Teamwork is put into our minds at an early age. We join Little League and work with other kids to complete school projects. We are encouraged to be a team member and to get along with the other members.
As we grew into adults, we still work as a collaborative part of a team to get work done. It’s often what helps a business grow. Collaboration is a big part of any small business because it’s what works. Collaboration means working with others to do a task and to achieve shared goals.
Learning how to build a collaborative team environment is the goal of most businesses.
Communicate what your company expects from the team. You should make sure your team members know that collaborating is a minimum standard in your business. Each team member should know their role and responsibilities and understand their position. They need to know what is required of them in their position. When you have a collaborative environment each team member is responsible for the good the team does.
Team members should keep communication open among each other. Miscommunication creates hard feelings that can undermine the team’s success. Each member should make a concerted effort to be understood and heard. Misunderstandings should be taken care of and cleared up quickly.
Your team should have set goals to work toward. Set measurable goals on a quarterly or other regular basis. Having the team focus on these goals keeps each member’s efforts aligned with the final desired outcome. Re-evaluate the goals if needed.
Encourage a creative atmosphere where team members can question and brainstorm without judgment. Nurture a can-do attitude among the members.
Leverage team member strengths by putting each member in a position for success in the tasks they do.
Teams should learn to build trust with one another. They should be honest in their dealings and not talk about each other behind their back. Team members should learn how to eliminate conflicts of interest.
Team members come from diverse walks of life with different perspectives and backgrounds. Each team member should be encouraged to get to know their fellow team members. Every idea should be based on its own merits, not the individual suggesting it. Encourage team members to learn from one another. Don’t make remarks that draw negative attention to a person’s characteristics, no matter how unique.
It’s up to each individual business to learn how to build collaborative team environment. Team leaders and managers are responsible for informing team members of the role they play within the team and what is expected of them. When the company has a positive and well-functioning collaborative team the business itself runs smoother and people are happier in their jobs.