Not everyone enjoys working on a team. Some people prefer to work alone. However, as a professional, you don’t always have the ability to dictate what kind of projects land on your desk. As such, it’s likely that most employees will –– at some time or another –– be forced to work on a big project with several coworkers.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to ensure you and your team are able to collaborate effectively and produce positive results. Here are our top four tips on the subject:
1. Set Clear Expectations
Before work begins on any collaborative assignment, professionals should fairly divide up the work among themselves. Most of the time, it should be obvious which person should work on which task. For example, if a project calls for a series of new blogs, then a copywriter should handle it. If a project requires new web pages, then a web developer should take that on.
In addition to dividing up the labor equitably, it’s also important to set deadlines and expectations for each other. This way, everyone can hold each other accountable to certain standards. The less ambiguity involved, the better.
2. Communication is Key
Ideally, every project should have a leader who regularly checks in on progress and facilitates communication. If that’s not the case, though, then individual employees may have to step up and make it a point to communicate with each other on a regular basis.
Miscommunication is perhaps the single biggest problem associated with collaborative work. So set up a system or routine that ensures everyone stays on the same page.
3. Have a Backup Plan
What happens if one of your team members gets sick for a week and can’t meet their deadline? What if you have to work remotely and can’t speak with your coworkers in person? What if the cost of your project is going over budget? Business leaders must have a plan in place for dealing with problematic developments like these.
Again, team members on their own can only do so much; at a certain point, business leaders have to assume responsibility for their assignments.
4. Stay Solutions-Oriented
Playing the blame-game will get you nowhere. Whether you’re working to manufacture a new line of butterfly needles or create a new marketing campaign, big projects can be tricky to manage.
The key to pulling off a collaborative effort is to remain solutions-oriented. When you encounter a problem, don’t seek to cast blame or get upset with someone else. Instead, focus on what you as a team can do to improve the situation. At the best of times, collaboration allows team members to provide key support and lift each other up.
Remember, anything is possible with a strong, positive mentality.