3 Ways You Can Lead Collaboration Rather Than Forcing it

Are you sitting at your home desk staring at your monitor wondering if your employees are completing their work for the day, or wondering if your students are completing their required assignments?  Here at allsynx we have had remote employees for years, and here are a few strategies we’ve found successful which can work for your staff or your students.

Daily Meetups

Working at a tech company, many departments host daily scrums with their teams.  This is a way to discuss what you did yesterday, what you are planning to work on today, and what possible struggles you think you may come across.  This allows everyone to contribute something in the meeting and keeps them accountable for their work.  It’s important to make sure the employees remain focused during the meeting while they discuss the targets projects for the week.

End of Day Reports

Another way to collaborate is to implement End of Day Reports.  End of Day Reports are emails that students or employees can send you to let you know how their day went.  Typically, the emails include:

    • Goals that they wanted to accomplish today
    • A summary of the day which could include anything out of the ordinary, important updates to the teacher or boss, how they’re feeling about the day, etc.
    • Goals that they want to accomplish tomorrow

End of Day Reports allows everyone to stay in the know, making sure that the student/employee is working on the right assignments and reaching their goals.  It also allows a safe space for everyone to share their opinions and emotions during these trying times.

Braindump and Feedback Sessions

When my team was being formed, I had a few months to plan how I wanted our team to project manage our work.  I researched everything under the sun and found that a journalistic type approach could be effective.  My hunch was right, and after two years of this method, it’s still going strong.  Here’s what we do:

    • On Monday during our team scrum, I provide the team with our focuses of the week. We discuss priorities and anything that management has noted about the projects.
    • As the team works on their projects on Monday and Tuesday, they then bring ideas, hurdles, or any other topics that could be discussed about their projects. We call this the Braindump Session because we are dumping our brains (ideas) out on the table.  We keep a collaborative checklist where anyone can add an agenda item prior to the meeting.  As we run through the agenda, we throw titles out the window whether it’s a member of the executive team, leadership, or the assistant on our team since we want to hear everyone’s opinion.  If you have an idea for your project or another person’s project, we toss it out there and see what sticks.
    • We typically skip collaborative meetings on Wednesday since that’s a meeting for the team to be informed of any department or company news, and it’s a nice break for the team to continue working on their projects.
    • On Thursday, we have a Feedback Session. It works exactly like a Braindump Session, but instead of bringing new ideas, we provide feedback on how we took everyone’s advice on Tuesday.  Did the idea work?  Did a better strategy come to light?  We discuss all of this with the team, so the employees don’t feel like they are on their own with their workload.  There is a sense of ownership for the entire team on each project developed by us.
    • We also skip meetings on Fridays (other than our daily scrums) because who wants a meeting on a Friday?

We definitely enjoy our time as a team together, and we even enjoy playing games if we spend quite a bit of time remote (which happens to be occurring for everyone right now).  We decided to play a game at the end of one of our meetings this week to see who knows each other the best.  We ended up having a three-way tie!

Find what works for you and let us know how it goes!

Amber O’Reilly, Talent Development Supervisor

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