Why effective collaboration is important
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Good communication is essential for a successful business. When teams collaborate effectively, unique ideas are brought to the table, and everyone’s voice is heard.
How you collaborate with your team directly affects employee productivity, team morale, and company cohesiveness. Building an environment that fosters meaningful collaboration is crucial to boost productivity while saving time and money.
The shift to remote work last year brought on many challenges for businesses. More specifically, in-person meetings were canceled; therefore, team collaboration suffered.
Moving forward, whether companies remain remote or begin to go back in the office, it is necessary to understand the adverse effects of insufficient collaboration and what strategies can be used to enhance collaboration among teams.
What poor collaboration looks like
The effects of poor collaboration include selective participation among team members, only hearing from select team members every time, and inefficient practices that make organization less effective.
We’ve all been in those meetings where you find yourself drawing figures on the whiteboard for an hour while one team member asks all the questions and the rest of the team sits in silence. The meeting ends, and the team is left confused and bored without a whole lot of collaboration, team effort, or new perspective. Here are a few attributes of poor collaboration.
- Miscommunication- Poor collaboration leads to miscommunication. When we don’t take the time to check in and clarify, teams can misread emails, messages, and more. Team members become frustrated because they have to use extra time to “clear things up.” Studies have shown that companies with around 100 employees lose an average of $420,000 per year due to miscommunication. This loss significantly increases for larger companies.
- Unclear on priority and roles- When teams cannot actively participate in collaboration or see visuals in meetings, they are disconnected. They can be left with a distorted understanding of top priorities.
- Missing key milestones or timelines- Poor collaboration skills also lead to overdue assignments, missing deadlines, and not reaching key milestones. Without a visual representation, it is easy to forget when tasks are completed and who is to complete them.
All of these elements of poor collaboration can lead to an unpleasant work environment and weakened team morale. How can this be prevented?
How visuals improve collaboration
Visual collaboration is a method used by successful businesses to achieve goals together, from anywhere. Visual collaboration can include several different tools and methods such as video conferencing, screen sharing, and virtual whiteboards like Lucidspark.
More than ever before, teams rely on these visual collaboration tools to help engage workers and boost productivity.
In a recent report, we concluded that employee productivity was management’s top concern during the pandemic, but employees say team collaboration suffered more. Virtual, visual brainstorming tools could have solved problems for managers and employees. Employees could have engaged and collaborated more effectively, resulting in better productivity and less disruption.
Leveraging the power of visual collaboration gives teams an advantage over traditional collaboration methods. Studies prove that visual collaboration improves comprehension, information retention, and communicates messages faster.
The Lucidspark platform seamlessly facilitates brainstorming, mapping, and more. In addition, the timer and voting features keep meetings on time and ensures that team members' voices are heard. Lucidspark can boost collaboration through shared visuals that are both easy and effective for everyone to use.
How your team can collaborate visually
There are a lot of great ways for your team to collaborate visually. Let’s take a look at a few:
- Brainstorming sessions- Host productive brainstorm meetings with a virtual whiteboard such as Lucidspark by utilizing sticky notes, voting, timer features, and more. Encourage thought flow with the freehand feature. Freehand drawing plays an essential role in brainstorming as it increases blood flow to the brain. Research shows that people who freehand have reported having feelings of enhanced problem-solving skills and creativity.
- Online visual workspace- Having a central, visual space for team members to come together for ideation helps eliminate the pain points of poor collaboration we discussed earlier. Individuals can see their ideas come to life and how their tasks align with the bigger picture.
- Mind maps- Using mind maps allow you and your team to quickly brainstorm, form new connections, and help you retain information visually. A mind map is ideal for dissecting complex concepts into specific ideas and uncovering new ways of thinking. Lucidspark’s unlimited canvas also means that your team can work on many ideas at once.
- Customer journey mapping- Create a visual diagram that explains your customer’s interactions with your company or brand. Think about when the customer first hears about your company all the way to the point of conversion (purchasing) and then retention (purchasing again). By creating a customer journey map with your team, you are able to look at your brand through the lens of the consumer.
Meetings and agendas- Create an agenda to keep your meeting on track. Having a clear outline beforehand ensures that everyone can prepare themselves for the topics of discussion. This is also a great way to keep record of what was discussed when and with whom.
- Sprint planning- Sprint planning is a timed session where teams review what they are able to deliver and how. From there, teams are able to map out the steps required to reach the goal. Visualizing these goals is a helpful way for team members to remain focused on their assignments.
Overall, visual collaboration is a catalyst for fluid participation, new perspectives, and reaching company goals. Implementing visual collaboration strategies can help your team get the job done better and faster. Through ideation and brainstorming, new perspectives are brought to the table, and each team member has a voice, which also boosts meeting engagement. With easy-to-use templates, Lucidspark makes visual collaboration easy and strategic, so that your team can get started right away.
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Lucidspark is a virtual whiteboard that helps you and your team collaborate to bring the best ideas to light. It comes packed with all of the sticky notes, freehand drawing tools, and infinite canvas space you need to capture that next big idea. And it’s built for collaboration. Think of it like a sandbox where your team can bounce ideas around and innovate together in real time.
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