You have a team of talented, collaborative people. You rely on creative solutions and new ideas to grow your business and develop your product. But teamwork doesn’t just happen by magic. It has to be encouraged and facilitated. Last week, we gave you five easy ways to boost teamwork. Here are five more ways to increase collaboration within your team.
This isn’t meant to be the last word on cooperation. There are plenty of specific brainstorming techniques and collaborative processes out there to implement on a case-by-case basis. But here are some ways you can increase collaboration as part of your weekly routine.
Five simple ways to increase collaboration
Collaboration is a result of a well-functioning team of happy individuals. Everyone needs a challenge, and an end goal which is both ambitious and achievable. People who are really motivated toward a shared endpoint will work together and find creative solutions to getting there.
It’s that simple.
Boosting teamwork between people is a result of making them happy, motivated and empowered – and helping them get to know each other better. Here’s our take on how to get there.
1/ Party together
Here in Denmark, this part is easy. Any self-respecting company will try to organize a fredagsbar – literally ‘Friday bar’ – where staff can hang out and enjoy a drink or two at the end of the working week.
This non-obligatory, completely informal social gathering is a great way to get to know the people you work with, and to collapse any hierarchies or walls between teams and departments. As we mentioned last time, the key to collaboration is knowing who you’re dealing with.
Regular, informal gatherings can help everyone relax and boost the collective spirit.
2/ Don’t sit down
The secret is long since out. Dry, interminable meetings are the perfect weapon for killing creativity and collaboration, as everyone sits around struggling to hold their concentration on the latest agenda point.
But we can’t expect to escape the necessity of meetings altogether. One way to get around long, mind-numbing discussions is to hold ‘stand-ups,’ or ‘scrums,’ and to apply this method more widely. Keeping meetings as brief and dynamic as possible helps encourage more efficient and energetic collaboration.
Nothing dulls the senses and numbs the mind like a never-ending meeting. Try and keep on your toes.
3/ Encourage entrepreneurship
Small teams more often than not end up having their fair share of multi-taskers. It’s natural that people go above and beyond what’s expected of them when working as a tight, cohesive team. And creativity often leads people down unexpected pathways.
This can, of course, become a problem which should be addressed by recruitment, but it should also be recognized as a source of strength and an opportunity to achieve a lot more than the minimum.
Encourage people to move outside of their job descriptions from time to time, and go where their talents lead them. People who are free to collaborate and combine with each other in new ways will often break new ground as a result.
4/ Go on trips
Not all of our best work is done in the office. You should always consider going out from time to time to discuss something or brainstorm. But a great way to boost morale and build bonds between your team is to go on trips and days out.
Taking people out of their comfort zones and their weekly routine is a powerful way to encourage new thinking and use fun to grease the gears of teamwork.
At the end of the day, office excursions help everyone appreciate the time they have together, and to use that time better when they get to the office.
5/ Go home
If the people at your company are spending their precious time thinking about how much they’d like to go home, you’ve got a problem. Allowing people the freedom to work from home, and to choose the office hours which work better for them, will – conversely enough –help people work together better.
We all value our time. Empower people with it, and they’ll use it more wisely. The office shouldn’t be somewhere you’re tied to and desperate to escape from, it should be a meeting point and a valued setting for teamwork and collaboration.
What methods do you use to increase collaboration and boost teamwork? Let us know by writing a comment.