Working together effectively as a team is, obviously, great for the business, but it also helps give team members a sense of purpose, belonging and satisfaction at work, increasing employee retention. Here are three ways you can encourage collaboration within your team.
Nurture an open work environment
True collaboration needs to happen in an environment where team members feel comfortable communicating openly. In meetings, give team members space to ask questions and provide feedback. Demonstrate honest and productive communication as a leader by clearly setting expectations, being transparent, and hearing out team members when they have input or disagree with your decisions.
Build team relationships
Working together is a lot easier when – surprise, surprise – you like the people you’re working with. Strengthening interpersonal relationships within your team goes a long way towards encouraging collaboration.
Building relationships takes time and doesn’t just happen over the occasional team-bonding exercise. As a manager, work in time each week to connect with individual members of your team on a one-to-one basis and set up time for your team members to connect with each other.
Encourage personal connection beyond the daily tasks of your team and show that you care about your team members’ lives outside the office, too. Even simple social interactions such as coffee runs and team lunches help create a happy team over time! In the Canto office, we often initiate social activities inside and outside the office, including coffee, juice and boba runs, yoga classes and happy hours, in addition to our team quarterly celebrations.
Use technology to connect your team
Whether your team is distributed or not, it’s easy to get stuck working in silos rather than cohesively as a unit. Using cloud-based technologies that anyone can access from anywhere with an internet connection helps your team work together, no matter where they are. If your team is distributed, turning on the video during conference calls can help remote team members get ‘face time.’
For teams that work in the same physical space, it’s still useful to have centralized platforms that team members can access for information and project management. Have one source of truth for project timelines and tasks and one for all of your brand assets and files so your team can stay on the same page and prevent crossed wires.
For example, Inspirato uses Canto to store all of their visual assets. Instead of spending time figuring out what assets they have or where certain assets are, the team now focuses on how they can use their assets creatively to achieve their goals.
“Canto helped us create a culture of self-service and meaningful collaboration,” said Joe Rahim, digital asset manager at Inspirato. “It democratized all of our content: everybody can see it quickly, understand what we have, and download it in a variety of different sizes and formats according to what they need.”
To learn more about how Canto enables collaboration, watch this recorded webinar.