All managers struggle with team development. But one thing is for sure: If you want to take your team to the next level, you too have to be ready to grow as a person and as a professional. You have to grow as a manager for your team to grow. You have to inspire and motivate ordinary employees to chart their own paths in the corporate ladder, with the goal of leveraging their success and strengths to achieve your overall goals and objectives. With that in mind, here are five strategies you can apply to increase teamwork and collaboration in your company.
1. Dismantle the hierarchy
If you want to establish a strongly collaborative relationship with your employees it is crucial that you actively attempt to be perceived as a leader rather than a boss. An authoritative hierarchy creates an atmosphere of uncertainty and angst that heavily compromises worker motivation, satisfaction, and ultimately output productivity.
Therefore, let a little loose and show your workers that they are no subordinates , but individuals that you have confidently picked due to their commendable values, vision, ambitions and skills. Introduce a power dynamic that establishes you as an empathetic human first, who is willing to drop the formalities for a more respectable, enjoyable, and fundamentally liberal working environment. This is how you build your workers’ trust in you as a genuine leader, and in themselves as actual assets to your business, crucial for team building and most definitely sustainable growth.
2. Nurture leaders, not workers
Leaders are motivated, focused, and committed to every project they handle. They don’t just report to work because they need a paycheck at the end month. They report to work with goals in their mind; wanting to make a difference in their team projects, departments, organization, industry, and the world as a whole. They aren’t “the boss” per se, but they know how to take charge of every project they are in; you don’t need to push them around to get results. Leaders are facilitators too. They help other colleagues manage their time and company resources effectively. They are always ready to share their technical expertise for the benefit of other team members. They understand that as much as they could have a better scope or comprehension of a task at hand, their style might not always be the only way. That helps them accommodate varied opinions even when they have their reservations. Leaders will wait for your direction and approval, but they are never afraid to step in when called into action.
Leaders aren’t hired. They are nurtured. Focus on nurturing young recruits so that they can become leaders in their own small capacity.
3. Encourage frequent communication
Frequent communication is a necessity in any team. It is the tool that helps team members share ideas, overcome obstacles, pass instructions amongst themselves, and resolve conflicts. It eliminates duplicity in a team and enhances collaboration.
So, ensure that employees have regular in-person meetings and brainstorming sessions. Create break rooms at the workplace where workers from different departments meet for social chats. Invest in email and other virtual communication tools to enable virtual teams to collaborate effectively. Train them to use zip files when sharing big files via email, storing files in the cloud, and to sync documents across remotely-located devices for easier team collaboration.
4. Help members understand their role
Members of your team applied for the job because they had general ideas of what their roles entail. But general is never enough. You need to give each member an in-depth understanding of the company vision, team goals, and the role they play in actualizing the vision. Ensure that every new recruit understands how their role fits into the success of the team and company. Help each employee align their career goals with the team’s overall goals. When everyone knows what they are expected to do, you prevent duplicity of roles and create a cohesive team in which everyone respects each other’s contributions.
5. Develop strong conflict resolution mechanisms
It is wishful thinking to assume that all workers will work in harmony despite their diverse cultural and professional backgrounds, different ambitions, generational gaps, contrasting personalities, as well as religious and sexuality preferences. There will always be a couple employees who can’t seem to like each other and work together no matter how hard you try to build a cohesive team. That is why you need to liaise with the human resources department in resolving personal issues as they arise. Create an avenue through which employees can air out grievances and sort out their differences without fear of victimization.
Teamwork is a prerequisite to greater creativity, productivity, and effectiveness. It is a platform where individual talents collaborate to produce exceptionally high quality final products. And because you need to take the best final product to the market in order to get the much-needed competitive advantage, you have to do everything in your power to ensure that your team members are all on the same page no matter what.