It’s not an earth-shattering revelation that an organization is more successful when the employees work collaboratively. Teamwork is essential for many reasons, as it directly impacts morale, employee commitment, efficiency and productivity, which translate directly into profits and sustainability. It enables people with a diverse range of backgrounds, levels of experience, and skills to come together and solve problems. In a creative digital agency, this is particularly valuable, and when teamwork and communication are missing, results will inevitably suffer. If you are looking for ways to improve teamwork in your digital agency, here are 6 tips to get you started.
- Organize Relaxed Social Events
You may hear the term ‘social events’ and instantly cringe, and it’s true that forced socializing or team building activities can be a nightmare. If done particularly badly, they can even have the opposite effect in that they can demoralize and embarrass employees and make them feel less comfortable around their colleagues. You don’t want to foster resentment in your team, so it’s best to let social occasions happen organically. It could be as simple as taking the team out for a quick drink after work when it’s someone’s birthday. The more informal and natural the environment, the more relaxed people will be. It also means you can save money on expensive away-days which have very little impact.
- Make Sure Everyone Knows Their Role
When there are blurred lines and overlap between roles, it can quickly cause problems within the team. Some people may be delegating tasks that fall under their remit, which will create resentment, but even the smallest amount of uncertainty can affect motivation. To prevent this from happening, it’s best to create a role differentiation document that states everyone’s responsibilities clearly. Save it in a place where everyone in the team can refer to it and make sure any new employees have seen the document during their training. You could also include the objectives of particular roles in terms of the organization or a particular project.
- Communicate Short and Long-Term Goals
In addition to the goals of specific projects, employees should also understand the organization’s long-term goals. When a new employee is taken on, this is the perfect opportunity to explain the ambitions of the company, but it’s also important to provide updates to all employees on a regular basis in company meetings. All goals – whether for the team or organization – should be measurable and clear, so your team has a common purpose to strive for.
- Introduce effective communication tools and practices
Effective and professional communication is essential, and this includes communication between colleagues and managers. There should be appropriate channels of communication for different situations. For example, a messaging and file sharing tool for project work, while discussions with senior managers may need to be sent by email or in person. It may be time to think about bringing your communication system into the modern world with a cloud communication service. Skype for Business has been a popular choice for many years, but this is being replaced by Microsoft Teams. Your employees should be given the opportunity to express their opinions or concerns without fear of backlash, as long as the criticism is provided in a professional way.
For those using a cloud to collaborate, investing in key security systems is crucial After all, the loss of data or a security breach can severely affect your business. If your employees work from home using a laptop, investing in a Secure Access Service Edge security framework is vital. If you’re wondering what is SASE, it’s a crucial security component for any business’s cloud network. It enables the organization to scale their cloud network successfully, while protecting all ‘edges’ of the network. For digital agencies which are growing rapidly and adding more users and data to their cloud, it’s a critical aspect of your security.
- Recognize Examples of Successful Teamwork
A particularly effective way to encourage teamwork is to take the time to recognize and reward people when teamwork has led to success. If someone goes beyond the call of duty to help someone else, their team, or the organization, make sure that they know that their effort has not gone unnoticed. This will create an atmosphere of positivity and support and teamwork should improve organically as a result. The recognition could be as simple as a few words of thanks, an email, an announcement in the company’s newsletter, or an employee of the month scheme.
- Avoid the Temptation to Micro-Manage
When employees do not feel trusted and are not left to work without supervision, it is unlikely they will develop into a strong team. They need to be able to set their own working routines and enable them to find their most effective rhythm. Deadlines and objectives are important, but breathing down someone’s neck is one of the quickest ways to demotivate them.