Many organizations are grappling with the challenges of maintaining effective collaboration among geographically dispersed teams. This article outlines strategies and pairs each with a software tool like Insightful’s employee monitoring program - serving as an indispensable guide for executives and team leaders. From unifying communication channels with Slack to tracking objectives and responsibilities with Asana, the article offers a systematic approach to fulfilling the urgent need for more cohesive, productive teamwork in today's complex work environment.
Read time: 6 minutes
Imagine this scenario: it's a typical workday, and your team is dispersed all around the world – some cozy in their home offices, others sipping lattes at nearby cafes, and a handful back at HQ.
Maintaining cohesive teamwork and effective collaboration among dispersed team members can present challenges. And with the rise of remote work, finding the right software to track remote workers has become more important than ever.
Don’t fret! We're here to guide you through the ins and outs of fostering collaboration in the modern workplace.
Prepare to delve into 11 strategies and tools, including Insightful’s own software for employee monitoring that can elevate your organization's collaboration capabilities.
The Ultimate Collaboration Toolbox: Strategies and Tools to Boost Team Synergy
1. The Virtual Watercooler: Unified Communication Platforms
We all know that communication is key, and in today's world, it's essential to have a platform that brings everyone together, regardless of location. With a unified communication platform, you can ensure that all team members are in sync and working towards a common goal.
Software spotlight: Slack
Slack has become the go-to tool for team communication, offering instant messaging, file sharing, and even video calls. Its integration capabilities with other popular tools make it an ideal choice for keeping track of remote workers and fostering collaboration. Slack enables employees to collaborate more effectively across different departments, time zones, and even continents.
2. Face Time, Anytime: Embrace Video Conferencing
There's nothing like a bit of face-to-face interaction to build rapport and facilitate collaboration. Encourage your team to use video calls for meetings, brainstorming sessions, and even just a quick catch-up. In fact, a study by Wainhouse Research found that 94% of businesses that use video conferencing believe it increases productivity and employee engagement.
Software spotlight: Zoom
Zoom has made video conferencing a breeze, with its user-friendly interface, screen sharing capabilities, and breakout room options. Breakout rooms facilitate more focused discussions during meetings, while screen sharing makes it easy to collaborate on design and development projects. This communication tool is perfect for keeping the team connected, no matter where they are.
3. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: Establish Clear Goals and Objectives
The Harvard Business Review found that employees who understand their organization's goals are 2.5 times more likely to feel engaged in their work. Setting well-defined goals and objectives ensures that everyone is on the same page and working towards a common purpose. This helps to streamline collaboration and increase productivity across the board.
Software spotlight: Asana
Asana is a project management tool that allows you to create tasks, set deadlines, and assign responsibilities. Its features make it simple to track remote worker productivity and ensure that everyone knows what they need to do. Use Asana to help teams stay on track, collaborate more efficiently, and stay aligned with company objectives.
4. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Cross-Functional Collaboration
Encouraging collaboration between different departments and teams is crucial for fostering innovation and creative problem-solving. By creating opportunities for employees with diverse skill sets to work together, you're promoting a culture of collaboration. Not to mention, according to a study by Deloitte, companies with high-performing cross-functional teams are 1.5 times more likely to achieve their financial targets, and companies with highly aligned teams are 2.5 times more likely to achieve their goals.
Software spotlight: Trello
Trello's visually appealing, drag-and-drop interface makes it easy for teams to work together on projects, with customizable boards and lists to keep everything organized. This tool is a game-changer when it comes to managing cross-functional teams and keeping track of remote workers. By bringing different teams together, Trello can help foster innovation and accelerate growth.
5. Flexibility is the Name of the Game: Offering Remote Work Options
According to a survey by Owl Labs, companies that offer remote work options have 25% lower employee turnover than those that don't. Additionally, 82% of remote workers reported lower stress levels, and 80% reported improved morale. Supporting your employees' work-life balance with flexible schedules and remote work options is a surefire way to boost morale and encourage collaboration.
Software spotlight: Insightful
Insightful is an employee monitoring software that helps solve the problem of how to track remote workers. Insightful is designed to help companies manage their remote workforce effectively by tracking remote worker productivity.
Insightful’s tracking software for remote workers offers features like time tracking, productivity analysis, and reporting - helping managers ensure that their team is engaged and working collaboratively. Use Insightful to support your remote work policy and attract top talent from around the world, while also promoting work-life balance and employee satisfaction.
6. Knowledge is Power: Encourage Knowledge Sharing and Mentorship
According to a study by the American Society for Training and Development, employees who are mentored have higher job satisfaction, better retention rates, and are more likely to receive promotions than those who are not mentored. Additionally, companies with formal mentoring programs have a 20% higher employee retention rate than those without such programs. Promoting a culture of learning and knowledge sharing can help employees work together more effectively and develop a sense of camaraderie.
Software spotlight: LinkedIn Learning
LinkedIn Learning offers a vast library of courses and training materials on a wide range of topics, making it an ideal resource for employees looking to expand their skills and share their expertise with others. Encouraging team members to take advantage of this resource can contribute to a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement.
7. Designing for Success: Collaborative Workspaces
Whether in-office or remote, creating spaces that encourage collaboration and interaction can have a significant impact on teamwork and productivity. A study conducted by Steelcase found that creating spaces for collaboration and interaction in the workplace can increase employee engagement by up to 88%.
Software spotlight: Miro
Miro is a virtual whiteboard platform that allows teams to brainstorm, plan, and collaborate in real-time. With features like sticky notes, flowcharts, and templates, it's a fantastic tool for fostering collaboration in remote and hybrid work environments.
Use Miro's virtual whiteboard platform to brainstorm and plan new projects, enabling employees to collaborate and share ideas in a visually appealing way.
8. Communication is a Two-Way Street: Regular Check-ins and Feedback
Scheduling regular check-ins and feedback sessions can help maintain open lines of communication and address any collaboration challenges that may arise. According to a study by Gallup, 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week.
Software spotlight: 15Five
Use 15Five to facilitate regular check-ins and feedback sessions between managers and employees. The platform enables team members to track progress on projects, share feedback on their work, and communicate with each other in a more streamlined way. By keeping everyone in the loop, it helps to create a culture of collaboration and continuous growth.
9. A Little Recognition Goes a Long Way: Rewarding Collaboration
According to a study by Globoforce, companies that have a strong focus on employee recognition and rewards programs have a 31% lower voluntary turnover rate than companies that don't. By highlighting successful collaborative efforts and offering rewards tied to teamwork, you can incentivize employees to work together more effectively.
Software spotlight: Bonusly
Bonusly is a peer-to-peer recognition platform that allows employees to give each other points, which can be redeemed for various rewards.
Use Bonusly to reward employees for their collaborative efforts. The platform enables team members to recognize and appreciate each other's contributions, which helps foster a positive and collaborative work environment. By incentivizing collaboration, you can improve teamwork and drive better results for clients.
10. Building Bonds Beyond Work: Social Interaction
Creating opportunities for employees to interact on a social level, both in-person and virtually, can help strengthen relationships and promote collaboration. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, employees who have close workplace friendships are more likely to be engaged in their work, loyal to their organization, and more productive.
Software spotlight: Donut
Donut is a Slack integration that randomly pairs team members for virtual coffee breaks or in-person meetups. This helps to build rapport among team members, making it easier for them to work together effectively.
11. Learning Together: Ongoing Training and Support
According to a study by the Association for Talent Development, organizations that offer comprehensive training programs have 218% higher income per employee than companies without formalized training. The study also found that employees who receive extensive training are 68% more likely to stay with their employer.
Providing training on collaboration tools, effective communication, and other soft skills can help employees work together more effectively, regardless of their work environment.
Software spotlight: Pluralsight
Pluralsight is a leading online learning platform that offers a vast library of courses and resources on various topics, including collaboration, communication, and productivity. By equipping your team with the skills they need to work together efficiently, Pluralsight can help you create a more collaborative and successful work environment.
Elevating Collaboration for the Long Term
The work environment is increasingly decentralized, making effective collaboration both essential and challenging.
It's important to note that these software solutions are not just supplementary; they are crucial elements in building a well-coordinated team. They transform high-level strategies into actionable tasks, contributing to increased efficiency and a more cohesive work culture.
As work methods continue to evolve, the adoption of these strategies and tools is not merely a short-term fix but a long-term investment in your organization's success and well-being. This guide aims to be a foundational resource for any team seeking to improve its collaborative efforts.
Updated on October 27th 2023