Collaboration skills are essential for any remote employee, no matter if they are working from the same office or two sides of the world.
No matter if you are already managing a remote team or are you planning on managing one in the future, you have already wondered how to foster collaboration in a remote setting.
In this blog post, we will show you some of our actionable techniques that can help you and your remote employees develop their collaboration skills further.
Set Clear Goals, Company Vision and Employee Expectations
One of the biggest challenges remote employees face when trying to work remotely is unclear goals. If your employees do not know WHY are they doing something, it is perfectly understandable that they will not be able to collaborate on it.
To set a clear company vision and goals, define your goals before the start of every project. You also need to ensure that your employees are aware of how the project's purpose relates to the company's vision, which is also something all your employees should be aware of.
If it is possible, fuse the goals of your employees with the company's goals, making sure that when the business grows, your employees grow as well.
A good practice is to follow the OKR (objectives and key results) on each project, or incorporate the SMART method for goal setting and proper measuring.
A crucial part of a better collaboration strategy is to set clear expectations for each employee. Clear expectations both benefit the employee and the whole company.
By setting expectations for all employees, you can significantly reduce or even completely remove any confusion which will lead to better chances that the employees will be able to achieve the goals you set for them.
If all employees know what they have to do, it is more likely that they will actually be able to complete their tasks successfully.
This can lead to your company achieving your business goals and being more successful.
Define Each Role in Detail
For each new employee that you hire, you must find a place in the team. Even before you hire someone, make sure that the position you are hiring for is needed in the organization.
This means that you need to clearly define all the roles in your team. Your future hires need to know exactly what is their role and what is the scope of their responsibilities.
Each employee should also know with whom it is the best to collaborate, as well as who they can talk to if any problems arise. By defining each role in detail, you will minimize the chances of new employees not knowing what to do or getting too much responsibility from the get-go.
Give Your Employees Learning Opportunities
Whenever it is possible for your company, provide your employees with the opportunity to grow in their careers. Give them a chance to develop current and learn any new skills that they both them and your company will find useful either right now or in the future.
By investing in your employees, you also invest in your company. There are thousands of online courses, conferences your employees could attend to take their knowledge to the next level - make sure you’re keeping an eye on these.
Connect With Teammates Outside of Work
Even as a remote team, it is essential to connect with your team as much as possible. It will help strengthen the bond between your employees and make them better at collaborating.
Organize real team-building retreats where all employees can meet up in real life and do something fun together.
If that is not possible at the moment, you can also organize online team building activities such as playing games, watching movies together, and much more.
Get the Right Collaboration Tools That Will Make Your Employees More Productive
One of the best ways to foster better collaboration in your company is to ensure your employees have all the tools that they might need. Make sure your employees use a team chat platform and that you have a project management tool at hand.
If you are looking at ways to measure how whether or not your employees are productive when collaborating on projects together, consider learning how to track employee productivity.
Once you learn how to track employee productivity, you will be able to match people into collaborative teams that will encourage the ones to excel at working productively to push the ones that are currently struggling.
If you want to build better collaboration skills in your company, know that it will take some time and get ready for it. Collaboration is something that you and your employees should continually work on, as only by doing it often will all of you be able to get better at it.
As much as possible, make sure you involve your employees in any new processes and initiatives. That will help them to develop their skills further and find new ways to improve collaboration in the company.