Providing Equitable Collaborative Team Experiences

Adapting high-performing teams to a work from anywhere environment

Providing employees with equitable collaborative experiences is more important than ever, as the work from anywhere culture generated by COVID-19 seems here to stay. Keeping all members of a team engaged, productive, and enabled to actively participate in collaborative efforts—even from a distance—is key.

Paradigm shifts around collaboration and teaming over the past year have had a major impact, particularly on organizations’ high-performing teams (HPTs). Defined as teams composed of individuals with specialized, complementary skills, HPTs share intense, specific goals and focus on achieving superior results through highly skilled work and efficient collaboration. With an understanding of what these teams specialize in, it’s clear how disruption of the traditional office space can seriously hinder an HPT’s ability to perform. Organizations will need to help their teams adapt, while pursuing shared experiences for their members. A key way to do this is through high-impact, digital workstream collaborative technology.

Technology Solutions for Hybrid Collaboration
As mentioned in a previous Spark article, clear goals, well-managed team processes, and navigating boundaries are all important to high-performing teams. In partially distributed teams—with some members working in the same space and some working virtually—high-impact technology and tools are particularly important for solving problems high-performing teams may be facing. These technologies include cloud-based storage systems, digital whiteboards, personal devices, as well as unified communications tools. Digital workstream collaborative tools in turn support teams’ needs in each of these areas and more.

Platforms like Haworth’s Bluescape, Slack, and Microsoft Teams each provide a common space for employees to collaborate—virtually. They assist in coordinating activities, responsibilities, and group access, as well as managing timelines and defining when and where work gets completed in an equitable manner for all. When teams use these types of tools together, it leads to greater productivity, as they can work more efficiently.

Creating Collaborative Equity
Another primary benefit to using workstream collaborative tools is that they help to create an equitable collaborative experience for teams, allowing for contributions from team members who may otherwise not get the chance to offer their thoughts and ideas. Because diversity and a mix of skills and talents among members are core features of high-performing teams, balanced contributions are essential to the function of the team. Ensuring groups are aligned by using the same collaborative platforms and communication systems is necessary for the team to function well, while empowering every individual.

Shawn Stenberg, a Commercial Partner Manager at Bluescape, explains how workstream collaborative platforms help address the need for equity within high-performance teams:

“When Bluescape and other workstream collaborative platforms provide high-performing teams with as close to an in-person experience as possible, this has the opportunity to create necessary equitable experiences. These platforms foster situations where people can visualize, connect, and synthesize their processes in a digital environment with all the team’s resources at their fingertips. When teams experience this, the digital world opens up for them and enables them to not only create equitable experiences, but also faster decisions, faster delivery of results, and a more engaged workforce—especially from dispersed locations. I would even go so far as to say that a true high-performing team is not as high-performing as they could be unless they are augmented with the right workstream collaboration platform, such as Bluescape.”

Helping Teams Stay Aligned
Ultimately, collaborative technology offers high-performing teams persistent conversational workspaces that allow for efficient engagement, clarity, and the alignment of team goals. Beyond this, a shared workspace can help minimize the friction between teams, as well as eliminate the waste any tension may create. These tools also assist in group knowledge-building and overcoming problem solving frustrations.

Some tips for maximizing the value of collaborative platforms within high-performing teams include:

  • Ensuring new technology provides advantages compared with current methods of collaboration while reducing complexity
  • Encouraging leaders to demonstrate behaviors and advocate for the adoption of these new tools
  • Committing the necessary resources toward supporting the adoption of new technologies and working through possible pain points

In the end, high-performing teams need technology-enabled team workspaces. This should certainly include one or more workstream collaborative platforms that allow for seamless access and communication between teammates, no matter where they work. These spaces should also be well-aligned to an organization’s goals to optimize the performance of their teams and tools. Altogether, workstream collaborative platforms serve as an invaluable resource, particularly for high-performing teams in solving for potential threats to their mission and goals. The efficiency and alignment provided by these platforms are unmatched and can elevate a team’s performance to the next level.

For additional information on topics like collaboration, employee engagement, flexibility and adaptability, learn more from our research expertise.

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