What if we tell you that – ‘collaboration’ – something that’s stated as a reason behind massively successful business comes with its share of problems? High chances you won’t believe us, and that’s exactly why you need to read this today.
In this article, we are going to discuss some of the collaboration problems that workspaces face today and find better possible solutions to mitigate them so they don’t hinder the smooth running of the business.
If anything the past year (and current) has taught us, it is that collaboration in the workplace is vital for running efficient businesses. But not done right, collaboration problems can be of varying types and intensities.
Let’s look at 7 important collaboration challenges that we can fix today.
7 Collaboration Problems in the Workspace
Lack of Proper Strategy
One of the top employee collaboration challenges is failing to follow a strategy. As a business owner, if you think having many great minds work on a single project will lead to greater success, think again. When too many smart people collaborate, it leads to conflicting priorities and it is very easy to get sidetracked by the minute details in such cases.
Lack of opinion is bad but too many opinions (too many cooks, remember?) is never good. When employees are not clear about the outcome, more confusion and unnecessary meetings keep taking place.
To collaborate effectively, when a collaborative project commences it is always important to put stakeholders first. Methodical planning and a clear action plan, from the very beginning, can be the solution to this problem.
Miscommunication Among Team Members
One of the top collaboration challenges is miscommunication. Poor communication at the workplace is nothing but a disaster waiting to happen. Making sure that everyone on a team is on the same level of understanding is of vital importance.
Managers or team leaders need to make sure that everyone involved has the same level of understanding. If you are a team member, make sure to ask questions frequently when something is not up to your understanding.
Keep in mind that eradicating top collaboration challenges and smooth working flow requires efficient communication. And for this, it is recommended to provide and nourish communication channels. So, by identifying the signs of communication issues and fixing them, you can decrease the problem of your team members and thereby, make your project successful.
Different Working Styles of Team Members or Team Members not on the Same Page
The list of common challenges includes the fact that we are all different in the way we like to work. Some work better when they are alone while others are motivated by teammates. Without seamless communication at the right time and assessment of key performance indicators, conflicts and clashes are bound to arise.
As per Project Management Institute, 33% of projects fail because the team members are not on the same page. If proper guidelines regarding working together are not laid down well in advance and the reasons and importance of collaboration are unclear, there are high chances the project will suffer. If project teams are unclear on how to work together or why they need to collaborate, success is an unlikely outcome.
The first step towards effective collaborative environments is to make sure that the team members are on the same page. Project managers must be absolutely clear while delegating responsibilities so that each team member knows what is expected of them.
Only when all the other team members have the same level of knowledge and awareness of the processes, will they be able to work in sync. To ensure that, a knowledge base is an excellent solution.
A knowledge base will act as a hub or record of relevant information and a reference point containing all the necessary information including team work ethics, processes, and institutional knowledge that all team members must be familiar with. Right tools like CloudTutorial help you create just that. An excellent way to avoid miscommunication and misinterpretation, right?
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Imagine this. Showing up at work and taking a look at the work calendar only to realize you have back-to-back meetings scheduled the whole day with no room for any useful work to get done. Some people don’t have to imagine too much as it’s their reality. Forceful collaborative environments leads to dissatisfaction as there is not enough time in the day to finish all the tasks at hand.
Many companies have opted for a no-meeting day during the week. A day devoid of meetings means getting a significant amount of work done. This improves the productivity and efficiency of team members, leads to timely completion of the tasks, and makes the project successful.
Not Using the Right Team Collaboration Tools
The numero uno disruptor of an effective collaborative work environment is to not leverage the right collaboration tools or project management software. At best, you must discard tools that do not bring the team together. Email is great until the thread has 14543 messages and you start missing crucial emails or miss out on cc-ing the right people.
The solution begins with determining your needs and requirements and the problems with your current tools. Make a list of features and elucidate key performance indicators that you expect in an instant messaging tool. Essentially these aspects would bring you closer to your goals.
Finally, make a list of the top tools and zero down on the one that fits your needs the best. That’s how other teams grow. Not only this, but it is also important to apply the right strategies for team collaboration along with using tools.
Lack of Effective Employee Training
Not everyone is a great communicator, including your new project teams, and you must not make the mistake of assuming. Effective collaborative environments require certain skills and it is the management’s responsibility to impart the right skill-set. Inadequate training of employees, specifically those who are working remotely, can hamper individual morale and can lead to serious collaboration challenges in the near future.
Make sure your organization conducts effective training sessions to extend the right skills to the new employees and keeps polishing the skills of the old ones.
To improve collaboration and make the training process even more effective, make sure that your new employees understand your organization’s values, company ethics, and processes thoroughly. That doesn’t mean you need to overwhelm them on the first day of orientation.
That means you need to leverage a knowledge base that contains all the institutional knowledge of your company. New employees/ teams can refer to this resourceful hub at their own pace and will be better equipped to put forth their best results. Looking to create one? CloudTutorial is a great way to do just that.
Challenging Work-Life Balance of Top Performers
Many organizations and even small businesses, make collaboration their topmost priority, barring everything else, burnouts are, thus. bound to happen. Why?
Due to the intensive collaboration pressure, top performers (in a small business, this can be one person) and knowledge workers are required to perform (come up with big ideas, new solutions) even more than they already are.
This imbalance in workload and responsibilities being taken up by a few individuals means they are always in grind mode. This inevitably leads to burnout.
Being understanding and setting boundaries is a trait every project manager and team member must possess.
Project leaders must make sure to foster a supportive team dynamic where team members experience mutual respect. They must also encourage employees to feel comfortable expressing their vulnerabilities at the workplace. It is also vital to make sure everyone on the team is contributing equally. The onus of contribution must not lie on top performers alone and effective delegation plus proper planning is the key to that.
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With more and more organizations forced to go remote, it’s important to avoid common collaboration pitfalls for the smooth functioning of a workplace. In the end, it’s important to understand how the lack of collaboration or its ineffectiveness can harm an enterprise.
Taking timely measures to treat the problem in the right way can lead to increased contentment and satisfaction of employees. Sign up for FREE in CloudTutorial, a robust knowledge base platform, permitting you to create and share docs within teams to make their collaboration easy and effective
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