As technology improves and facilitates collaboration amongst people located across the globe, the need for expedited teambuilding skills becomes crucial, especially when it comes to carrying out large projects. Teams are frequently assembled in the blink of an eye, as diverse individuals with varying ranges of experience and expertise are brought together to work as one. Diverse teams create more opportunity for sparking insight and creative innovation.
However, as Harvard Business Review demonstrated in a study about the collaborative levels of large teams, the higher proportion of strangers and the greater diversity of background and experiences on a team, the less likely the team is to share knowledge or exhibit collaborative behavior. So how can you ensure you’re building an effective collaborative team that is poised to succeed?
Step 1: Demonstrate Executive Involvement
We’ve all heard the phrase “lead by example” and there is no place where this adage is more important than in a corporate environment where collaborative relationships are a necessity. A successful team is one lead by executives who demonstrate the collaborative behavior they want their employees to exemplify.
Additionally, strong leaders know to place emphasis on building social capital, and will encourage their employees to build strong interpersonal relationships, a habit which becomes essential on teams thrown together at the last minute.
Step 2: Provide Strong HR Support
There are two important ways HR can help facilitate the formation of effective collaborative teams. First, HR can play an active role in training for skills related to collaborative behavior at the outset. Second, HR can provide support for informal community building.
Teams can benefit from being properly trained in practicing collaborative habits, from conflict resolution to productive communication. Additionally, having a support network that actively encourages employees to come together can make a significant difference in your team’s ability to effectively collaborate. From providing internal social networks to sponsoring group events, HR’s involvement in facilitating collaborative teams is crucial.
Step 3: Identify a Strong Team Leader
You don’t need to be a genius to figure out that a strong team doesn’t exist without a strong leader at the helm. Harvard Business Review found that the most productive, innovative teams were the ones led by leaders who were oriented equally around building relationships and accomplishing tasks.
Having a leader who can decisively (and concisely) explicate team goals and outline the steps to achieve said goals is important on a collaborative team. However, it’s just as important to have a team leader who, once said goals have been identified, can focus on relationship building and strategize how best to unite team members to combine their talents to reach those goals in the most innovative, collaborative way possible.
Collaboration in the workplace is essential to success, but as technology evolves and the workplace becomes more complex, it can be difficult to collaborative effectively and efficiently. To learn more about building a collaborative team that functions in harmony, check out PGi’s eBook Teamwork Makes the Dream Work.
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