7 Collaboration Problems in the Workspace + How to Solve Them

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

  1. 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.

    Solution

    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.

  2. Miscommunication Among Team Members

    Another major collaboration challenge 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. 

    Solution

    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. Remember that effective collaboration and seamless working relationships require effective communication, and it’s always better to nurture communication than to undermine it. So, by identifying the signs of communication issues and fixing them, you can decrease the problem of your team members. 

  3. 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 and clear communication at the right time, 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 teams are unclear on how to work together or why they need to collaborate, success is an unlikely outcome.

    Solution

    The first step towards an effective collaboration environment 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 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 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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  4. Endless Meetings

    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. Too much collaboration leads to dissatisfaction as there is not enough time in the day to finish all the tasks at hand.

    Solution

    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 and leads to timely completion of the tasks and projects. 

  5. Not Using the Right Team Collaboration Tools

    The numero uno disruptor of an effective collaborative 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. 

    Solution 

    The solution begins with determining your needs and requirements and the problems with your current tools. Make a list of features that you expect in an instant messaging tool; essentially these features must 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.

  6. Lack of Effective Employee Training

    Not everyone is a great communicator, including your new employees/teams, and you must not make the mistake of assuming. Effective collaboration requires certain skills and it is the management’s responsibility to impart the right skill-set. Not properly training individual employees, especially remote teams, can hinder employee morale and cause serious collaboration issues in the future. 

    Solution

    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. 

  7. 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. 

    Solution

    Being understanding and setting boundaries is a trait every project manager and team member must possess. 

    Managers must make sure to foster a supportive team dynamic where their individual 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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FAQs
Collaboration leads to transparency and identifying pain points in the workplace. By sharing ideas and getting feedback on them, team members can continue to focus with clarity ultimately increase productivity.
Not having common goals in the workplace, poor communication skills, lack of trust, internal competitive and blaming mentality, are some of the barriers to proper collaboration.
Collaborations fail because of the absence of a well-framed strategy, lack of right collaboration tools, ineffective planning, and improper training.

Conclusion

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. And that taking timely measures to treat the problem in the right way can lead to increased contentment and satisfaction of employees/teams.

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