A strong, united team in the workplace is important, and for good reason.
Companies that promote and encourage collaborative work are five times more likely to be high performing.
Teamwork is essential to driving business forward; staff that work together in an engaged, honest and transparent are far more productive than those that don't.
In fact, companies with engaged employees outperform those without by a massive 202 per cent.
Collaboration in the workplace has many benefits: it reduces the amount of time spent in meetings, enables faster decision making, and encourages transparency.
However, all too often, outdated processes, bad habits, and ageing tech can limit collaboration and reduce the effectiveness of teamwork.
A recent study found 83 per cent of workers depend on technology to collaborate, but 59 per cent face challenges with their organisation's tools.
So, how can you ensure your business reaps the benefits of good teamwork?
1. Have you established the right culture?
The foundations of good teamwork come from the overall values and ethos of your business. If your employees are engaged, then they are much more likely to adopt a collaborative approach to a project or task.
At high performing companies when 70 per cent of staff are engaged profits are 21 per cent higher.
Businesses that encourage staff bonding and social activities will naturally have a better level of collaboration.
Likewise, businesses that support and invest in their staff will have a better culture with a higher level of trust.
Trust is important because collaborative workplaces operate best when staff are empowered to work autonomously. This enables faster decision making as well as allowing for staff to work remotely.
Microsoft recently identified the five key attributes of successful teams as being:
- Team purpose
- Collective identity
- Awareness and inclusion
- Trust and vulnerability
- Constructive tension
These attributes are all driven and influenced by the culture determined by the business.
2. Are you providing the right tools?
Given that 83 per cent of professionals depend on technology to enable collaboration, it is crucial that you provide your staff with advanced teamwork tools.
Products like Microsoft Teams and SharePoint enable real-time collaboration and transparency across projects.
Have you considered how collaborative the tools you offer are? Do you discuss the best tools for your staff with them and consider the different needs across departments? You need to consider these questions when deciding which technology products are the best fit for your business.
A good starting point is Microsoft Teams, which now has more than 20 million daily active users.
According to Microsoft, these users often start using Teams for simple text-based chat before adventuring into richer forms of collaboration.
In October 2019, Teams customers participated in more than 27 million voice or video meetings and opened/edited or downloaded files stored on Teams over 220 million times.
It's safe to say that Microsoft Teams is a product that is here to stay.
3. Have you provided adequate staff training?
One key consideration when it comes to rolling out collaborative tools and processes is that there is not a single 'best way' of doing something.
This isn't a stumbling block, it is actually a result of modern technology being flexible and adaptable to meet the needs and requirements of multiple businesses and individuals.
It does mean, however, that you need to invest in training to enable your staff to fully understand and adopt new technology.
4. Do you lead by example?
Insync technology, a group that helps companies get on board with embracing modern productivity tools, says they often meet new clients who have tried to transform into a modern workplace but struggle with adoption.
This is sometimes caused by insufficient training or a lack of project governance.
Occasionally businesses roll out new technology or operational systems for their staff but then the business leaders continue to fall back into old habits work in the same way as before.
If you are encouraging your business to be collaborative, you need to be championing this and lead by example.
5. Does your business enable true collaboration?
To find out how your team stacks up when it comes to working together, take Insync's Teamwork Survey.
The quick 3-minute survey will assess your current teamwork tools and approach and identify opportunities for improvement. You'll receive:
- Tips on specific areas highlighted as opportunities
- A benchmark score to show how you rate against other Australian businesses
This article was written in partnership with Insync Technology.
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