Guest post by Jane Hurst, http://www.lifehack.org/author/jane-hurst & https://blog.getresponse.com/author/jane-hurst
If your startup involves a team, you need to make sure that you are using various strategies to improve team collaboration. Your team is essential to your business, but if everyone isn’t on the same page at all times, there is not going to be a lot of productivity. Each member of your team is a part of the whole, and if everyone isn’t collaborating at every step of the way, the team could very well end up falling apart. Let’s take a look at eight strategies you can use to improve collaboration in your startup.
1) Build Trust
Your team is virtually a group of strangers, so it is going to take time for everyone to get to know and trust one another. You can help this along by having your team take part in various activities that will help them get to know each other, and trust in each other’s work. For instance, plan some team-building activities, both in and out of the office, so everyone can get to know each other on a more personal level.
2) Teach them How to Collaborate
Many people don’t really understand how to collaborate, and it may be something that your team has to learn. This isn’t going to happen overnight, but there are things you can do to speed up the process, including having them take part in activity-based training courses together, role-playing (trying each other’s jobs), and using a variety of collaboration tools.
3) Create a Comfortable Space
Your team needs to have a space where they can work together comfortably. If they are working in a cramped conference room, it won’t be long before tempers begin to flare. While they do need to work together, every member of your team needs to have his or her own space. Make sure the team area also has a lot of white board space for notes and ideas.
4) Create Conflict
Believe it or not, conflict is necessary in order to be productive. Through conflict come some pretty great ideas. Your team may argue at first, but if they have been given the proper tools and skills, they will learn to trust each other’s ideas, and even if they don’t agree, they can work together to straighten out any conflicts and be more productive.
5) Help them to Connect
It is important for your team to be able to connect with one another in order to collaborate effectively. Make sure that you give them all of the tools that they need to be able to do this. For instance, you can use HD video conferencing to ensure that all team members, even remote workers, can be together at meetings.
6) Teach a Growth Mindset
Your team needs to be able to believe that they can grow and prosper, and in order for them to believe this, you may need to teach them a growth mindset. This is what gives people the drive to get things done and get past any obstacles that might be in their way. They will get out of their regular roles and learn how to make changes in their careers so they can grow.
7) Create a Team Charter
Once you have gotten your team together and they have gotten to know each other better, it is time to create a team charter. This is an outline of the team’s purpose, goals, and roles that each team member is supposed to play in order to achieve the goals of your startup.
8) Offer Executive Support
The team is a representation of the company’s top executives, so it is important that they receive executive support. As an executive, it is your responsibility to support their social relationships, show that you can also take part in the collaborating, and create a “gift culture”, which is where employees actually get something out of their interactions with both executives and colleagues.