It helps with problem-solving and increases the productivity of the organization. In addition to that, solid collaboration leads to a healthier and happier workforce, which is essential for achieving wanted results. Are you struggling to get started? These tips will help you build and boost collaboration with your remote team.
1. Set rules and expectations
Remote work comes with a lot of challenges. Rules and boundaries can help you overcome some of those difficulties. However, rules shouldn’t be overbearing and you shouldn’t micromanage your employees. So, how and what kind of rules should you set?
One of the main ones should be working hours. Flexibility means a lot to your team, but having team meetings scheduled in advance can help you maintain a certain degree of control over your employees. In addition to that, they can remain flexible and manage their own hours around those meetings.
Besides that, your employees need to know what is expected of them. Setting clear expectations for your employees is crucial for healthy in-team collaboration.
2. Create a team and individual goals
Collaboration is induced by common goals. When two or more people are working on the same project and have a common goal they need to achieve, they will collaborate. So, creating team goals will help you encourage communication and teamwork on projects. But is that enough to keep your employees moving?
To add value to teamwork, you should create individual goals as well. Keep in mind that each employee has their strengths and weaknesses, which affect the way personal goals are created. Count them in for improved collaboration. But how can they really improve collaboration?
Numerous benefits of goal setting exist, but when it comes to collaboration, goals provide direction, motivation, and focus to employees. They will be more likely to indulge in cooperation with their colleagues and help one another out.
3. Provide adequate tools
Remote work completely relies on tools and technologies. You can't work remotely without various communication and collaboration apps. However, we can agree that not all tools are equally beneficial for employees and their managers. So, to make remote collaboration work, you need to know what kind of tools are the best.
Besides mentioned communication tools that need to be safe and reliable for your employees, you should implement various work tools to streamline your workflow. These tools include project management tools with task assigning features, time tracking tools, and file sharing apps with safe clouds.
Don’t forget to introduce some engagement tools as well. Intranets are a fantastic and reliable source of information for all employees. Such platforms also encourage teamwork and communication, which leads to better collaboration.
4. Build a comprehensive communication strategy
Let's face it, without communication there is no collaboration. Your employees need to learn how to communicate with one another and respect the other person before they can collaborate. Even though personal manners play a role in communication, it also depends on the organization's culture!
Learn about different ways employees communicate to build a strategy. Ensure it is a part of your culture and lead by example to implement it. To build and utilize an effective employee communication strategy, create two-way communication with employees. How will that help in-team collaboration?
If employees feel like they are listened to by their superiors, they are more likely to display the same behaviour with their colleagues. Communicating and listening is a big part of collaboration and achieving common goal in business.
5. Facilitate social connections
A sole communication strategy no matter how complex, won’t boost collaboration in your team. It’s up to the manager or team leader to facilitate social connections and make employees a team. So, in addition to using adequate communication tools such as messengers and video calls, team leaders should be the ones to encourage collaboration. How?
One of the main issues managers face is staying connected while working remotely. Organize frequent team meetings and one-on-one catch-ups to see how everyone is doing. Encourage people to stay connected by implementing buddy and mentorship programs in your teams. But what if your team members are shy?
Online team buildings are an engaging and interesting way of getting to know your teammates and connecting with them on a deeper, personal level. These kinds of activities encourage all members to participate equally and contribute to the team.
6. Give honest feedback
An important step in healthy collaboration is giving and receiving feedback. A lot of companies nurture a culture of feedback. However, many don't teach their managers, team leaders, and employees how to give proper feedback and how to receive both positive and negative criticism. This can damage relationships and overall collaboration. So, what is the secret of feedback?
First of all, if you want to give feedback to team members, you need to ensure they are ready to receive it. Direct both positive and negative feedback on their behaviour. Never target their personality! On top of that, make sure you are okay with receiving their feedback as well!
How can feedback improve collaboration? You're teaching your employees how to collaborate better by providing behaviour-directed feedback. A simple try doing this instead of that can open their eyes. So, be honest, but ensure your feedback is based on facts and not a personal opinion!
7. Train your employees
Collaboration takes time, effort, and skill. Therefore, not everyone is skilled or open enough to such an act. While most jobs consist of teamwork, sometimes teaching your employees how to be more collaborative is inevitable. So, consider training your employees and their soft skills to improve collaboration.
Collaboration as such is difficult to teach and learn, especially in online conditions. Try to implement innovative techniques and interesting topics to train remote employees. Even something seemingly trivial can boost team collaboration significantly.
Did you know that even technical skill training can improve collaboration? Employees can bond over something they have in common and learn to work together better.
In most companies, collaboration leads to results. So, teaching your employees how to work together will result in improved performance. They may come from different backgrounds or have different opinions, but that is what makes teamwork and collaboration complete! Get proactive in boosting collaboration of your remote team with these helpful tips.
About the author:
Jess Cooper is a part-time journalist and blogger based in Sydney, Australia. She is an energetic, creative highly motivated person with plenty of interests. The most prominent areas of interest include business, marketing, communications and lifestyle.