customer experience
We've all heard of assembly lines, and while they sometimes get a bad rap, they showed us that many people working together can complete a project faster than one person working alone. While this has many benefits internally, it can also have a major impact on the organizationcustomer experience(and help keep him highcustomer retention rate).
For example, RingCentral is a collaboration platform that allows office teams to easily communicateContact Center Agents— not only for working on internal projects, but also for ad hoc collaboration to solve customer issues as they arise in real-time:
This allows contact centers to resolve issues faster than ever, making it possiblesatisfied costumersand it drives you insanecustomer rating.
6 principles of effective collaboration
While the above skills can prepare you to work well together, collaborating successfully with others isn't just about what you do, it's aboutas theyou do it.styles of collaborationThey are very different, so the mindset you adopt when approaching collaboration can make a big difference. The next time you need to collaborate with your team, keep these values in mind.
Meetings are an essential part of collaboration but have gotten a bad rap over the years. After all, who hasn't been to a meeting that felt excessively long or unnecessary? There are some things you can doTurn your team into a productivity machine.
One is to hold meetings only when necessary. Virtual collaboration is great, but everyone has heard about video sales due to the pandemic. By choosing your meetings wisely, you can improve collaboration and efficiency.
Do you want to hold more efficient meetings? Use these free meeting agenda templates to keep everyone on track. 🇧🇷
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Another option is to ensure that every meeting or call has a clear agenda and goals for each participant.
Finally, don't forget to define action points for everyone involved in the project at the end. If you have a project that requires a little more teamwork from the meeting attendees, why not create a project-focused team chat for everyone? For example Ring CentralVideo conferencing appyou can do just that: not only can you hold virtual meetings, but you can also create a group chat to follow up on the meeting, right in the app:
People need to feel confident about giving and receiving truly constructive feedback, be inspired by a common goal, and have the tools and opportunities to network. This can only happen in a trusting environment, where employees feel their teammates and leaders have only their best interests in mind.
Each team member has an important role to play. However, collaboration can falter when one or more people feel they are having a harder time than others or feel that other team members are trying to trip them up. The better you get to know your colleagues and understand how they work and the challenges they face, the greater your chances of working successfully with them. (To learnEmpathy ExercisesYou can try with your team.)
Just because you've had a bad group project in the past doesn't mean the same thing will happen again. Try to get rid of any blockages from the past and approach each group work situation as a fresh start, with an open and positive attitude.
It's rare for everyone on a team to be on the same page from the start. It's natural for people to have their own priorities or interests. For this reason, it is important to determine the priorities and agendas of everyone involved in advance in order to find a common denominator that moves the project forward.
The most successful companies have systems and processes in place that allow employees to review a project's schedule and tasks so they have a clear understanding of how their contributions are affecting the group. If deadlines are missed or someone is not working, this can be quickly remedied.
5 Essential Skills for Collaboration at Work
If you've ever worked on a group project that didn't go as smoothly as you thought, then you know that fostering collaboration in the workplace is often easier said than done. Maybe your teammates are working remotely and are hard to reach. Or maybe your organization is very isolated and departments don't want to share information.
If you face collaboration challenges in your workplace, one of the best things you can do is work on developing your interpersonal skills. Trust us: Master these fiveCollaboration SkillsIt will make teamwork much easier and more effective.
1. Definition of goals
When working with a team, everyone needs to understand the purpose and vision behind the project and how they determine success. Creating transparency from the start builds trust and helps ensure everyone is committed to success and aligned towards a common goal.
Before embarking on any task or task, you should set clear intentions. Let your teammates know what you're doing and set realistic expectations when you're done and make sure you follow through.
Also, remember to communicate if you need to make changes to the plan you've created. If something unexpected happens and you can't deliver the expected results, share those changes.
Again, comprehensive communication tools come in handy: if your team can make video calls and instant messages from the same app, there's a better chance you'll be able to communicate quickly if something happens. arises:
3. Active listening
When you work closely with others, you must listen carefully to the ideas, comments, and advice of each team member and respond with consideration and respect. This is the idea behind active listening.
While you may have your ideas about how the project should look like or who should do what, you still need to consider the opinions of your peers. You may not always agree with the outcome, but at the end of the day you must put the needs and responsibilities of the group ahead of your own desires.
Sometimes problems arise and people make mistakes. Happens. If problems arise, remember to discuss the problem calmly as a group without blaming anyone. Instead, focus on finding solutions together. This helps build trust between team members and ensures everyone feels comfortable communicating and being transparent with each other, even when they get things wrong.
5. Time Management
Working with others means that you are responsible not only for yourself but also for the group members who report to you. This is where time management skills come into play. The ability to prioritize your tasks and plan accordingly is key to ensuring you meet deadlines and do the work your team expects of you.
Tools to help with workplace collaboration
Teams can't work together if they can't communicate. The good news is that there are plenty of digital tools to help you go beyond email and collaborate with colleagues virtually because, as we all know, email isn't always the best way to connect with someone.
Here are someUniform communication platformsthat support effective collaboration in the workplace:
Here are some of the best collaboration tools to have on your radar for you and your team.
RingCentral's desktop and mobile app is an all-in-one communicationToolthis makes teamwork seamless across all channels. It includes video calling, messaging, file sharing, and task management features, and can even be integrated with apps likeGoogle Driveand Google Calendar:
You can use it to start conversations with customers and teammates across multiple touchpoints and get their questions answered faster.collaborate in real time in all departmentsin a call, a message or a video conference, all in the same application:
🕹️See how RingCentral works when booking a product tour:
💰You can alsoUse this calculator to see roughly how much your company could save by using RingCentral to help your employees communicate with each other and with customers.
One of the most famousProject Management ToolsIn Marketplace, you can use Asana to assign tasks to other teammates, add followers to projects, and keep track of deadlines. In its simplest form, Asana works as a robust to-do list or project calendar, but its premium version has useful features like forms to gather information and a timeline to keep track of start dates and dependencies. .
Like Asana, Trello is a project management tool. It has an easy-to-use interface that organizes projects and tasks into cards that can be dragged and dropped into different columns. It's quick to set up and works well for keeping track of projects, assigning tasks, and quickly seeing the status of your team's projects.
Google's collaboration tools are hard to beat, and you'll find them on most PCs.Marketing-Technologie-Stack🇧🇷 Vonto judgefor leavescalendar, Google Workspace tools are designed to allow teams to edit files simultaneously and automatically save any changes.
The keys to effective collaboration
Effective collaboration is about much more than just sticking to schedules and work schedules.
From company-wide innovation challenges to onboarding programs for new employees, the best workplaces employ many different practices and programs that encourage collaboration. What they all have in common is that they understand the power of coming together to achieve great things.
When you bring the right skills, adopt the right mindset, and incorporate the right digital tools into the mix, magic can happen.
Originally published March 13, 2020, updated October 19, 2022
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What is the overarching purpose of the 6 key questions for effective collaboration? ›
The six questions provide a broad guide to ensure you're covering your basis. Should define key decisions, and also include any lingering questions. Invariably, you may not reach agreement on everything during the first discussion, and that's completely fine.What are the key points for effective collaboration? ›
- Creating a culture of co-operation. ...
- Having clear goals and clear roles. ...
- Leaders – focusing on tasks and relationships. ...
- Having open communication lines. ...
- Encouraging a spirit of community.
These activities are categorized based on the Six Dimensions which include 1) discovering work styles, 2) understanding core beliefs, 3) establishing trust, 4) assessing information, 5) decoding communication styles, and 6) designing shared goals (Murdoch-Kitt & Emans, 2020).What are the six steps involved in the collaborative process? ›
- Step 1: Define Desired Outcomes and Actions. ...
- Step 2: Endorse the Process. ...
- Step 4: Develop Alternatives or Options. ...
- Step 5: Evaluate, Select, and Refine Alternative or Option. ...
- Step 6: Finalize Documentation and Evaluate the Process.
- Five Elements of Collaborative Learning.
- Positive interdependence.
- Face-to-face promotive interaction.
- Individual accountability.
- Interpersonal and small group skills.
- Group processing.
- Define the purpose.
- Assemble the team.
- Determine the goals.
- Set expectations.
- Monitor and review.
- Celebrate and reward.
(n,d) The main reasons for the collaborative advantage are: access to resource, shared risk, efficiency, learning, cooperation and seamlessness and the moral imperative.Why is collaboration important in the workplace? ›
Why is collaboration important? Collaboration improves the way your team works together and problem solves. This leads to more innovation, efficient processes, increased success, and improved communication. Through listening to and learning from team members, you can help each other reach your goals.What are the 7 main components of collaboration? ›
- Mutual Trust and Respect.
According to indeed.com, the definition of collaboration in the workplace is “working together with one or more people to complete a project or task or develop ideas or processes.” In a workplace setting, the people who are collaborating must communicate clearly and share knowledge effectively.
What is an effective collaboration? ›
Successful collaboration is when teams comprising people with diverse backgrounds, strengths and skills work together to deliver work with high productivity, efficiency and speed. In simpler words, it is the phenomenon of a team working closely together to deliver successful results at work.What are the five key concepts of successful collaboration? ›
There are many beliefs and opinions that will affect how well people collaborate together, I suggest however that the principles of knowledge, communication, practice, mission, and encouragement are among the most important.What are the important element of collaboration? ›
Relationships give a collaboration strength, allowing it to form and function effectively. The quality of those relationships is determined by three primary factors: trust, reciprocity and mutuality.What are the core principles of collaboration? ›
- Relationship Management. ...
- Alignment on Vision and Values. ...
- Alignment of Business Objectives. ...
- Collaborative leadership. ...
- Governance and processes. ...
- Collaborative competence and behavior. ...
- Trust and Commitment to mutual benefit. ...
- Value Creation.
As follows is a brief description of the four main types of collaboration known to us today (Alliances, Portfolios, Innovation Networks, and Ecosystems), and the importance of each.What are the 4 steps of collaboration? ›
- Increased communication.
- More flexibility.
- Increased productivity.
- Learning potential.
- More engaged employees.
- They have clear goals and plans. ...
- They have strong leadership. ...
- Members fulfill their own tasks and also help one another. ...
- Members communicate openly with the team. ...
- Members resolve conflict constructively. ...
- Members feel they directly contribute to the company's success.
Sometimes called the six key elements of building trust, the 6 C's are the essential skills and attributes that will help you enhance the confidence in your relationships: character, caring, competence, consistency, credibility, and communication.
What are the six characteristics of effective teams? ›
- Shared goals. If asked to identify their goal at work, most staff members would probably say that it is to provide high-quality, patient-centered care. ...
- Clearly defined roles. ...
- Shared knowledge and skills. ...
- Effective, timely communication. ...
- Mutual respect. ...
- An optimistic, can-do attitude.
- Deliberately select which students will work together. ...
- Size the groups for maximum effectiveness. ...
- Teach your students how to listen to one another. ...
- Set the rules of language and collaboration. ...
- Make goals and expectations clear.
- Written Communication. ...
- Verbal Communication. ...
- Active Listening. ...
- Feedback. ...
- Inclusivity. ...
- They Help Us Solve Problems. ...
- We Learn From Each Other. ...
- They Make Our Work Better.
- Document Sharing. Cloud-based work is the future of collaboration. ...
- Task Management. ...
- Video Conferencing. ...
- Peer Training. ...
- Visual Brainstorming. ...
- Cross-functional Teams.
- Communicate clearly. ...
- Choose the right digital tool for the right task. ...
- Go beyond your comfort zone. ...
- Find or become a mentor. ...
- Participate in team-building activities.
Elements of collaborative practice include responsibility, accountability, coordination, communication, cooperation, assertiveness, autonomy, and mutual trust and respect (7).What are the top 10 skills to improve collaboration? ›
- Organization. ...
- Decision-making. ...
- Flexibility. ...
- Conflict resolution. ...
- Professionalism. ...
- Project management. ...
- Critical thinking. ...
- Self-motivation. Self-motivation allows you to take the initiative.
- Mutual Trust and Respect.
- 7 Norms of Collaboration.
- Promoting a spirit of inquiry.
- Pausing . . .
- Probing for specificity.
- Putting ideas on the table.
- Paying attention to self & others.
- Presuming positive intentions.