How to build collaborative and focused teams

John Sherman

Employees are typically given specific roles and responsibilities within a workplace. When something doesn’t fall within their wheelhouse, it gets shifted to someone else. Over time, the culture of sending something down the chain creates silos which harm productivity and keep knowledge segmented.

What causes these silos? Often, it’s a lack of proper communication and collaboration within the office. And it’s a highly prevalent issue.

In a survey of senior executives, only 25 percent of the participants said their workplace was effective at sharing knowledge across theoretical boundaries. Luckily, there are options for those interested in improving collaboration and focus in their teams. It requires fundamental changes to a company’s culture but, once these are in place, you’ll see productivity rise as workers are able to communicate more effectively, even between departments.

The How to Build Collaborative and Focused Teams course will help you bust through harmful silos to create a more supportive environment that encourages everyone to work as a unit. It provides methods for letting employees play to their strengths by creating thorough plans based on shared goals.

Here's a snapshot of everything covered in the course, so you know exactly what to expect as well as the benefits you’ll receive.

Welcome to the better way of doing business

The course begins with an introduction designed to help you see the various methods for building strong relationships with your team. You’ll learn about motivating your workers to be at their best and how to encourage trust among the group’s members.

This serves as a critical foundation, one upon which you’ll build a collaborative and focused team that can accomplish more in less time or by using fewer resources, all while working together seamlessly.

Being a leader for collaboration

If you want to institute real change within your team, you’ll need to create a culture that fosters the new concepts of increased collaboration. In this module, key aspects of the “Circle of Safety,” an approach supported by Simon Sinek, will be covered.

The intention is to help you learn what it takes to build a workplace that functions on mutual trust and respect, ensuring all members of the team feel supported by each other and their manager. By establishing a “Circle of Safety” everyone has one another’s backs, keeping everyone protected and secure as they do their part.

Planning for success

Trust alone isn’t enough to get your team operating at their optimal level. The “Performance Planning” module teaches you how to motivate your employees properly and plan to ensure peak efficiency. You’ll be introduced to the cycle of driving team performance as well as techniques for bringing it into your workplace.

The purpose of this lesson is to understand what makes your team tick and how that information can help you motivate them to be at their best. Each person’s source of motivation may differ slightly, so knowing what they value is important to group success. This enables you to keep them moving forward even if times get challenging.

Different performance plans

At their core, all performance plans are either reactive or proactive. The “Reactive and Proactive Performance Plans” module helps you learn to distinguish between the two paradigms, allowing you to make intelligent choices during the planning phases.

A collaborative workplace also means achievement is a group effort, even if the contributors are individuals. So, the successes and failures of the one are also the successes and failures of the team.

This section discusses the interconnectedness of performance. You’ll see how individuals, the team, and the organization all share responsibility in the performance arena, and how each piece affects the other within a business.

Valuable performance metrics

Many leaders wonder about the most efficient way to measure performance within the team. The “Measuring Performance” module helps answer that question.

You’ll learn about Key Results Areas (KRAs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and how these can measure the success of team efforts. This section also explores lead and lag indicators in relation to KPIs, as well as how Professional Improvement Plans can impact the workplace culture in positive and negative ways.

The intention is to give you methods that can help you monitor performance while ensuring you have the tools necessary to make internal adjustments to create greater success.

Put everything into practice

The “What’s Your Game Plan?” section is an opportunity to explore what you’ve learned in the course and see how you can use the information to increase collaboration and focus within a team.

You’re provided a scenario featuring details about a team that has fallen off track. Then, using information from the entire How to Build Collaborative and Focused Teams course, you can put your skills to the test and select three areas of focus to help improve the team. This gives you a chance to explore your understanding of the lessons from a place of safety.

You’re ready

The final section offers congratulations, as you now have the knowledge to help you build collaborative, performance focused teams in your own workplace. The skills are yours to use, so you can move forward confidently as you bring positive change into your organization.

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