Steve Jobs once said, “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” And I’m sure you agree here – you can do all the planning, you can set the budget and even the schedule, and you can come up with a hypothesis and try to control the known and the unknown factors of your project. But after all of that, it’s up to your team to execute and bring results. That’s the reason why we try to find skillful people to join our teams and perform their best. The thing is, it won’t matter how amazing your employees are; they can still fail to amaze you if their work environment does not bring out the best in them. So what’s the secret?
Teams need autonomy: it can boost their morale and keep them on their toes to act and respond quickly to whatever is happening around them. Yet, your team needs to work together when solving problems. Project collaboration tools come to the rescue here – they are the right solution when it comes to helping individuals keep their autonomy while working together.
Already got your best team in place? That’s great. Now it’s time to make sure all the information that goes through and gets outside of all projects is well-organized, accessible for your employees, and everyone is aware of deadlines. I’ll be more specific, though. Here are some reasons why your company needs team communication tools.
Communication Is the Lifeblood of Your Team
The name gives itself away, but still: tools for team collaboration foster communication, which is a critical factor in effective and productive teamwork. If you think about it, we need communication in all aspects of our lives: can’t go a day without connecting with people around us, right? Healthy communication ensures that we understand people around us and stay away from unnecessary confusion – the same goes for teams. Look at communication as the lifeblood of your organization. If you and your team members can’t express clearly and easily what you want and when you want it, then you’ll be facing a lot of headaches.
Emails work fine when it comes to communication, but they take too much time, they get piled up and ignored. What’s worse is that, with emails, team members don’t receive immediate feedback – so they find other ways.
There are a lot of integrated project management tools out there that can help. Asana is one of them, Flowdock is another one, and there’s also Teamwork. At the end of the day, you need to have a collaborative communication platform for your team to deliver results. Some of the advantages of team communication tools are that they help your employees brainstorm together – you know what they say, two heads are better than one.
There’s another great advantage you shouldn’t overlook – these tools let team members attach files, documents, pictures, and links, creating a virtual meeting place where everything is in order. And then it won’t matter if all your employees are sitting together in a beautiful, green office space or are spread across the globe. In fact, communication tools for remote teams are key for virtual companies.
You Tell Them to Ask Questions: Are You Really Letting Them?
I can tell you for sure that most companies tell their new employees how important it is to ask questions when they’re in doubt. They do that because it helps their employees grow and bring out their curious selves. It also fosters knowledge-sharing in teams. And who doesn’t want that, right?
The thing is, it doesn’t matter how much you tell your employees not to be afraid to ask questions if you don’t have a platform where they can do it with ease. With collaboration tools, you facilitate questioning in your team – but let me elaborate on that by creating a picture for you.
Let’s say there’s Jack, your new marketing specialist, who joined the team a week ago and is trying to fit in. During Jack’s first two interviews, you told him to ask questions whenever he has any: let them be technical, like when he will receive his payment, or professional, like how YouTube marketing works. Now, Jack really wants to ask his questions, because he wants to learn and be his best self at work. If you don’t use any team communication tools, he will decide to write the question to his manager, Joanna, who will answer Jack’s question with love and move on. But, if you have a project team collaboration tool like Teamwork, Jack will post his question in a relevant thread where all the other marketers can share their knowledge with him. This way, Jack gets more insightful information, and the team shares their knowledge. Moreover, if other marketers didn’t know the answer to the question, they also learn something new. See the difference?
If you’re still in doubt about whether you need management tools or not, think about this: you don’t want an unquestioning group of employees who just follow orders, right? You want individuals who are not afraid to ask questions, and individuals who are eager to share their wisdom with the rest. That’s when you’ll see your company grow.
Transparent Like See–Through Curtains
An essential part of any team is transparency. In a transparent team, all members know what is expected of them and the goals of the projects. Your team members need direction whenever they’re lost, and managers need the transparency to be kept in the loop: that’s how they keep projects away from disasters.
I bet you want to know what everyone is working on at all times, and how do you manage that? Do you write to each team member separately, asking what they are working on and how the projects are going? That is something that takes a lot of your and your team members’ time on a regular basis. So this is another reason why you need collaboration software, to be able to see the contribution of every team member, keep an eye and comment on each project whenever you see the need. With that, you can guarantee great productivity and efficiency.
Do You Know Your Team Members’ Personalities?
If you find yourself too concentrated on essential projects, stop for a second, and breathe. Remember that you have the best team ever that will never let you down. They are here to be focused on those projects. Of course, you will have to keep one eye open at all times, but it’s also important to think about your company culture. Do you have one? Do your employees feel like they’re a part of a team? Were you successful enough to create a community where your employees can chat, laugh, and have fun?
Team collaboration tools help you create an informal culture where teams can chat freely, speak their minds about any project, and joke around whenever it’s appropriate. If you have a worry that it will create a slacker culture, I’m here to tell you that it won’t. In fact, the opposite is true: you will have a stronger team and will be able to boost morale. You will simply be able to create a community.
Team Collaboration Tools and Their Benefits
Let’s get one thing straight. We’ve already established that integrated project management tools increase your team’s productivity. There are five necessary tools that will benefit your employees:
- Chat: to have group, team-wide, and topical conversations.
- File-sharing: to share important documents, links, photos, and make them available to everyone.
- Team calendars: to know who is available and when, who is on sick leave, and who is on vacation.
- Tasks: to keep the workflow productive, assign, and reassign to employees and keep track of all updates.
- Project plans: to keep everyone informed of every project plan.
If you’re still confused and don’t know where to start, here’s something that might help – I’ve come across an article about Scopic’s partnership with Teamwork. To give you an overall idea about the partnership, Scopic helps companies integrate Teamwork to enhance project management, data management, human resources processes, and more. With such a capability in a collaboration tool, the efficiency can go through the roof – and it’s the cherry on top of the rest of the benefits.
When the world gets overwhelming, and there’s too much you need to control, lay your head on your pillow and close your eyes. Now, remember the time you first started your company and how far you have come. Remind yourself of the excitement you had. Let those memories give you all the motivation you’re seeking right now. Now, open your eyes and get to work. The good news is, you’re not alone: there are project collaboration tools that will make your life easier.