Businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to foster team collaboration. Their challenges include getting team members to know each other better, eliminating competition, and improving communication within departments as well as between individual employees. The scope of these challenges will only grow as more businesses expand to multiple locations or go completely remote.
Collaboration has long been a distinguishing feature of high-performing organizations. Many companies encouraged it by tearing down cubicle walls and forcing employees to work in a shared space. Although this strategy was successful in some cases, many employees felt hampered. Businesses can become a collection of competing silos and individuals when collaboration and team skills are lacking. Let us now take a look at the most common issues that affect team collaboration.
Common team collaboration challenges
- 1. Lack of trust among team members
The foundation of success is mutual trust among team members. A toxic culture is created when there is a lack of trust. Team collaboration and communication become much more difficult, and the team is likely to disband entirely.
However, trust does not happen by itself. It must be nurtured as colleagues get to know one another and form bonds. It also necessitates proper growing conditions.
If your team is experiencing trust issues, there are things you can do.
- You can set the tone for the team’s work, so avoid micromanagement. Instead, put your faith in the team to solve problems together.
- Establish clear roles and expectations, so everyone understands who is in charge of what tasks and when.
- Become a good listener and encourage others to follow your example.
- Poor communication
- Team failure is frequently caused by ineffective or poor communication. A colleague who acts independently and does not share information decreases the productivity of the entire team. Similarly, poor communication harms morale and leads to conflict and tension.
Communication with distributed teams, common in many workplaces, now requires more effort. Transparent communication is even more important when team members are no longer in the same building. However, digital technology has made it easier to maintain open communications no matter where you are.
Here are some pointers to help you overcome the possibility of poor communication.
- Identify communication channels and expectations from the start.
- Try instant messaging to resolve simple queries quickly. Track progress with weekly virtual or in-person stand-ups.
- Distribute written records of team meetings that identify any action points.
- 3. Role confusion
Mistrust and chaos in team collaboration are caused by overlapping responsibilities or confusion about specific roles. This impacts the team’s cohesion and ability to function. Take the following steps to overcome the challenge of role confusion.
- Make sure that each team member has clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
- The entire team should be informed about each function.
- You must then monitor progress to ensure that members are performing their assigned duties.
- Interpersonal conflict
One of the most common challenges in team collaboration is disagreements and personality clashes. The golden rule for you is not to ignore these disagreements. Putting your head in the sand and hoping it goes away will not solve the problem. It’s also not a good idea to play the blame game of determining who is to blame. You should instead take the initiative and focus on improving working relationships. Here are some suggestions for resolving interpersonal conflict.
- Take advantage of the opportunity to reinforce both acceptable and unacceptable team behaviors.
- Encourage team members to take personal responsibility for their problems. This entails them figuring out how to work effectively together again.
- Conduct regular behavior reviews to avoid future personality conflicts.
- Tackling poor performance
Poor performance is another issue that must be addressed in team collaboration. Turning a blind eye to performance issues will only demotivate the entire team. So, do not put off having those difficult conversations with people. Below are some best practices for managing poor performance.
- Contact the team member as soon as possible.
- Be encouraging and supportive. Identify instances when performance has been excellent.
- Establish specific goals, objectives, and timetables for improvement. Review and monitor progress together regularly.
- Over-dependence on the team leader
It can be difficult to let go as a team leader at times. It is tempting to maintain control over even minor details. While it is tempting to do everything yourself, this mindset affects team collaboration.
- Master the art of delegation. Examine your responsibilities to see which ones you can delegate to others. This not only frees you to focus on strategic issues, but it also helps to develop the team’s skill set.
- Encourage the team to devise solutions to problems. Rather than dictating what must be done, you can empower your teams and encourage autonomy.
- Poor work environment
Teams must have the right team collaboration tools in place to be effective. This entails having the necessary hardware and software to complete the task. It could be project and task management software, or file-sharing and intranet communications. It could also imply having a quiet place to work and meet. Having quality communication devices and methods, as well as clear protocols to support collaboration, is essential for virtual teams.
To overcome this, use Clariti software. Using Clariti, you can combine emails, chats, cloud storage, social feeds, and other communication channels into one context-based messaging platform. That, too, happens automatically in real-time without your active intervention.
- Ineffective team meetings
Unnecessary, time-wasting, and ineffective meetings are common complaints among team members. Employees can become irritated when their valuable time is diverted from more productive tasks. Regular team meetings are, of course, essential for communication and project management. However, the following suggestions will help ensure that your meetings are productive.
- Plan ahead of time. Consider whether the meeting is truly necessary. If the answer is yes, create an agenda and list the goals you want to achieve. Clariti has a “Calendar” feature where you can schedule calls with participants.
- Use effective time management. Keep discussions on track by summarizing outcomes and next steps.
- Following each meeting, distribute notes summarising action items and individual responsibilities.
- Regularly review your meetings. Ask participants for their thoughts on team meetings regularly.
- Lack of engagement
Team members can become disengaged at times. They might have lost sight of the team collaboration goals. Alternatively, the group may have become fragmented and divided into various factions. It is difficult to get the team to work together again.
However, changing things up and learning something new as a group is often beneficial. If there is a lack of engagement or team spirit, team collaboration activities may be beneficial. There are options suitable for both virtual and in-person settings. Furthermore, these are a great way to break the ice for new teams that are meeting for the first time.
A lack of team collaboration within an organization can impact its overall success. That is why, to achieve an effective collaboration environment, it is important to understand the team collaboration challenges that you may face and try to overcome them.
So far, we have discussed the difficulties with team collaboration and how to overcome them. But make sure that even a successful team requires the assistance of a reliable team collaboration tool like Clariti, which allows you to keep your team together in one place.
Clariti is a powerful team collaboration tool that takes users from direct to content-rich messaging. Clariti’s subject chat transforms how work itself is done. In Clariti, related emails, calls, documents, social feeds, and even to-dos can be part of a content-rich subject chat, eliminating the need to open other apps. Why are you still waiting? Try Clariti now for free!
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