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How Effective Collaboration Skills Affect Your Business

Whether employees are in one location, dispersed across multiple locations, or part of a remote team, you need to have everyone on the same page and working together for your business to operate effectively. That’s why it’s important to develop your employees’ teamwork and collaboration skills.

Strong collaboration skills provide many benefits. They can increase innovation since they encourage everyone to share their ideas, explore new and interesting opportunities, and creatively solve problems. They also help build employees’ skills across the board by bringing diverse individuals together and allowing them to learn from one another.

Good teamwork increases employee satisfaction and retention as everyone feels valued and meaningful to the organization. Collaboration can even increase customer satisfaction and retention because employees can find solutions more quickly and efficiently.

What Teamwork Looks Like at Work

Teamwork and collaboration are key to keeping businesses running and keeping employees engaged.

Open communication is vital when setting up this type of atmosphere. Everyone needs to be encouraged to share and contribute their ideas, otherwise some voices might overshadow others. People who are more reserved may miss out on the chance to contribute their thoughts if others don’t ask for their input.

Agree on goals and processes. There needs to be consensus to ensure everyone is on the same page and working toward the same objective. Each team member should understand how the end goal will be achieved and what their role is in doing do.

Remain open-minded throughout the process. Everyone must be willing to listen to others’ ideas and practice active listening when people are sharing their insights. Things may change along the way and the team needs to be open to suggestions and ideas about how to move forward when challenges arise, instead of focusing on personal agendas.

Treat each other with civility and respect. The group as a whole must be responsible and reliable and should follow through on their commitments. If mistakes occur, work together to analyze problems without placing blame. Also, praise others and give credit where it’s due.

How to Foster A Collaborative Workplace

Employees thrive in situations that allow them to communicate freely and work together, so it’s crucial to cultivate that atmosphere in your workplace.

Look at individual team member strengths.
Leveraging their talents sets the team up for success by focusing on the positive rather than working around the negative (weaknesses).

Embrace diversity.
This is key to fostering a collaborative workplace. Having employees of varying skills, experience, backgrounds, and traits allows for an exchange of ideas and a variety of perspectives. Each viewpoint is valid and offers a unique look at how things should be accomplished.

Provide soft skills training.
Don’t assume everyone knows how to collaborate effectively when you hire them, or because they’ve been with your company for a while. They could have worked in varying places with different processes or be more of a solo worker. Take the time to bolster employees’ soft skills by offering training on collaboration and teamwork skills.

Celebrate when results are achieved.
Recognize team members that have helped complete a project, whether it’s in front of the group or the whole company. Attaching performance rewards and bonuses to collaborative efforts sends a positive message to team members about the value they have and the values that drive a business.

Improving Foundational Behaviors of Teamwork

While many think teamwork and collaboration are the same thing, there can’t be collaboration without the foundation of a strong team. Strong team members:

  • Understand each person’s strengths and talents on the team
  • See the connections between each of those strengths and how they relate to success
  • Use their knowledge of each other’s strengths to develop a plan, analyze the process and results, and direct their actions accordingly if challenges arise
  • Avoid or quickly resolve conflicts and have a positive, encouraging relationship

But it takes time and effort to build an effective team. Here are some ways to build stronger teams.

  • Allow employees the space to do what they do best.
  • Set goals that align with the company mission, vision, and purpose.
  • Define quality and what that looks like to the team.
  • Share best practices learned through experience and value other members’ ideas.
  • Openly discuss problems that have occurred and solutions for the future.

By developing strong teams and setting that foundation, employees will be better suited to collaborate with fellow workers in the future.

How Online Training Helps Build Collaboration Skills

Online training is quickly becoming the best way to teach employees some of the skills they need to do their jobs. Numerous studies have shown that online training is often more effective, and learners retain more information than with classroom training alone.

BizLibrary curates a large and diverse video training library with numerous courses focused on developing all types of teamwork and collaboration skills. Our micro video format breaks content up into smaller, more manageable chunks, making it easier for employees to learn and apply these skills on the job.

These online courses can be viewed on an individual basis – where an employee learns by themselves at work or at home – or as part of a group training environment or discussion.

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Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) came from a culture focused on getting the job done while maintaining the status quo. Departments were protective of their work and that made collaboration almost non-existent.

When new leadership came in, they were determined to develop a more compassionate, transparent, and collaborative workforce. They worked with an LMS provider but still had administrative challenges that kept them from building the collaborative environment they were after.

When TRWD switched to BizLibrary, they found an easy-to-use, intuitive platform that allowed employees to integrate learning into their day-to-day schedule.

TRWD’s training program, TRWD University, is primarily a voluntary resource – 89% of all course completions are elective, either from employees seeking knowledge on their own, or employees who have been tasked with addressing a skill gap.

By partnering with BizLibrary and creating a centralized hub for training, tracking, and managing their education, TRWD has helped transform their culture to one of engagement and collaboration through learning and development.

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