9 Collaboration Best Practices for 2023

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Written By Haisam Abdel Malak

About: Haissam is a digital software product manager with 15 years of expertise in developing enterprise content management solutions. His core capabilities encompass digital transformation, document management, records management, business process automation, and collaboration.

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Every successful business owner knows that the most critical success factor is having an effective collaboration between employees. To achieve this, a combination between implementing collaboration best practices and using the top collaboration tools has to exist to improve active engagement, brainstorming, and communicating.

Collaboration best practices are fostering open and transparent communication, establishing clear goals, cultivating a culture of trust, promoting diversity and inclusion, setting clear goals and responsibilities, establishing effective decision-making processes, and embracing technology.

Following the latest trends, implementing these guidelines, and clearly understand all the components of collaboration will help any organization to overcome the obstacles related to employees working together which will positively impact the overall business operations.

Let’s get started reviewing these top recommendations.

Collaboration Best Practices to Implement within your Team

It’s no secret that having an efficient team collaboration process will help your organization become more effective, foster innovation, and improve outcomes. However, creating such a culture is easier said than done, especially now that remote work is becoming increasingly common.

Based on our observations, the most agile and successful businesses we worked with have these practices in common that have shaped their entity and gave it the competitive edge. So, what do these workplaces have in common?

The most common collaboration best practices are:

1- Foster open and transparent communication

Collaboration is a two ways street. The parties involved need to be able to actively listen and engage to comfortably express their thoughts, ideas, and concerns openly. The ability to be an active listener plays a crucial role in becoming a better communicator and ensures that all team members understand different perspectives.

Organizations that are serious about improving their internal communication should encourage honest and constructive feedback which will help colleagues to identify areas of improvements, share knowledge, and succeed together.

If poor communication is the root of all evil, the question is: how we can change and communicate more efficiently? The answer would be by fostering transparent communication channels such as regular team meetings and digital collaboration platforms to facilitate the ability to deliver a message.

2- Establish clear goals and objectives

One of the most critical collaboration best practices is establishing clear goals and objectives for the team to be aligned with. Having several employees coming from different cultures with totally different personalities perform their best need to be coupled with having a very clear business objective to motivate them and stick them together.

When a team knows exactly what the higher management expects as outcome, this will indirectly make them better communicate and help each other’s to perform the job needed. In contrary, when the objectives are vague, colleagues will lose their sense of ownership and feel their job is not important.

3- Cultivate a culture of trust

Cultivating a culture of trust is a fundamental collaboration best practice for efficient teams. Think about trust as the glue that will hold team members together allowing them to rely on each other, take risks, and rest assured that no other team member is playing a dirty political game.

Brilliant leaders play a major role in building trust between team members by demonstrating integrity, honesty, and transparency in their actions. This will make colleagues know that their leadership want the best for them on the personal and professional level.

4- Promote diversity and inclusion

With the remote work being a norm these days, organizations should make sure that their team members have different backgrounds, skills, and perspectives to improve innovation and the problem-solving methods within the team.

Having diversified employees working together can be tricky at first, but when they start to build trust and get to know each other, this will impact positively how they deliver projects on time and budget in the highest quality possible.

The psychological safety and sense of belonging that are fostered by inclusive collaboration allow team members to express themselves freely and question received wisdom. It facilitates the removal of obstacles, fosters empathy, and develops a respect and understanding-based culture.

5- Set clear roles and responsibilities

Even if you have the best talented and most skillful employees working together without clearly stating the role and responsibilities for each one, the outcome will be average and most of them will feel frustrated.

The best way to make a team work together is by clearly defining the role for each member and make sure that they are comfortable executing the tasks that will be delivered to them. In addition, it enables effective delegation and task management as they can assign tasks based on each member’s strengths and weaknesses.

By establishing clear roles, team members have a shared understanding of who is responsible for what, leading to smoother collaboration, better coordination, and ultimately, successful project outcomes.

6- Enable fast access to information

One of the most important collaboration best practices that most people forget about is the ability to allow employees to retrieve information as quickly as possible. To make employees working together more efficient, they should have direct access to information to enable faster and more informed business decision.

By implementing efficient information retrieval systems, such as well-organized shared drives, centralized document repositories, or knowledge management platforms, this reduces the time spent searching for information and increases the time available for collaboration and problem-solving. It also minimizes the risk of miscommunication or misunderstandings due to incomplete or outdated information.

7- Embrace technology

In this digital age, it is very imperative to facilitate the communication between team members by adopting the most suitable digital communication platforms that will enable having online and virtual team meetings from anywhere in the world.

The latest pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation route for a big number of organizations and the main problem that they faced during this disruption is the inability for their employees to work and coordinate while working from home.

By automating internal procedures, this will make the coordination between employees more efficient and clearly explains the route for each process.

8- Create a judgment-free work environment

Create an environment at work where individuals feel comfortable attempting new ideas and having them not work out as planned. Encourage a retrospective mindset when someone makes a mistake or a project they are working on doesn’t turn out as expected. A fantastic method to foster trust and collaboration with your team is to demonstrate that it’s acceptable to attempt new things and have them fail.

Everyone benefits from working in an environment where team members can share knowledge and develop together. Employees will learn from personal and professional growth while the business sees great outcomes.

9- Encourage outside of work socialization

Another collaboration best practices that I personally was found guilty of not implementing during the first years of my professional experience is spending time with my colleagues outside of work to get to know them on the personal side.

Building such a relationship where most of colleague can share personal stories and adventures with each other will make you want to also create a success story with them in the professional career.

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