Teamwork is important in many aspects of life, sports, relationships, and in business. In the lattermost of those cases, you might find it difficult to cultivate due to the variety of motivations that any given party might have. You want to see the success of your business continue to improve in a positive direction, of course, and while some of your employees might also feel concerned about that, their primary concern will naturally be much more about their own welfare, due to the detachment that they have from your company.
That being said, there’s no reason that you can’t all work together as an incredibly efficient unit, emphasizing the best aspects of each other to deliver the results that you want to see.
Focus on the Environment
Before any of you can think about delivering your best work, you need a space that allows you to do so. Nobody is going to be firing on all cylinders if they don’t feel comfortable or suitably encouraged to do so, but what an ideal, optimum work environment looks like for one person might be completely different to someone else. So, while this might give you something to think about in terms of the design of the physical space (colors, natural light, plants, etc), it also might make you think about more objective elements that might help you to best collaborate. Live edge conference tables are a good example of something that can equip your workspace to specifically handle collaborative efforts, providing a way for you to communicate your ideas effectively in a focused manner.
When you’re looking at how you can improve the space, though, take non-visual elements into account as well. People might find that they’re easily distracted if the space that you’ve chosen is susceptible to external noise, either from another room or from outside the building altogether. If this is the case, looking towards the prospect of soundproofing a particular room might make it even more useful as a collaborative space.
In certain work environments, employees might have an understanding of what their employer wants to hear and, therefore, refrain from making suggestions that are to the contrary. When you’re trying to cultivate a collaborative environment, it’s not hard to see how this can be detrimental, with the only ideas bubbling to the surface being ones that you would have thought of by yourself anyway. In that case, then, make sure that everyone in the team knows that any ideas are on the table. To truly move forward, you need to put as many things out there as possible, so that you can begin to separate the strong ideas from the weak ones. This is undoubtedly going to lead to some contention as certain ideas are shot down in favor of others, so it might also be important that you make it clear that this is the efficient way to proceed, removing the personal element that people might struggle to get past.
This might be something that takes a while to get going, but even if it doesn’t seem as though this format is as effective as it could be in the early days, be aware that it might be something that your team needs to get used to – and leading by example might encourage that.
Unfortunately, you don’t always have control over when inspiration will strike you, so you have to be prepared for it to do so when you’re not at work. If this is the case, you could set up documents that are accessible for your whole team via cloud technology, for them to be edited wherever they are. This is something that you might already have in place if working from home is part of how you do things, but it might also be handy just to have documents in circulation that can be edited whenever people think of something worth adding.
While some people do work better in high-pressure environments, the lack of immediate necessity to think of ideas might encourage some people to come to conclusions in their own time, and having this option available to them might lead to more fruitful results in the long term, even if it means a different time-frame than you expected.
Finding Your Niche
Teamwork is often difficult to cultivate effectively because the conditions are so variable. Each person works best in a different way, and when you combine them with other people who have their own preferences, it becomes about achieving a finely-tuned balance. Through experimentation with different conditions, though, you can start to work out how your team produces their best content.