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4 Min. Read

What Is Team Collaboration & 5 Strategies to Promote It

What Is Team Collaboration & 5 Strategies to Promote It

Team collaboration is a central tenet of business success for many small businesses. Here’s how to improve collaboration in your team.

Many companies pride themselves on having a collaborative culture. That positive team relationship is definitely not automatic. It takes time and consistent effort to nurture in your team.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What Is Team Collaboration?

5 Strategies to Promote Teamwork

Key Takeaways

What Is Team Collaboration?

Team collaboration is the ability for a group of individuals to work on a common task or goal. It differs slightly from teamwork where there is typically a hierarchy within the team. Collaboration is on an equal playing field from the beginning as the teammates work together. Collaboration requires three central principles:

  1. Excellent Communication SkillsYou can’t create a collaborative atmosphere without a solid way to communicate between individuals. Or even departments if you are trying to foster cross-team collaboration.
  2. Respect For DiversityThis sounds broad and vague. That’s intentional. Your team must be mindful of each other’s differences in every aspect to make collaboration work. That could be background, education level, working styles, idea creation, strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Emotional IntelligenceCommunicating well and respecting diversity of personhood and thought requires emotional intelligence. At the crux, this is how any team can get along.

5 Strategies to Promote Team Collaboration

1. Identify Individual Strengths

All individuals have strengths and weaknesses in certain areas of the project you’re working on. Some people are more naturally creative than others. Some people are born problem solvers. If you have a multi-talented team, strengths could lie in the technical aspects of the work too.

Knowing the strengths of each teammate will help in the way the team collaborates. For this tip to work, the employee needs to know their strengths as well as the rest of the team. Delegating tasks is much easier once this is out in the open.

2. Use Technology To Aid Team Collaboration

Smooth team collaboration is much easier with a good online system. There are plenty of online workspaces and productivity systems to help with collaboration.

At FreshBooks, all of our plans come with client and team collaboration tools. These make communication and file sharing between teammates far simpler.

3. Get To Know Each Other

Break the ice! Creating a collaborative work culture means making the environment more friendly. Employees who are naturally comfortable with each other will gravitate to working with each other on projects and tasks. A team that knows and likes each other will also support each other more. Say if someone is struggling with time management. A close collaborative team will be able to support that person. They can find solutions together to achieve common goals.

Breaking the ice could be as simple as introducing everyone to each other. In some company cultures, activities and team outings are a fun way to build teamwork. Do what works for your team and your business.

4. Set Goals For Your Team

Clear goal setting helps any team feel confident working together. If everyone on the team knows their role and the goal, collaboration is much smoother.

Communicate team goals on a weekly basis and have a way of tracking progress. That could be as simple as a Gantt chart or an online productivity system.

The key here is clarity. As a leader, you want to make the goals explicitly clear to everyone in the team for the best results.

5. Encourage Open and Honest Feedback

Finally, transparency in teams is so incredibly important. Fostering an environment of honesty allows for any issues to be addressed quickly and professionally.

Ask open and inviting questions when doing project check-ins with your team. Encourage everyone to have their honest say without any judgement. When introducing someone new to the team, keep this in mind too. You want all team members to feel comfortable being honest with you and each other.

Key Takeaways

Having a collaborative team environment is great for any workplace. It’s a better environment to work in. It’s also a more productive atmosphere where staff members don’t feel isolated with tasks. Ultimately, you can expect more productivity, time management and employee satisfaction from a collaborative workplace culture.

For more guides like this one, check out our resource hub!