This article was submitted by guest blogger Sophia Katrina.
In this day and age of digital dependency, employees are more isolated than ever before, even if they are working in the same office. This might make you wonder if it’s still essential for bosses to foster teamwork and collaboration. It used to be that collaboration was one of the biggest factors that contributed to a business’s success—but is that still the case?
CSO at Tsunami ARVR Naresh Soni believes it still is, but there are a few key points that have changed the way teams collaborate. For remote workers, coming together as a team may require more effort, especially when it comes to coordinating travel times and managing travel costs. If you’re leading a team that is still based in an office, encouraging them to collaborate is a bit more straightforward.
Here are a few things you can do to encourage your employees to work together, whether they’re remote workers or office-based:
Give them time to get to know each other
If you want to form a strong bond between everyone in your group, Entrepreneur recommends you get to know them individually and put aside enough time to allow them to get to know each other. When each team member knows the other’s personality dynamics, skills, experiences, backgrounds, interests, and even hobbies, everyone tends to understand how each other works. Arrange for small and informal team building events or meetings that will allow everyone in the team to interact outside of work.
Set realistic team goals
One of the best ways to encourage your team to work together is to give them a goal to achieve. Make sure you clearly articulate the team’s mission and that it can be realistically attained. You also need to be willing and open to renegotiating team goals as needed.
Get rid of “the culture of blame”
If your employees “grow up” with a team that chooses to find someone to blame rather than find a solution to the problem, teamwork will very hard to foster. If you encourage your team to develop a solution-driven outlook, they will be more likely to work together as one.
Adapt to modern working practices
Modern leaders face many challenges in the digital workplace—especially those who are managing remote workers. Information on disruptive innovation provided by Maryville University for their Online Bachelor’s in Organizational Leadership details how training methods are now directed at managing remote employees. This is very important because fostering key employee traits like accountability and being collaborative takes a little more planning when you’re leading a team of digital nomads. For one, communication is everything. To be able to create a collaborative remote team, you need to strike a balance between avoiding micromanaging and being too disconnected. Trust and regular feedback are also vital. Without the combination of all three, it would be hard for you to foster a collaborative work environment—whether remote or not.
Reward collaborative behavior
When your team successfully reaches their goals, reward them accordingly. This reinforces how much you value team collaboration. It’s also a good way to keep your team motivated, as it’s something they will look forward to whenever they successfully work as a team. The reward doesn’t even have to be big; a simple gesture goes a long way.
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk told CNBC that he motivates his employees to succeed by helping them feel like they’re part of a larger team. “We want our leaders to find ways of motivating and inspiring their teams, reduce the noise in their work and help remove blockers,” he said. “You are there to serve your team and help them do the best possible job for the company,” he added. Despite the advances in technology, a good company culture is still key.