There are few things more detrimental to the success of a company than having employees that refuse to work together. Sometimes it starts out as just one employee that is unhappy with an issue, but that often affects how others in the organization feel. It’s something that can destroy the corporate culture and morale. Fortunately, there are ways to foster cooperation and team collaboration. This is important because failure to do so can lead to lower productivity and even issues related to workplace safety. The goal of developing a more cooperative team has many benefits, including increased productivity. When team members are cooperative, it inevitably has an impact on the bottom line.
The process of building a team that works well together starts with communication. Technology makes team communication so easy that there isn’t a reason why it can’t happen. However, it’s not just communication between team members, it’s also communication from the leadership team. It’s imperative to ensure everyone understands the expectations of all stakeholders. In fact, communicating the mission, vision and values of the company is a great start because that should include the way in which each team member communicates with others. By clarifying what’s expected, you can hold individuals accountable for their actions without getting into trouble from a legal perspective.
There’s something about having a common goal that can help to build cooperation. By establishing clear and measurable goals that involve each team member, you are providing everyone with achievable wins that can be reviewed on a regular basis and even celebrated. It’s amazing how focusing on an end goal has a way of developing momentum in the right direction. This process requires you to meet with the team on a regular basis to assess the strategy and progress. The number of times you meet in a given week, month or quarter depends entirely on the project timeline. What’s important during this process is being completely and totally transparent. In fact, every member of the team should be held to that same standard. This is actually a way to build camaraderie and cooperation.
One of the biggest problems that companies face is failing to leverage the strengths of each team member. Sometimes internal politics and bureaucracy prevent this from happening. If it’s at all possible, it’s best to find out about the strengths of team members through personality testing. Through advancements in technology, there are many available resources. While some leaders may not value online resources for personality testing, many understand just how convenient and powerful they can be when it comes to understanding your team. Even better, they will understand each other, which can help with building cooperation.
Cultivating a collaborative team doesn’t mean everyone has to be friends. It just means that a high level of professionalism is expected. When each team member is held to the same standard, there won’t be a feeling of favoritism or unfairness. The team will soon come to realize that it’s simply about achieving a common goal and focusing on their purpose for being there.