Deep down, we all know the importance of harmonious collaboration. It makes us more loyal. It can make us look forward to the workday. And of course, when people truly put their heads together, productivity soars. Now is a great time to unite your team around better collaboration. Here’s how:
Embed Communication Into Company Culture
This one comes from a UC Today interview with our own Lyndsay Cook. Especially if you’re a team leader, encourage people to forge those non-work-related connections. We all know they improve our ability to connect at work, so why not act on that? Here are a few ideas:
- Start meetings with icebreaker questions
- Make a just-for-fun chat channel
- Have regular social events (they don’t need to be lavish for you to see the benefits)
You might even want to facilitate some meta-communication (communication about communication) on your team. In a relaxed setting, encourage team members to share what works and what doesn’t when it comes to collaboration.
Don’t Be Afraid to Accelerate a Conversation
Email is your #1 biggest time sink, inhaling about one-third of your day. But often, a single half-hour video call could save you the trouble of reading and writing a dozen emails or more.
If you’re thinking, “I’d like to talk face to face,” the person you’re emailing might be thinking the same thing. Take the chance—they just might thank you for it.
Reduce the Friction That Inhibits Collaboration
If you’re a team or company leader, you’re in a good position to reduce friction between team members who are trying to collaborate.
One way to reduce friction is to reinforce your team’s core goals and standards continually. This is extra important on a cross-functional team since most of those are dysfunctional. The dysfunction often stems from misalignment. Make sure everyone’s on the same page about the basic things: routines, schedules, and expectations. At the same time, keep driving home your team’s most essential goals, so everyone’s pulling the rope in the same direction.
Another problem that can inhibit collaboration is a lack of unity in communication channels. If switching from email to chat to video takes too long, it wastes people’s time—and, worse, it derails the conversation.