Collaboration and team work are critical points for businesses to address as 98% of connected employees collaborate with one another.
What is the Difference Between Team Work and Collaboration?
Although the result of successful collaboration and team work are often very similar, the two terms must be differentiated. Both team work and collaboration occur when a group works collectively towards a common goal. Their difference is that successful collaboration depends on collectively sharing the workload, while effective team work depends on individuals completing tasks separately.
Teams contain members who each have particular roles that contribute to the overall established team objective. An example of successful team work is a sports team, each team member has their own position but they all have the same common goal in mind- to win the game as a team.
With each individual responsible for playing their own position, it is important for there to be a designated leader and main point of contact. Effective team work is highly dependent on strong leadership to ensure each individual is working most efficiently towards the team's objective. In the example of a sports team discussed above, the leader would be a coach or team captain.
In the workplace, leadership would likely be a person who holds a management position. For specific projects, a project manager may lead the collaborative effort. Project managers share information, engage in problem solving, and find the best way for their team to come together. Whoever occupies the leadership position of a team is responsible for the entire team reaching their goal.
Control is essential in team work and leaders must hold the team members accountable for their separate responsibilities. It is not important that team members get along with one another because they are completing their tasks independently from one another. A group that is delayed when a team leader is not present is indicative of team work, not collaboration.
Collaboration among teams must brainstorm and work together to reach their goals. In collaboration, there is no designated leader responsible for the completion of the project. Instead, each individual is willing to step up in order to help other individuals when needed.
While control is essential to teamwork, flexibility is essential to collaboration. Leadership is based on flexibility because leaders are only designated when necessary for the entire group's efficiency. Possessing developed communication skill and teamwork skill are both indispensable to an effective team collaboration skill set.
Any leadership role that is taken during collaboration is easily resigned or passed to another person when it becomes more effective for the group. Collaborative team efforts require team members to be in a united state and to find the best way to come together in order help their team get work done.
During the collaboration, individuals must possess strong emotional attachments to the end goal of the group. This attachment will allow for individuals to commit to achieving the goal together.
While in team work it is not important that the team members get along with one another, in collaboration it is essential that individuals respect and believe in one another to function most efficiently as a group. A group that immediately pushes forward regardless of which individuals are present is indicative of successful collaboration.
How to Improve Employee Team Work and Collaboration at Work
Business leaders should actively work to improve their employee team work and collaboration in the workplace. Although collaboration and team work are different, there are tips that can be used to improve them both. Tips to improve employee team work and collaboration at work include-
Foster leadership- In order to effectively manage others, you must be able to effectively manage yourself. Possessing self-confidence and determination in your abilities will organically encourage team members or individuals you collaborate with to not only trust but also respect your leadership skills.
Make sure your determination does not appear arrogant or performative. It is much more practical to demonstrate your expertise and qualifications through your own work ethic. If you or your employees struggle with developing leadership skills, consider investing in a leadership training course or attending a conference.
Communicate more efficiently- 57% of employees feel they are not provided clear directions. On the other hand, 69% of managers feel uncomfortable communicating with their own employees.
This is clearly an issue that is vital to address to maximize both team work and collaboration in the workplace. Improved communication will assist employees engaging in both team work and collaboration to interact more clearly in order to reach their end goal.
Clearly communicated expectations minimize misunderstandings, provide direction, and prevent both potential disputes and errors. Established effective communication protocol will limit communication gaps and considerably improve both your business's collaboration and team work potential.
Invest in collaboration software- 83% of workers rely on technology to collaborate effectively. Especially if team members or collaborators geographically reside in different locations, investing in proper team collaboration software will considerably increase team productivity.
Whether your team or collaboration is remote or in-person, your employees can get work done together and boost both your business's productivity and creativity with the help of collaboration software.