Are your employees working together or just alongside one another? Encouraging collaboration among your team can be beneficial to your employees as well as your bottom-line. In order to have successful collaboration, you must have the right people and skill-sets in place. Here are two strategies to help you as a leader foster collaboration with your team:
The Right Team Leader
The success of a team often rests on the ability of the team leader to direct and engage the team members through a task. To promote collaboration, the team leader should have a balanced leadership approach between being goal-oriented and relationship-oriented. Obviously, you need someone who will clearly define the objectives and monitor the project. Yet, once those objectives are clear, to promote collaboration, team members need a leader who encourages knowledge sharing and teamwork.
The Right Skills
Let’s face it. Not everyone works well together or is good at collaborating with others. Yet, there are a few traits you can encourage and train within your employees that promote a collaborative environment. For example, employees who are good communicators (both verbal AND active listening), have strong conflict resolution skills, and who are open to new ideas or change are poised to be strong collaborators. Remember these crucial skills needed for collaboration the next time you are hiring a new member on your team or coaching an employee through a performance review.
If you desire collaboration from your team, model that behavior. Collaboration can allow you to achieve more with less effort and time. When team members are genuinely invested in both the success of the project as well as the success of their fellow team members, you will see higher productivity, creativity, knowledge share, and morale. A win-win for everyone!