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Secrets to Building Collaborative Teams

By definition, teams are meant to be collaborative. However, that is not always the case in practice. Many teams have come apart at the seams for a variety of reasons, including a lack of shared vision, a clash of personalities, and differences in perspectives. While building the perfect team may be unrealistic, putting together an effective and well-functioning team is not only possible, but necessary for success. Here are a few tried and tested secrets to building a strong team.

Communication

Communication is the lifeblood of all great teams. A team that has a sense of purpose and a clear direction, but communicates poorly will not achieve its goals – there will be confusion and misunderstandings.

Start by assembling the right tool kit for your team. From workflow management apps like Slack to fax service apps like MyFax, there are many software options on the market to help you streamline your team’s communication. Find the one that suits your team’s demands and train them to use it. With remote working a standard feature of workplaces worldwide, applications such as these have become even more critical.

Before launching a project, ask your team for their input. People are more likely to own a project when they know their ideas have been considered. Ensure that everyone on your team is clear about their roles and responsibilities. Have an open-door policy to listen to their concerns and needs. Hold regular training sessions for your team members on how to communicate effectively and how to resolve disputes amicably.

Purpose

A few years ago, Google set out on a daring task: to discover what makes a perfect team. The quest, led by Abeer Dubey, had the code name “Project Aristotle.” After several years of collecting and analyzing nearly 200 teams, Google concluded that great teams have five key characteristics. One of the key characteristics is that a team should have a sense of meaning or purpose.

When people know that their work contributes to society’s greater good and humanity in general, they are more likely to give their best. Of course, money is an important motivator, but many top-tier employees say they would reject opportunities outright if those openings were not in sync with their goals.

Spell out clearly what your vision is and how the team will work together to achieve it. Make sure that team members understand and buy into the vision. That way, everyone can work toward the common goal. If any challenges or misunderstandings arise, you can review the vision to get everyone in line.

Morale

Even if you have the best personnel with the right skill set, they won’t achieve much if their morale is low. Team morale refers to the excitement, enthusiasm, and drive within a specific group. The higher your team’s morale, the higher their productivity will be.

The first step to building high team morale is taking an interest in their lives. Instead of working them constantly, help them build an excellent work-life balance. Be flexible about scheduling and be open to remote work, job-sharing, and part-time opportunities, where necessary. This move reduces burnout and, ultimately, your company’s turnover rate. Also, consider investing in their growth up the educational and corporate ladders and give them networking and training opportunities when they are available.

Be intentional about celebrating and awarding your team members each time they reach a milestone. It can be something as simple as a thank-you note or as grand as an awards night celebrating remarkable achievements during the year. A team that plays together, stays together. Whether it’s throwing a party or going to a conference or field trip together, take advantage of every opportunity to create smiles and lasting memories.

The Dream Team

The lone wolf is an endangered species. Regardless of how talented an individual is, that person cannot achieve everything by themselves. One person may win a race, but it takes an entire team to clinch a championship. What sets you apart from your competitors is a team that works to achieve a shared goal, communicates well, and has great morale. It doesn’t take a day to get there, however. You’ll need patience, dedication, along with adequate training and fine-tuning to create a highly collaborative team.

About Shane Avron

Shane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.


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