Communications Blog • 10 MIN READ

How to build stronger teams: 10 tips to foster collaboration in the workplace

Ioana Sima

Written by Ioana Sima

Collaboration has emerged as a fundamental driver of success for businesses, particularly in large enterprises.

According to a report by Zippia, companies have the potential to cut employee turnover rates in half by actively promoting communication and collaboration in the workplace. This finding is supported by a survey conducted by Khris Digital, where 47% of employees expressed their willingness to stay with a company if they can work with a great team.

Building a collaborative work environment boosts employee retention but also increases job satisfaction and organizational success.

In this blog post, I will explore ten invaluable tips to foster collaboration at the workplace and unlock the secrets to building more cohesive and high-performing teams in large enterprises.

What is team collaboration in the workplace?

In the workplace, team collaboration involves bringing together employees with diverse skills and expertise to work collectively towards common goals, whether they’re at home or in the office. When teams collaborate, they synergize their efforts, sparking creativity and leveraging their combined knowledge and strengths.

Collaboration is the driving force behind achieving greater success as a collective entity than as separate individuals.

The benefits of team collaboration include:

  • increased creativity and innovation
  • enhanced problem-solving
  • improved communication
  • increased productivity
  • strengthened relationships
  • better decision-making

A well-executed digital workplace can enable your employees to reach their full potential. By prioritizing the quality of experience for remote and in-office employees with quiet spaces, huddle rooms and other flexible areas for work that are equipped with the right tools and technology, employees can better strengthen their communication and collaboration, no matter where they are located.

The challenges of collaboration in the workplace

Collaboration in the workplace can encounter several common challenges or obstacles that may impede the collective effort of teams. One significant hurdle is the lack of clear communication.

Miscommunication or ineffective information sharing can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and even employee conflicts. This can become increasingly common as organizations become larger and more geographically dispersed.

Organizations must prioritize transparent and open communication channels to overcome this challenge.

Another challenge is the clash of personalities and different working styles. Conflicts may arise when individuals with diverse backgrounds or different work styles. Addressing this obstacle requires fostering a culture of respect and understanding.

Team-building exercises, conflict resolution workshops, appropriate onboarding and promoting empathy can help team members appreciate each other's strengths and differences. Embracing these challenges head-on can turn them into opportunities for growth and create a more productive work environment.

Ten tips for fostering collaboration in large companies

Consider implementing the following tips to promote collaboration and teamwork among your employees.

1. Set a clear mission

To build tight-knit teams, giving everyone a compelling reason to be part of the company's mission is key. The more exciting and inspiring the mission, the easier it is to get everyone committed to the organization's goals.

When we have a clear and gripping cause to work towards, we naturally become just as passionate as our leaders about achieving the objectives. But collaboration can suffer if we don't care about or understand the goals. To ensure successful collaboration, it is crucial to have a well-defined vision and purpose that resonates with every team member.

2. Establish effective communication practices

Building and enhancing team collaboration requires establishing clear guidelines for communication and teamwork. It's essential to recognize that collaboration may not come naturally right from the start, and that's alright. It takes time for team members to develop a sense of comfort and synergy with one another.

Take the time to discuss and decide on important communication aspects such as:

  • Identifying which topics should be communicated through email
  • Determining which messages are more suitable for which channels, such as your employee text messaging system versus the chat function in platforms like Microsoft Teams or Zoom
  • Setting time limits for meetings to increase productivity
  • Establishing communication guidelines and rules that promote inclusivity.

3. Employ suitable technology

Having the right technology in place is crucial for fostering collaboration in large enterprises with a vast workforce, especially in the context of hybrid work arrangements. With employees spread across various locations, seamless communication and collaboration tools are essential to bridge the physical gap.

Cloud-based platforms and collaborative software enable teams to connect and work together effortlessly, regardless of their physical location. These digital solutions facilitate real-time communication, document sharing, and project management, making it easier for teams to collaborate remotely or in the office.

4. Recognize and celebrate collaboration

Acknowledge and celebrate successful collaboration within the organization. Recognition, rewards, and shout-outs for collaborative efforts can motivate employees to engage in teamwork and actively foster collaboration in the workplace.

Implementing a peer-to-peer recognition system allows employees to appreciate each other's collaborative contributions, promoting a culture of support and appreciation.

Performance bonuses, promotions, or special recognition awards can be tied to successful collaborative projects. By linking rewards to collaboration, large enterprises incentivize employees to actively engage in teamwork, knowing their efforts will be appreciated. Moreover, hosting celebratory events or activities that honor collaborative achievements can strengthen team spirit.

5. Foster a safe and open idea-sharing environment

One common obstacle that hinders employees from actively participating and sharing their ideas is the fear of judgment or rejection. Especially in companies with a top-down organizational structure, this intimidation can hold back the best ideas from emerging.

To overcome this barrier, create a workplace culture that encourages creativity and welcomes new ideas and discussions. Establishing a judgment-free environment allows team members to feel safe and confident in sharing their thoughts and innovations.

Avoid imposing too many rigid guidelines, as they can stifle creativity. Instead, prioritize creative freedom and encourage a culture where diverse ideas are celebrated. When employees feel valued and free to share their unique perspectives, fruitful workplace collaborations will naturally flourish.

6. Take the time to celebrate wins

Acknowledging achievements and celebrating wins play a pivotal role in fostering collaboration. When successes are celebrated, and each team member's contribution is recognized, it cultivates trust and mutual respect among individuals from diverse teams.

It's essential not to limit celebrations to major project completions; setting milestones and commemorating even small victories can be equally impactful. These small wins help maintain momentum and motivation while breaking down barriers and silos between departments. Winning, no matter the scale, feels rewarding, and when it involves interdepartmental collaboration, acknowledgment becomes a powerful incentive for future joint efforts.

7. Promote transparency at all levels

Studies by FinancesOnline indicate that 80% of employees experience stress due to inadequate company communication. Often, vital information from CEOs and executives is shared with managers and team leaders but fails to reach everyone else in the organization. Conversely, employees may withhold great ideas from their leaders, only sharing them with their peers.

Implement accessible and user-friendly communication platforms that enable employees to stay informed about company updates, changes, and decisions. Regularly share information through emails, company-wide newsletters, and intranet portals to keep everyone in the loop.

8. Embrace diversity and inclusion

One crucial step is to emphasize the significance of diversity in team composition. Studies have shown that diverse teams lead to richer perspectives, more creativity, better problem-solving capabilities and ultimately, better outcomes for projects.

The company should emphasize diversity and inclusion in everything they do to make it happen. They can talk about it in team meetings and training and make sure their policies treat everyone fairly and equally.

9. Support innovation initiatives

Encourage open communication and idea-sharing by creating spaces where employees can easily pitch innovative concepts. Setting up an online suggestion box or holding regular brainstorming sessions can make it accessible for everyone to participate.

Provide resources and support to turn these ideas into reality. Establish innovation labs or project teams where employees can collaborate on their initiatives.

When employees feel empowered and supported to collaborate on innovative projects, they will be more motivated to share their insights and work together across different teams and levels. This collaborative spirit can lead to breakthrough ideas and create a more collaborative and innovative work environment.

10. Provide collaborative skill development

Not everyone is naturally skilled at collaboration, and that's okay. Training programs focused on building collaborative skills can empower employees to work better as a team. These workshops can cover effective communication techniques, conflict resolution, and teamwork strategies.

Through interactive workshops and practical exercises, employees can learn how to navigate group dynamics, manage conflicts constructively, and build trust among team members. Moreover, a workforce that excels in collaboration is better equipped to tackle complex challenges and drive the company's success to new heights.

Wrap up

Employees who feel connected willingly join forces to achieve shared goals. But for this collaboration to be effective, it needs to be continuous, purpose-driven, and enabled by the right tools and processes.

Learn more about collaboration in the workplace with our guide:

6 ways to collaborate effectively in a distributed enterprise.

Ioana Sima is the Marketing Manager of TextMagic. She has a master’s degree in architecture and 9+ years of experience in digital marketing. She is in charge of all marketing initiatives of TextMagic and is also overseeing the go-to-market strategy for Touchpoint - the company’s new customer service platform. She likes figuring out how things work and is passionate about fitness and video games.

Topics: Communications Customer experience Collaborate Digital Workplace

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