How Successful Teams Collaborate in the Digital Workplace

cloud-tools

“U.S. team members waste up to 9 work weeks per year trying to collaborate on projects using an average of 4 partial tools” *

These days, most employees have to act as project managers by coordinating and communicating with multiple people on multiple projects. The problem is, most employees are not project managers, and they do not have the time or expertise needed to manage team communication.

Teams in today’s complex and fast moving business environment thrive when they mutually understand when, where, and how to successfully collaborate with each other. With an increasingly mobile workforce and more dispersed teams, employees rely more on technology as a support system, but the way this technology is utilized makes all the difference. It is up to companies to supply, setup, and support employees in their quest for the most successful day to day communication.

Many companies are providing employees with one tool for communicating, planning tasks, and managing resources in order to streamline collaboration and remove the burden employees feel when trying to figure it out on their own. The all-in-one collaboration tool is quickly becoming the go-to solution to the new digital workplace.  And here’s why:

Better accessibility and visibility – A survey by PGi found that 79% of knowledge worker respondents had the ability to work remotely at least one day a week. So with remote work on the rise, it is more import than ever for companies to empower employees to work how and where they choose.

A tool that offers a wide variety of features is the most ideal for remote workers because it’s versatile enough to meet their needs, but structured enough so that all communication is centralized. So, each employee is given the freedom to choose how they utilize the tool, yet there is still some control over where all communication is accessed. It’s a win-win situation for managers and employees.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

Scalability – It is important to consider how a tool or a process can support a company as it grows. There are many companies who grow so rapidly that the tools they implemented early on can no longer support their new operational demands.

Most all-in-one tools allow companies to easily scale from a startup to a large corporation. They offer the utmost flexibility and versatility for growth.

Save time –  IT departments will celebrate with the time they save in technology support and maintenance. They will only have to deploy and ramp up a single tool and dealing with one vendor also reduces the time spent contacting customer support departments.

HR departments can join in on the celebration because one tool means a streamlined and simplified onboarding process as well as a faster learning curve for new employees.

Saving all this valuable time means saving money too!

Happy collaborating!

5 Videos Showing the True Power of Teamwork

 

We all know how important teamwork is in business. We hear it all the time. And, all the most successful businesses in the world seem to have it mastered. But to truly master it ourselves, we have to understand what teamwork really means.

Straight out of dictionary.com (because my paperback now lives at Goodwill), teamwork is a cooperative or coordinated effort from a group of people who are acting toward a common cause. Some other words which describe teamwork are: collaboration, unity, harmony, participation, partnership, and synergy.

So, with these terms fresh on your mind. Let’s discover the many different ways teamwork is demonstrated.

The following videos show the true power of teamwork, carried out in very different ways.

 

1. This time lapse of a huge barn being built over just a few hours, really captures the harmony that results from amazing teamwork.

 

2. A man’s life was saved from the quick thinking of one person and the help of many others to carry out the rescue plan. This demonstrates how important a clear purpose is to success. Everyone knows what they need to do to help.

 

3. An athlete who is struggling with her studies, while in training gets some much needed help and support from her friends. This kind of teamwork demonstrates camaraderie and having each other’s back. Helping just to help.

She says, “If you want to go fast you go alone, but if you want to go far you have to go as a group”.

 

4. A marching band gets creative and works in unity to perform this awesome display. Their coordination is very impressive!

 

5. Great teamwork occurs all the time in the animal kingdom and sometimes it could mean the difference between life and death. This video, called “Battle at Kruger” shows a struggle between a pride of lions, a herd of buffalo, and 2 crocodiles at a watering hole in South Africa after a baby buffalo is attacked. The herd of buffalo stand strong together in their common cause of saving the young victim.

 

 

10 Quotes Proving Collaboration Drives Business

People playing with tangled string

Image Source: Getty Images

 

“Collaboration is the best way to work. It’s the only way to work, really. Everyone’s there because they have a set of skills to offer across the board.” – Antony Starr, actor

People are the heart and center of every business. People working together and applying their individual experience and creativity to team and company goals will drive a business forward. Every interaction that takes place is an opportunity for change, growth, and innovation.

 

“Effective collaboration is about maximizing time, talent and tools to create value. The old way was the pass-along approach. I do my job and then pass along my work product to you.” – Evan Rosen, author The Culture of Collaboration

Effective teamwork is so valuable. It is the new competitive advantage, which all successful businesses have mastered. Leaders need to dedicate themselves to enabling their people. The result will be greater efficiency all around.

 

“Politeness is the poison of collaboration” – Edwin Land, cofounder of the Polaroid Corporation

People struggle to be honest and polite at the same time. It is challenging to be graceful about delivering negative feedback, but it is so important to address the negative along with the positive. When a company values transparency and honest communication, it allows collaboration to happen naturally. By rewarding honesty and making people feel safe, they can be their authentic selves without worrying about possible consequences.

 

“The purpose of life is to collaborate for a common cause; the problem is nobody seems to know what it is.” – Gerhard Gschwandtner CEO of Selling Power

It is so important to relentlessly communicate vision and goals because people who collaborate without understanding “why” waste precious time and energy. Leaders need to link everyday actions back to overall goals, so people understand their true purpose.

 

“Peering succeeds because it leverages self-organization—a style of production that works more effectively than hierarchical management for certain tasks.”― Don Tapscott, author Wikinomics

Whenever possible, allow people to work autonomously. When people are really in control of their work, they are more accountable and driven to perform. Within a team environment that is more flexible, people can discover their preferred work style. A style which allows them to be the most creative and productive.

 

“Training often gives people solutions to problems already solved. Collaboration addresses challenges no one has overcome before.” ― Marcia Conner, author The New Social Learning

Every time people come together to share ideas and tackle problems, growth and innovation can happen. Every problem a business encounters is an opportunity, but people must come together and ask the right questions in order to discover and exploit the opportunities that come along.

 

“The secret is to gang up on the problem, rather than each other.” — Thomas Stallkamp, Former Executive from Chrysler Corporation

Culture plays a huge role in employee moral. A collaborative culture takes the focus away from all the politics which tend to divide people, like job titles, seniority levels, and favoritism.

 

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” — Andrew Carnegie, Scottish American Industrialist

Alignment within a complex business is not a random occurrence that happens out of chance or luck. It takes a lot of work to get the right people, working on the right projects, toward the right goals. But, it is worth the effort because alignment is a prerequisite for effective collaboration.

 

“After mutual respect and understanding are achieved, it is possible to establish real, sincere relationships, which is the foundation of a solid long-term collaboration.” ― Ron Garan, author The Orbital Perspective

Team building is a great way to bring people together to form stronger relationships. Activities which don’t focus on performance outcomes, help people open up so they can grow to understand each other on a deeper, more personal level.

 

“The organizations of the future will increasingly depend on the creativity of their members to survive. Great Groups offer a new model in which the leader is an equal among Titans. In a truly creative collaboration, work is pleasure, and the only rules and procedures are those that advance the common cause.” – Warren Bennis, author and American Scholar on Leadership

When structure is kept to a minimum, there is more freedom for creative energy to thrive. Some rules, policies, and procedures might be necessary to maintain accountability and order, but stipulations can get in they way and slow you down. We live in a fast-paced world and flat organizations are becoming more and more common, so try to be as flexible as possible.