Tempo logotype
6 min read

How to promote superb team collaboration in the workplace

Optimize work processes and produce superior project outcomes by learning to nurture a work environment that supports effective team collaboration.
From Team '23

Tempo Team

A successful project hinges on the ability of individuals to work together. But team collaboration doesn’t happen spontaneously. Team building requires you to find strength in diversity and unite peers into partners who are dedicated to achieving a common goal. 

As the project manager, fostering a collaborative workplace is essential, especially as more organizations embrace remote and hybrid work models. You must apply soft skills and know the proper time to deploy strategies and tools. Working collaboratively drives productivity and cultivates a strong company culture that benefits everyone.

What is team collaboration?

Collaboration means working together on a project, process, or concept to deliver a better outcome than any group member could on their own. It’s more than just sharing the workload; teammates contribute their unique perspectives and skills to find better solutions to shared problems. 

You might assume teamwork means avoiding conflict, but nothing could be further from the truth. People working collectively should be encouraged to challenge viewpoints and confront the status quo. It may ruffle feathers, but disagreements are necessary for innovation and growth. 

The project manager is responsible for turning friction into productivity and responding with empathy, ensuring the team maintains their dedication to a mutual goal. 

9 reasons team collaboration produces better project outcomes

As a project manager, there’s a lot on your plate. You don’t have time to babysit. Besides, these are professional adults. They should be responsible for motivating themselves. Right? 

Wrong. When surveyed, 86% of executives and team members cited a lack of collaboration as the cause of workplace failures. A project manager must establish a collaborative team that works toward a common goal for the project’s and the company’s benefit. 

Harnessing the power of the collective allows you to get the most from your coworkers’ ideas and efforts. The result is a top-quality outcome that would be impossible to generate in isolation. Here are nine benefits of team collaboration: 

1. The power of many vs. the power of one

Coworkers team up for projects because they’re too complex or extensive for a single person, but teamwork is about more than just sharing a heavy workload. Companies that look beyond group work to foster a collaborative effort can more effectively leverage the expanded skill set of a cross-functional team. The result is better outcomes and shorter production times. 

2. Democratizes team processes

Team members work together more effectively when they have transparency regarding team roles, project details, and goals. They know who to approach for answers to specific questions. When issues inevitably arise, the entire team can contribute to the solution.

3. Improves brainstorming results

When teams build trust through collaboration, they feel safe sharing ideas. This freedom is integral to constructive problem-solving. The social aspect of a collaborative team improves critical thinking, encouraging creative problem-solving even in virtual and hybrid work environments.

4. Faster completion means greater achievement

Because working collaboratively solves problems faster, the group can reallocate time toward accomplishing project stretch goals.

5. Optimizing instead of controlling

When teammates collaborate effectively, project management doesn’t need to micromanage. Instead, you can focus on big-picture activities like optimizing processes, improving quality, and encouraging innovation.

6. Improves morale

Collaboration establishes constructive relationships among employees. Employees who work well together tend to be happier, and happiness translates to increased efficiency and productivity

7. Builds trust

When coworkers and clients see your team working like a well-oiled machine, it generates confidence in your abilities as a PM and helps them feel comfortable with your decisions. 

8. Improves communication

You can only collaborate when you communicate effectively. Collaborative groups share ideas, offer feedback, and keep their teammates in the loop, reducing miscommunications and boosting performance.  

9. Facilitates remote work

Operating in a digital workplace can lead to feelings of disconnection. When remote colleagues take time to build the social connections vital to successful collaborations, workers are better able to bridge the gap and feel more involved. 

How to achieve team collaboration: Best practices

Facilitating collaboration at work is challenging. It requires an environment conducive to collective effort, and that takes time and energy. No matter how effectively management fosters a collaborative work atmosphere, there will always be potential for improvement. 

Implement the following best practices to achieve and continuously improve your team collaboration practices:

Clear communication

Communication is the cornerstone upon which you’ll build team collaboration. Accessible leadership that interfaces with coworkers creates an environment of trust that contributes to progress. But it requires work on multiple fronts.

Because everyone dialogues in their own way, you must adapt to the communication needs of remote and in-house workers. Start by opening multiple communication channels, allowing the team to ask questions, brainstorm, and reach decisions collectively. Then, establish an open-door policy for yourself and other decision-makers to prompt feedback and dialogue. Be sure to include guidelines governing in-person and online conversations to ensure participants capture and share decisions and insights from these team discussions. 

Set common goals and objectives

Establish alignment behind the project’s goals and objectives. Start by working with the team to visualize successful collaboration and how it contributes to project success. From there, share plans and expectations, ensuring each member understands their role.

A firm grasp of project requirements and outcomes helps the unit manage the scope of discussions and decision-making. 

Establish individual roles

The project manager is responsible for confirming each team member understands their responsibilities and the roles of their colleagues. Equipping contributors with clarity ensures they complete their short and long-term assignments while avoiding duplicated efforts and missed deadlines. 

Walk the walk

It’s one thing to tell your project team to work together. It’s quite another to join the collaboration yourself. Lead through example by clarifying your performance expectations, remaining open to feedback, and contributing to the team’s communication channels through shared ideas, updates, and results.

Be open to new ideas

A productive partnership necessitates flexibility and a willingness to compromise, particularly when individuals have different perspectives. For project teams, this mindset starts at the top.

Model a collaborative team culture and motivate coworkers to share suggestions, critiques, and insights during team meetings. Discuss the ideas with the intent of implementation, including what they mean for the group – even if it requires a change in direction. 

Strengthen your team

Teams need trust and comfort to effectively collaborate, especially when operating from different locations. Help contributors build relationships by organizing events and icebreakers that boost employee engagement (e.g., a channel dedicated to the team’s favorite activities or virtual lunch dates).

Use collaboration tools

In the age of the digital workplace, project management and communication tools are must-haves for collaborative teams. A project management tool performs the following functions:

  • Establishes transparency through efficient communication channels and customized notifications

  • Allows members to communicate in real time and conduct ad hoc meetings to share knowledge, brainstorm, and problem-solve

  • Organize shared documents in a centralized location, providing team members with a single source of project truth

  • Offer visibility into team progress

Using Tempo for better team collaboration

It takes more than an intranet to help teams collaborate. Tempo offers communication and project management tools that support team building in a collaborative work environment. Tempo Strategic Roadmaps is a project mapping application that visualizes project plans, identifies priorities, and builds team alignment around common goals. Custom Charts for Jira creates informative reports outlining project progress and locating potential blockers. 

Tempo applications help you communicate effectively – the foundation for meaningful collaborative work and a productive team culture.