Build a more collaborative team with these three tips

What good is a team without collaboration?  Do you even have a team or is it just a bunch of independent people working towards individual goals?

When you have a team that fully collaborates, then you have a group of workers who are united and motivated to complete one common goal.  When you have a team that struggles to collaborate—whether they don’t have the right tools or the right mindset—then you have a business that’s in chaos, because you have a bunch of random people with a bunch of random goals headed towards a random future.

So what does it take to be fully collaborative?  To have a team that works together, effectively communicates, and shares the same goal?

You need the technology.

Without the right tools, collaboration is possible but extremely difficult.  And if you expect to be competitive, then you definitely cannot go without the necessary tools for collaboration.  These tools would include a team management application like Trello or Asana to track projects and tasks, multiple communication platforms like instant messaging, emailing, and video conferencing to keep your team connected, and mobile file-sharing applications and productivity suites like Dropbox and Office 365 to keep your team on the same page.

You need the leadership.

You can’t have a good team if you don’t have the right style of leadership present in your organization, especially when you’re dealing with Millennials.  Everyone in upper leadership must be open to communication—good or bad—and must be willing to work just as hard and just as much as any other employee.  Bad leadership will negatively influence how well employees interact with one another because bad leadership usually indicates bad culture and bad culture has the tendency to create a hostile working environment.

You need the training.

How are team members supposed to act like a team if they don’t know how to?  It’s a legitimate question even though it might not seem like it.  Shouldn’t people learn about teams in elementary school?  They should and typically they do, but as people age and undergo a variety of life circumstances, they start to see teamwork differently.  And if you have a bunch of team members who all see teamwork differently, then you will have a disorganized team, poor communication, and, consequently, a lack of collaboration.  To avoid this, you need to establish some type of training—whether it’s a monthly business book that everyone is required to read or an off-site team building exercise.  It doesn’t have be too elaborate or too expensive, as long as you do something.