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6 Ways to Master Team Collaboration in Today’s Workplace

Collaboration is a challenge for every kind of team, whether it’s for on-site, remote, or dispersed work. Your team will often face tight deadlines, meeting fatigue, and scheduling obstacles while completing a project together.

But what does collaboration look like day to day? 

Typically, it looks like teams doing what they need to do to get the job done. But there are more efficient, friendly, and effective ways to complete projects. Async video messaging is a favorite tool for many teams to do just that.

Asynchronous communication, or video messaging, drives productive collaboration without the limitations of busy schedules, redundant meetings, or vague action steps. Your team members can easily record and share a video with their coworkers across time zones, crowded calendars, and channels.

When you supercharge collaboration, you can grow faster. So, let’s dive into how you can create better team collaboration and alignment.

What is effective team collaboration?

While everyone knows teamwork is the best way to produce innovative, creative, and quality results, implementing it can be challenging, like getting everyone to work together at high performance. Team productivity tools play a big role in that challenge.

According to a collaboration report by Lucid Software, 65% of respondents identified at least one problem with their digital collaboration technology and its lack of user-friendliness. And 47% of respondents said they want a better tracking method for key takeaways and priority items during meetings. 

Online collaboration tools can get too complex and noisy. Instead, the right platform can tackle these challenges and provide a streamlined and easy approach to communicating and tracking the teamwork process. This might include assigning tasks, providing in-depth feedback through quick videos, and utilizing engagement features like CTAs and clear action steps.

Watch how Loom makes asynchronous collaboration seamless through easy recording and in-context videos

The consequences of non-collaboration

You might think you're saving money or time by sticking to the tools you're using now, but in the long run, you'll burn time, drain employee confidence, and spend more cash trying to fix problems with bad software. Non-collaboration produces the following red flags:

  • Weary company culture: Team members find it hard to work together and produce results when fighting friction points like difficulty expressing an idea or keeping track of dozens of tasks.

  • Clunky software or crowded meetings: Frustrating software functionality or live meeting tools that clutter everyone’s calendars can discourage input and stifle deep work. Employees slowly lose the confidence and support they need to be productive. 

  • Poor feedback loops and sluggish workflows: It’s difficult to provide feedback and expect fast improvements when your team feels out of sync. 

Thankfully, these red flags can be fixed. 

Even if you already collaborate well, there’s always room for improvement. Small changes like up-leveling your collaboration tools can boost remote brainstorming and streamline your existing project workflows. 

Why does improving team collaboration matter so much?

Successful team collaboration helps you build products faster, develop innovative ideas, problem-solve, and save time.

The better your teams can work together and communicate, the less time and money you spend on unproductive meetings or avoidable mistakes. For example, you don’t have to repeat the same feedback time and time again when someone can reference an async Loom video. That same video can include action steps and expectations so that projects always move forward rather than get stuck in limbo.

Your team saves resources and creates better products and overall customer experiences.

If you want to grow your collaboration fast, create a positive work culture built on productivity and cohesion. This way, you won’t be working in survival mode, trying to meet late deadlines or going back and forth on the same feedback.

How to build impactful team collaboration into the workday

You can start improving employee collaboration today by laying the groundwork.

1. Define a common vision and goals

Effective workplace communication and collaboration start with being on the same page. Your team should be unified. Sometimes, unification calls for your leaders to reemphasize the goals you already have, like hosting a weekly video series or a staff vision meeting. The point is to ensure every team member knows where your company wants to go and how to achieve those milestones.

Your team leaders can create videos and resource documents to determine what makes great workplace communication and what expectations they have.  For example, you can mention the importance of quick and tighter feedback loops for projects in your pipeline with tangible actions like: 

  • Daily feedback videos

  • Weekly encouragement messages between co-workers to celebrate the wins

  • Project summaries or evergreen documentation that captures lessons learned and generates productive future collaboration

These simple but powerful touchpoints help align teams to work better together for increased productivity and innovation. 

2. Equip team members for high performance

Just like a sports team, everyone should be pulling their own weight. You don’t have to have floor seats at your favorite game to know that if one person performs better than the rest when the others provide a less-than-stellar performance, it’s not good for anyone. Poor performance will affect morale and slow down collaboration.

Now, picture the opposite scenario. Everyone on the team does their best with clear accountability and expectations. Their high performance helps reinforce a greater goal, and the team feels like they belong in a community. These experiences help lead to healthier and sustainable workspaces.

Part of defining responsibilities and expectations points to trusting your team members to do their jobs well. 

Writers Martin Reeves, Simon Levin, and Daichi Ueda state in the Harvard Business Review about teams and sustainable company longevity, “Questions or simple rules aimed at fostering autonomy and cooperation and leveraging employees’ initiative can be more effective than top-down control in shaping collective behavior.” 

You can give your team members more autonomy to make the best decisions and accomplish projects with diverse skill sets, expertise, employee experience, and ongoing team feedback.

3. Facilitate frequent communication and tight feedback loops

Without communication, there is no collaboration. That’s why communication should be the top priority as you improve teamwork.

You can adopt productivity tools that include chats and live collaboration workspaces, like Slack, Google Docs, and other remote solutions.

You can also consider more immersive communication tools like video messaging, which offers a richer experience by showing POV footage on your computer screen and providing detailed context that other tools like team chat can’t provide. 

Loom videos spare your teams from unnecessary live meetings while they build and plan projects together—even cross-functional teams in different departments. The collaboration tool is personal. Instead of leaving a ton of comments or writing a lengthy email, you can record yourself and give feedback in context to provide in-depth ideas. Team members can asynchronously send feedback when they are most focused and productive, recording deeply contextual messaging with action steps.

Avoid new hire anxiety by recording feedback that captures tone of voice and non-verbal cues.

4. Build a system for accountability

Your company can create a work environment prioritizing transparent accountability in team workflows. This includes clear deliverables, expectations, and feedback.

Communication and project management tools can help keep team expectations front and center. Your team can use Loom videos to comment on work in progress, clarify team member tasks, and tighten feedback loops with clear calls to action (CTA) for the next steps. 

Imagine you provide a video with feedback for a specific team member. You incorporate a CTA with files or resources to help your team members get rolling. After your co-worker sees the video, they can comment with clarifying questions or send another video. Once they’re ready to apply your feedback, they have the clarity to do the job well and won't misinterpret your feedback in a lengthy email. 

5. Define your platforms and workflow

Each department likely has a place where they do most of their project work. A graphic and design team might use Canva and Figma. A content team might use Airtable to manage their workflow. Or, a sales team might use customer relationship management (CRM) software like Salesforce or HubSpot. 

Whether it’s a productivity tool or a CRM, brands can decide and clarify where team members do the majority of their collaborative work. Then, leadership can focus on collaboration within or around those platforms.

Unfortunately, not all tools provide holistic communication solutions that help team members share their ideas in full context. Imagine, for example, an engineer trying to talk through a solution for a complex bug or a manager attempting to communicate their preferences for a graphic revision. Both would be difficult during an in-the-moment live call or through a long email. It's easy to forget to provide context, or it might be challenging to explain the issue on the fly.

One of the most effective communication methods is through video collaboration software. Presenting ideas and feedback as if you’re in person helps you communicate much more effectively through body language, voice, screen sharing, comments, and transcripts. There’s little room for misinterpretation, and your team can express different perspectives clearly, quickly, and thoroughly.

6. Start with a key project

Even the best tools don't work if you don't invest the time to learn how to use them. So, team leaders should consider the rollout and onboarding process when adopting a new tool to ensure team success.

One of the best ways to start is by picking a specific project. You can focus on a department’s specific need or use case, internal communications for marketing, sales, or engineering, and select a key project.

By starting with just a single project, you can test your strategy and communication tool and work with your team to learn and adopt a more effective approach.

The asynchronous advantage

Video messaging eliminates the need for most live calls and streamlines the collaboration process. Async videos can benefit all on-site, remote, or dispersed teams.

Tools like Loom make it easy to record a video in minutes and share it with your team through email or a link. Video fosters interactive experiences: your viewers can easily comment, reply with a video, or engage with emojis.

It’s easy to communicate with your team members through prerecorded messaging and define tangible outcomes. Loom videos come with CTA capabilities, so your team leaders can clarify and lay out the next steps.

Ultimately, async messaging helps you communicate wherever and whenever.

Success stories: Using Loom to strengthen team collaboration

Metalab team collaboration
Metalab finds a solution for productive collaboration and improved team performance

MetaLab, an agency that ships digital products, knew it wasted valuable time on unproductive meetings. It wanted to communicate better with its teams. 

Often, when leaders would hand off projects, designers misinterpreted written communication and missed the full context and story behind the design vision. This made collaboration difficult and ineffective.

The company decided to focus on video messaging to drive better collaboration. 

MetaLab wanted to replace live meetings and project updates with async videos. It aimed to improve collaboration, especially at its early stage, with clear video messaging. The company also wanted to improve and enrich feedback.

The company wanted to use Loom videos for both internal collaboration and client communication. Video messaging would streamline the client review process and smooth project handoffs with crystal-clear instructions.

MetaLab leveraged Loom video messaging and saved eight hours a week on meetings. The company boosted productivity by 20% and delivered thousands of dollars of additional value to clients on every design sprint, stating that with “senior design time typically billed at around $2,000 a day, clients’ dollars go a lot further.”

video messages for employee collaboration
Loom videos helped MetaLab collaborate internally

Design Lead Andrew Reynolds concludes: “[Loom] has helped us create a more open, collaborative environment where it’s efficient and fast to communicate, whether the recipient is in the next city or many continents away.”

Power your team collaboration with Loom

Loom Homepage
Loom homepage

Effective teamwork starts when teams improve communication.

Loom's video messaging platform helps you collaborate and align more efficiently with your team. Its screen-sharing and webcam recording capabilities allow you to express ideas clearly.

It’s easy, too. Your employees can click the record button on their Chrome browser, desktop app, or phone app, and record in seconds. After they finish, they can share their videos quickly with the right team members. Everyone can take advantage of video communication, whether they’re doing on-site, remote, or hybrid work.

Loom is perfect for casual, comfortable recording with a personal touch, so there’s no pressure. Simply share an idea as if you are having a conversation. 

And if you make a mistake, no worries. You can use Live Rewind to re-record that section. Loom’s AI add-on also automates title creation and message invite text to save you the work of writing up that email to send your video. 

Record your first team collaboration video with Loom today for free.


Jun 29, 2024

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