14 Ways to Improve Cross-Team Collaboration

Written by Samantha Ferguson

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Last updated on 9th May 2024

Businesses are increasingly relying on cross team collaboration. Whether your business is a service, a product or a piece of software, it’s rare you’ll find one person or one team that can do it all. 

But a massive 75% of collaborative teams are actually…dysfunctional.  

So, let’s get things back on track! 

In this article we’ll explore the best ways to improve cross-team collaboration. 

What is cross-team collaboration

Cross-team collaboration (or cross-functional collaboration) happens when employees from separate teams within a business work together on a task or project in any capacity.

For example, at our sister company Wyzowl, we create animated explainer videos. For each project our teams of script writers, designers and animators work collaboratively to produce an amazing video. 

Having functional collaborative teams is important in any company or business. If teams are connected, it can boost productivity and creativity – plus it can boost morale!  

How to improve cross-team collaboration (14 top tips)

1. Communicate regularly and effectively

Teams should communicate regularly, both formally and informally. 

Formal communication can take the form of team meetings, while informal communication can happen through more casual channels like Slack.

Slack

Effective communication is critical to the success of any team. When team members are not communicating effectively, it can lead to misunderstandings, errors, and inefficiencies. 

2. Develop a clear and shared vision

A team needs to have a clear and shared vision in order to be successful. 

According to motivational speaker, Simon Sinek:

“Vision is a destination — a fixed point to which we focus all effort.”

This vision should be something that ALL team members are committed to and working towards.

3. Set clear goals and expectations

It’s important for team members to know what the team’s goals and expectations are.

Statistic
A goal-setting and task performance study found that a massive 90% of people perform better when they have clear goals.  
Source: APA PsycNet

This way, they can be sure that they are working towards the same objectives and meeting the team’s standards.

This doesn’t just have to be individual employees having goals and sticking to them, it can be on a company wide basis.

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4. Build trust

Trust is an essential component of any successful team. 

Statistic
Teams who have built a trusting environment have 50% higher productivity and 76% more engagement.
Source: Forbes

When team members trust each other, they are more likely to be open and honest with each other, which leads to better communication and collaboration.

5. Encourage creativity and innovation

Employers should encourage creativity and innovation within teams, in order to be successful.

Even if different teams have very different inputs towards projects, sharing creatively between them could create amazing work. 

Creativity and innovation can help team members solve problems more effectively and come up with new and better ideas.

6. Promote a positive team culture

A positive team culture is one that is supportive, cooperative, and cohesive. 

Employees should feel like they are part of a team where they can rely on their other team members for help and support.

It’s important to promote a culture of inclusion. Team members should feel that their values, contributions and differences are respected.

Need ideas on how to do this? Check out the article below!

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7.  Invest in team building activities

Team building activities can help team members to get to know each other better and build trust. When this happens, team members can feel more comfortable working together and can collaborate more effectively.

Need some ideas for that too? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

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8. Encourage team members to share their ideas openly

Team members should feel comfortable sharing their ideas openly with each other. This way, the team can benefit from the diverse perspectives and ideas of its members.

Putting client work through an internal review process is a great way to ensure your client is getting your very best work. 

Google Doc

This can be as simple as comments in a google doc, or an email chain.

Feedback is an important part of any team’s success. team members should feel comfortable giving and receiving feedback to and from each other. 

9. Encourage team members to resolve conflict constructively

Conflict is inevitable in any team. However, it’s important for team members to learn how to resolve conflict constructively. 

Only by learning how to participate in positive conflict resolution can team members avoid damaging relationships and instead use conflict as a positive way to overcome things.

10. Promote collaboration over competition

Teams should promote collaboration over competition in order to be successful. 

Statistic
75% of people rate collaboration as ‘very important’.
Source: Bit.ai

Team members should feel like they are working together towards a common goal, rather than competing against each other. 

They can then share ideas and resources freely and come up with better solutions.

Teamwork and collaboration should also be rewarded, so they’ll feel motivated to continue working together and striving for success.

11. Encourage team members to take risks

In order for team members to be creative and innovative, they need to feel like they can take risks. Team members should feel like it is safe to experiment and try new things. 

Mark Zuckerberg once said:

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”

From risks, innovation can be born, so where possible encouraging risk can have great results.

12. Encourage team members to learn from their mistakes

As well as conflict, mistakes are inevitable in any team. However, it’s important for team members to learn from theirs so that they can move forward and avoid repeating them in the future.

Create a positive environment where team members feel comfortable enough to use their mistakes as learning opportunities.

13. Encourage team members to celebrate their successes

Team members should feel proud of their accomplishments and should be recognised for their successes. 

This will help team members feel motivated to continue working hard and achieving goals.

It could be as simple as calling out achievements in meetings all the way to prizes and gifts!

14. Encourage team members to have fun

Working on a team can be enjoyable and rewarding. 

Team members will be more likely to stay engaged and committed to the team, especially if they feel that they can be themselves without judgement. 

Be sure to foster a culture of fun and inclusion. This way, team members can bring their unique perspectives and ideas to the team and your business will be all the better for it!

Final thoughts

Good cross-team collaboration is clearly very important. 

Whether that’s for boosting team morale, creating the best work or making profit. It’s important for companies to be on the ball when it comes to encouraging teamwork.

To read more on why cross-team collaboration is so important, check out our blog 5 Benefits of collaboration – and how to unleash them!

Written by <a href="https://www.project.co/author/samanthaferguson/" target="_self">Samantha Ferguson</a>

Written by Samantha Ferguson

Samantha is Head of Content at Project.co. She has 5+ years' experience in the project management industry and in that time she's written over 100 articles on the subject and conducted studies on employee engagement and how AI is impacting the industry. She also has a lifetime's experience of being obsessed with organisation and productivity - Samantha is that person who plans travel itineraries down to the hour! Her favourite Project.co feature is the AI assistant.

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