In this blog post, we look at how to collaborate effectively with peers.
Whether you’re a manager, an employee, or a team leader, developing the skills to collaborate effectively is essential for success in today’s modern workplace. In this post, we’ll explore the importance of teamwork and how to collaborate effectively with peers.
Why workplace collaboration is essential?
The ability to create a workplace with effective peer collaboration is an important organisational goal.
A team who can collaborate effectively helps an organisation achieve goals, drive progress and most beneficial of all foster a positive and supportive work environment.
When you have a team who are happy and work well together, everything else will fall into place and you’ll reap the rewards.
Team collaboration and organisational success
When a team can brainstorm and solve complex problems together the organisational problem becomes ‘our’ problem. Each individual feels responsible for achieving the shared objectives and puts in equal responsibility to achieve success.
This is especially important in a fast-paced and competitive business landscape.
“Teamwork makes the dreamwork!!” -It’s cheesy but true. A group of hardworking individuals with diverse thinking and perspectives can achieve more than one person can alone.
We’ve established that teamwork and collaboration are important. But the focus needs to be on efficient teamwork.
The benefits of team collaboration
Encouraging effective team collaboration brings a whole range of benefits to your organisation such as:
1. Increased Productivity
When collaboration is encouraged there is a clear increase in productivity. Ideas are shared, skills and resources lead to more effective decision-making and problem-solving.
Another way to think of this is by pooling their resources. When each individual is great at something different, their combined effort creates a united front to complete projects and tasks more successfully than their individual parts.
2. Innovation and creativity
With a diverse collection of ideas, perspectives and experiences there is space created for innovation and creativity to expand.
3. Improved decision-making
With diversity, there are different viewpoints. With more options and possibilities being considered, an improved decision can be made.
4. Stronger relationships
Relationships within effective team collaboration are strengthened and improved. Fostering strong relationships not only improves work goals but supports personal and professional growth. Enabling individuals to gain a better sense of job enrichment.
5. Improved learning and development
When collaboration with co-workers is encouraged and effective, there are more opportunities for learning and development to surface. Working well with others allows for new skills to be learnt, generating new knowledge and learning from others’ experiences.
6. Promotes employee retention
Engaged and happy employees tend to stay in their jobs longer. How they get on with their colleagues and how they fit into their team is a huge contributor to that happiness.
How to create efficient teamwork?
Effective teamwork is not just about getting on with everyone. It’s mostly about ensuring everyone’s strengths are understood and respected.
Each person should value the input of one another. When all strengths are supported, the team can work together towards a common goal.
It’s important when creating an efficient team, that everyone feels heard and respected.
With this in mind, let’s go over the different steps you can take to create an efficient team, primed for collaboration.
Clear goals and expectations
To establish your clear goals, use a framework such as SMART. Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Using SMART goals helps to align your team and ensure they are all focused on the same goal.
Communicate your intentions and expectations clearly with your team. Have regular check-ins and team agreements.
Developing good communication between teams is essential to ensuring everyone feels respected and heard.
Use multiple communication channels to cater for individual needs such as email, in-person meetings, video calls, email and shared tools such as document management systems.
Establish trust and reliability
To retain a cohesive team, trust and reliability must be built through transparent and accountable actions.
To achieve this, managers must focus on an honest culture that values open communication, meeting deadlines and managing time effectively.
Encourage brainstorming and collaboration
As a manager, you should schedule regular team meetings where your team are encouraged to brainstorm.
This is highly effective with team building activities and team days where the team are taken out of their normal routines and experience an injection of fun.
Encouraging a culture of fun with brainstorming sessions helps to foster team creativity and collaboration. Inter-work relationships get strengthened, trust is established and relationships are deepened.
When this happens team members feel more confident and comfortable sharing their ideas and experiences.
Review and align clear roles and responsibilities
Clearly define each team member’s roles and responsibilities, and hold them accountable for delivering results. This can help to prevent confusion and conflicts and encourage a sense of ownership and commitment among team members.
Empower and encourage
Empower team members to take initiative and make decisions. Encourage them to share their ideas and take ownership of their work.
Recognise and reward
Recognise and reward team members for their contributions to the team’s success. This can help to boost morale and motivation and encourage team members to continue working together effectively.
Encourage diversity and inclusivity
Diversity in backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences can bring new ideas and unique solutions to the table. Create an inclusive environment where all team members feel heard and respected.
By following these steps, and being adaptable, you can create an efficient team that can work together to achieve great things. And remember, creating an efficient team is not a one-time task, it’s a continuous process that requires regular evaluations, communication and adaptability.
Using team collaboration tools
There are many tools available that can help foster team communication and collaboration.
Some of these examples include:
Project management software, virtual meeting software, document collaboration software and communication platforms.
On-site collaboration vs virtual collaboration
Interestingly, a study by RingCentral Research found that a connected culture can enable a company to thrive as companies move more into remote working.
The study found that it didn’t matter whether the team collaborated remotely or face-to-face for success. It was the level of ‘connected culture’ fostered which made the difference.
The study found that a huge 71% of employees who felt more connected after the pandemic was more productive. Then compare this to the 15% of employees who said their company didn’t foster a connected culture feel more productive.
It’s safe to say that more productivity is apparent with a connected team when working remotely.
Workplace collaboration and remote working
Many organisations found that remote working increased workplace productivity. However, the Gensler US workplace study in 2022 found that after COVID-19 and an increase in remote working, team collaboration was a driving reason for employees wanting to return to the office.
-Demonstrating that collaboration and teamwork is an important aspect of job satisfaction.
So how can businesses effectively marry teamwork collaboration with home working effectively?
The answer is quite simple. Using collaboration tools.
Collaboration with Docflite
DocFlite is a documentation processing and collaboration management tool.
It’s used very effectively for teams and departments to collaborate.
It helps to streamline the collaboration process and improve team efficiency.
With the document tracking features, DocFlite helps teams keep control of document changes and maintains accountability.
Here’s a scenario.
A potential client requests a quote for some work.
The Sales Team create, and send a quote. This kicks off a workflow.
On acceptance, an Agreement is automatically created (using the information from the quote), ready to be checked and sent.
Once the agreement has been electronically signed and submitted, the team are notified and a Client Onboarding document is created.
The After Sales team can then take over and onboard the new client.
The process is then completed with a Feedback Form from the Customer Success team.
The beauty of using a digital documentation tool is that there are
- No lost files over shared folders or email.
- No loss in communication between email chains, face-to-face or phone.
- Everything is visible making accountability and communication so much more efficient and transparent.
- The client is happier with an extremely positive customer experience.
- Reviews and feedback improve brand identity.
- Connected employee culture is fostered and maintained.
How to collaborate effectively with peers- conclusion
Team collaboration is important.
A company that encourages a collaborative culture will reap many rewards, from employee retention to increased production. – All propelling the company into a more successful position.
Learning how to encourage and create opportunities for team collaboration is an easier task than you may think.
From aligning clear roles and responsibilities to improving channels for communication. Companies will experience a notable shift in their teamwork and collaboration improving.
One of the most efficient ways to do this is to use a document processing tool.
We recommend having a look at DocFlite, our document management system. For more information on what this system can do for your team collaboration, feel free to get in touch here.