Why do you need team collaboration anyway?
This “working together” trend has transformed the office cubicles into open space rooms giving employees more opportunity to communicate and collaborate. We are encouraged to discuss things with colleagues, exchange data and stay up to date with all of the information streams at work.
But does this make your workers more productive?
Yes, if done right.
We’ve interviewed ten volunteers from different departments of Chanty to find out what they need to collaborate effectively. The insights turned out to be quite uplifting. You might also like to go through the key takeaways in the end of the article where we’ve summarized the answers into a few main points.
Some photos of our employees have been enhanced with augmented reality for the sake of personal privacy protection 😉
This is what our teammates find important for effective team collaboration
A company should set the basis of the effective team collaboration from the start – develop the company mission, set the core values and define the ultimate goals. When the hiring process is based on these essentials, people joining the company will embrace the same values.
We all face the communication overload with tens of business meetings, endless phone notifications and hundreds of messages hitting your inbox every day. To make a way through this information stream, I need to bring every decision required from me to choosing between ‘a’ and ‘b’, ‘yes’ or ‘no’. This requires speed, clarity and ordinance.
I’m using filters in my email quite heavily so I’d like to group other conversations the same way and be proactively informed about each event in important groups and have some daily summary for not so important things. Currently we rely on writing/texting a lot, but I’d like to change it to a quicker and faster way of information exchange.
That’s a hell of a question! I’ve already done some digging into this topic which resulted in our blog article. It’s no secret that collaboration takes a team effort. However, it all starts with the leadership. Someone should take the responsibility and not only bring a team together, but also set clear goals, make sure these goals are realistic and the team members are on the same page.
Once you’ve done the management part, it’s time to divide and conquer the tasks a team is working on. As a team leader, you need to make sure that your team members are competent individuals in the tasks they are collaborating on. And your task as a leader is to help if someone becomes a runner-up in their field.
Right after the tasks are locked and loaded, I need the software tools to keep collaboration effective and team–productive. Fortunately, there is plenty of fish in the sea and every team can choose the tools that work best for them. In our team we’ve decided to go the extra mile and design our own tool to help small businesses simplify team collaboration, making it more organized and teams more productive.
Final ingredient to effective collaboration is building an open communication culture in a team. I need to know that team members can easily reach each other, discuss the workflows or get feedback from both colleagues and managers. People appreciate such transparency because it gives a sense of belonging and makes them feel like they are truly a part of a team.
Don’t forget that syncing up a team is an ongoing process. It takes time, effort and commitment even if you know what you are doing and got the tools that work best for you. That’s why start making your team collaboration today and the result will pay off tenfold for sure!
Max (development team)
I need a clear understanding of the goals (at least short term) my сolleagues and I are trying to achieve. In other words, I need to be on same page with the entire team. This could be achieved via short daily/weekly meetings on a team level. The scope of meetings could be based on Scrum approach, i.e. each team member answers several questions:
– What was done yesterday/during previous week?
– What tasks will I be working on tomorrow/during next week?
– Do I have any blocking issues or questions?
When it comes to issues with specific tasks, I prefer to have face-to-face discussion with one or few co-workers e.g. if the issue involves different departments (design, frontend, marketing, etc).
Olga (marketing team)
As a manager, effective collaboration for me starts with defining roles. Everyone in a team should understand what part of work he or she is responsible for, at the same time everyone has to clearly see the ultimate goal the team is trying to achieve. Being on the same page is one of the most common issues a team experiences, here’s why regular meetings are important to synchronize everyone and update on the new ideas, goals, etc.
I believe effective team collaboration goes hand in hand with transparent and respectful communication. Both are the results of setting the right core values in the very beginning when the company is born.
Everyone should feel the job he or she is doing is important. We don’t have the “better chair” or “separate office” policy for any of the managers in the company. Our founder is sitting at the exact same desk everyone else does and drinks the same coffee everyone else drinks. Speaking of the office, by the way, I believe it’s crucial to have an office collaboration space where colleagues can work together.
The same equality approach works for our communication and collaboration. What I absolutely love about Chanty is that our team communication is open, friendly, fun and respectful. This encourages our face-to-face team collaboration as well as online collaboration through various software tools.
Andrew (design team)
Communication, clarity and motivation are the key ingredients of effective team collaboration.
By communication, I mean that everyone in the team should have an ability to openly discuss an issue either it’s face-to-face communication in the office or an online chat through reliable collaboration software tools like Chanty.
By clarity, I mean the ability to understand your coworkers while discussing tasks and requirements. Understanding the company philosophy, strategy and ultimate goals makes an employee a part of the team sharing the same values. It’s also important for each team member to receive regular feedback to know how he/she is doing.
By motivation, I mean that team members should have a personal interest in the ultimate results which will encourage them to be more productive and inspire new ideas. Last, but not least are the proper working conditions.
You can’t have an effective team without effective individuals. Therefore, if you pay proper attention to team collaboration based on communication, clarity and motivation, there is a high chance the project your team is working on will be a success.
Julia (marketing team)
Effective team collaboration depends on several factors. First, it’s having a common team’s goal, an idea that merges very different people with various mindsets and personal ambitions together. It gets team members motivated. That’s crucial because motivation is an ultimate driving force behind every successful team.
There are many other factors of successful team collaboration, but they often vary and change according to team’s age and size, business niche, etc. Working at cozy office or remotely, choosing Chanty, Slack or Slack alternatives, holding weekly or bi-weekly team meetings, using Jira or Wrike… There are tons of combinations. But the main question every team member should answer to ensure effective team collaboration is, ‘Why am I here?’
Anastasia (sales team)
As for me, effective teamwork can be achieved via clear and effective communication between team members.
Short everyday meetings can be very helpful to make sure everyone is on the same page and no one is missing anything. Daily meetings also help in setting personal and team goals.
Determining short-term and long-term goals for every team member and the whole team helps better concentrate on the tasks of the first priority.
Max (development team)
The better the tasks, objectives and goals are set, the more effective the team will be at delivering high-quality results. Each task has to be outlined clearly along with its priorities and timeframes. This way I can build the most effective and high-quality workflow. Miscommunication leads to misunderstanding discouraging team collaboration and eventually leads to poor results.
Feedback is another key to effective collaboration. Once in a while I need to hear how I am doing. Positive feedback gives you energy to try even harder. Negative feedback tells you where you need to spend your effort, and offers insight into how you might improve. The lack of feedback seriously demotivates employees.
Flap (design team)
Disclaimer: By the way, this is the original photo that hasn’t undergone any editing 😋
When communicating with a team, I need to understand why are we discussing something. While navigating in the ocean of information every one of us consumes on a daily basis, I have to be able to set off things that are really important.
It helps when all the files around a project (pdf, psd, etc) are kept at one place and sorted by type/date/file owner. It’s even better when all the files are organized around a particular task.
Using multiple SaaS tools for work is good, but having one single software that integrates with all of them is great. This way all the necessary data/document/file are always at your fingertips, all the notifications come in one place saving precious time you could use for actual work.
That’s why I’m proud to be a part of Chanty team as we are building that very product.
Yuriy (development team)
Effective team collaboration starts with communication. A couple of my friends joined a well-known software company as developers. Just in three days they’ve left the company. The reason? All they were doing was sitting at the desk an entire day without a trace of personal communication.
Human-friendly atmosphere in a team is equally important as fascinating projects. We are social creatures and many people come to the office or join coworking spaces when working remotely to have some form of communication. Lack of communication in its turn creates misunderstanding and leads to stress.
There has to be a healthy combination of work process and human communication. Daily morning stand ups help sync the team and keep the spirits up for the working day. Work becomes effective when it brings results. When it doesn’t, team members get easily demotivated. Therefore, weekly meetings where we can see how Chanty grows and becomes a better product motivate and inspire us for new achievements.
Effective team collaboration must haves
Following the team collaboration trend today, make sure to keep the balance of collective and individual work to assure the tasks are getting done. Excessive collaboration may distract your employees from the actual work and make them less productive.
To receive the most of your team working together, listen to what your colleagues are saying. For our team, we have taken away a few key points that our employees consider important for effective team collaboration:
- Encouraging collaboration on a company level – setting company core values, mission and goals;
- Clear understanding of goals, objectives and tasks for employees along with priorities and timeframes;
- Defining the roles and responsibilities of the employees;
- Having a friendly atmosphere in a team along with transparent, respectful communication;
- Having a single software tool for all notifications and team communication;
- Having regular sync-ups in a form of weekly meetings/daily standups;
- Receiving both positive and negative feedback to keep employees motivated;
- Being able to see the results of the work done and the overall project progress on a regular basis;
- Filtering out important messages/notifications from the daily information stream.
The conclusion I can make is that productive work together starts from the top. If the top management embraces the collaborative mindset, it will lead to hiring people who share company values and communicate in an open, respectful, and friendly manner.
While it’s your job to build a collaborative team, one thing we could definitely help you with is the team communication tool. Chanty is a team chat and a single notification center our team is passionately working on.
It is designed to bring all the software notifications into one place along with filtering out the most important messages. Give us a try if you want to change the way your team collaborates.
Now that we’ve shared our team insights, it’s time for your comments. We are curious to know what do you and your teammates need for effective team collaboration.