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Three collaboration strategies to strengthen teamwork in a hybrid workplace

In finding the right way forward, leaders in various industries carefully consider remote and onsite work to weigh their pros and cons, and ensure that they are able to feed the right energy, inspiration, and coordination needed for their teams to remain engaged and productive.

The changes brought about by the pandemic have resulted in companies designing and implementing hybrid ways of working within various teams. At TELUS International Philippines (TIP), collaboration and spirited teamwork are essential in providing a caring, inclusive, and engaging work environment where ideas and innovations can flourish. 

In finding the right way forward, leaders in various industries carefully consider remote and onsite work to weigh their pros and cons, and ensure that they are able to feed the right energy, inspiration, and coordination needed for their teams to remain engaged and productive. As a leading provider of digital solutions and customer experience, TELUS International Philippines Senior Operations Director and Site Lead for TELUS House Araneta, Discovery and McKinley Exchange, Anne Muñoz, outlines different strategies the company employs to engage their team members and reinforce the value of teamwork.

Utilizing innovation to support your collaborative company culture

Although they have been around for years, online communication and collaboration tools have also gained further traction over the past year, and have enabled the workforce to conveniently work together regardless if they are working from home, onsite, in different time zones, and from anywhere in the world. 

“As companies’ digital transformation journeys evolve, they’ll find that having the best collaboration tools is not enough if you didn’t pave the way by educating your team members on how to effectively utilize them. More importantly, they need to surround them with a company culture that promotes open communication and collaboration.

As a company, we must provide the means to be able to communicate with our team members in channels that are best suited to our team dynamics. Our recent #StrongerTogether employee engagement campaign has helped add perspective on how we’ve evolved as a team that collaborates together, and how we can make sure our caring culture is felt by every team member as we continue to serve our clients,” said Muñoz. 

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Clarity in expectations and recalibrating ways of working

Achieving spirited teamwork is not an easy feat. Having team members working in different locations with varied capacities can lead to uncertainty about what’s expected of them, resulting in individuals working disjointedly from the rest, tasks not being completed at an ideal pace, or team members being left unsure of next steps. It is important for leaders to clearly recalibrate ideal ways of working and collaborating with each other, and be able to set expectations to empower team members to better manage their time and workload. 

Regular coaching also makes a huge difference because it help     s everyone feel that support is readily available, and they have the right tools, guidance and leadership support to maintain their performance. At a time when team members aren’t able to feed off each other’s energies or presence, this conveys that they still have a team they can rely on and learn from.

Team up virtually 

Doing things together as a team outside of work has the advantage of not only improving the morale and spirits of the team members but also helps boost the team’s health. Find activities that benefit the team or are aligned with the team’s interests. 

TELUS International Philippines continues to focus on diversity, inclusiveness and belonging, and these have been ingrained in the DNA of the company culture. Spectrum Philippines and Connections Women’s Network, the company’s employee resource groups for their LGBTQIA+ and female team members respectively, actively organize year-round activities, virtual events and learning sessions for the team members. The company also has a number of special interest groups that promote inclusivity, camaraderie and individual empowerment by hosting fun events and employee engagement programs set to keep everyone inspired, supported, and recognized for the part they play. 

For instance, the photography club at TELUS International Philippines called Lente organized several well-attended virtual workshops and contests during the pandemic, including a toy photography virtual contest and a food photography webinar. Their Warriors of Wealth special interest group hosted several webinars on financial education and smart wealth-building management, including educational sessions on cryptocurrency and the basics of technical analysis in trading. While the TIP biking club conducted several timely webinars on defensive cycling, road sharing, and basics of bike commuting. These activities brought team members with shared interests together and created a sense of community despite the distance.

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In addition, sometimes, people need the reassurance that they are doing their jobs well. Rewarding successful collaboration further encourages team members to find creative ways of working together towards shared goals. Collaboration is vital for those who work onsite and those reporting from home who might feel the void and distance because of the pandemic. 

At TELUS International Philippines, team members are recognized for the hard work they put in month after      month. They have an expansive array of recognition programs that celebrate top performers and outstanding collaborations within individual teams, accounts, departments, sites and across the entire global organization.

Alice Montejo, Operations Manager at TELUS Market! Market!, was one of the awardees for #HappyHere engagement prime of the year in 2020. “Being an engagement prime and collaborating with my peers across the organization is very rewarding in itself. We get to organize activities and events that give our team members, wherever they are, a sense of belonging and fun. And, being recognized for the collaborative work that I do also inspires me to give my best every day,” said Montejo. 

“Our team members are the backbone of our company, and great teamwork starts with all of us doing the best we can to ensure a safe, inclusive, and inspiring work environment to keep productivity high. We will continue to create programs that champion their interests and needs, as well as make it as conducive and fun for all despite our hybrid workplace setup,” shared Muñoz. 

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