Business organizations need to promote a collaborative atmosphere in the workplace not only to keep up with increasing corporate needs and a faster decision process but also to make sure that the different areas involved in the different projects communicate well with each other and are well aware of their respective tasks and duties.
However, many a time this is easier said than done, especially in large corporations in which the hierarchical structure usually makes it more difficult to advance with a more straight-forward and direct flux of communication.
A company’s success is measured, amongst other factors, by its ability to respond accurately, efficiently and in a timely manner to the fast-paced corporate environment. And collaboration is key. Let’s discuss 7 proven strategies that boost team collaboration in the workplace.
At the most basic level, a team’s success or failure at collaborating reflects the philosophy of top executives in the organization. Teams are more likely to perform well when executives not only demonstrate a collaborative behaviour themselves but also invest in developing relationships.
And even though it can be more difficult for junior employees to observe the behaviour of the senior team, their perceived behaviour is equally important in fostering collaboration amongst team members. From employees seeing senior members attending meetings and corporate events indistinctively to just knowing that any of them understand the entire business and are able to replace each other if needed provides a strong feeling of collaboration.
Investing in face-to-face interaction is also important. As it gives plenty of opportunities for people across the company to see the top executives in action. Internal communication needs to be open and frequent.
Share Information In An Easy and Prompt Manner
Whether it is a one-time project or a major business goal in which different areas are involved, making sure that everyone involved has immediate and easy access to the latest information is crucial. And in such a context, relying on online tools is very helpful.
Google Drive is one of the most used online tools available. Popular and easy to use, it allows people to collaborate simultaneously on a single document and keep track of changes and suggestions.
Internal social networks can also be used to create task-oriented or project-oriented groups in which employees can discuss different ideas, share their progress and work in a collaborative manner.
Smart email sharing software is an innovative tool that many companies rely on. It allows to save time in copying and forwarding emails, prevents the information from getting lost in inboxes and makes relevant email conversations available to coworkers in shared channels.
Have The Right Leaders
Business leaders that foster collaboration in the work environment needs to have an attitude that strikes the right balance between being relationship-oriented and being task-oriented. In other words, they need to help create an atmosphere of trust and goodwill so that employees feel comfortable sharing ideas, and suggestions and expressing their views while making collective and individual objectives clear so that everybody knows what is expected of them and monitoring and feedback are easier.
Good leaders bring ideas and plan to the table, and gather themselves with skilful, talented and enthusiastic employees. They know how to collaborate with their employees so that goals are achieved and new challenges are accepted.
Needless to say, a collaborative environment also needs leaders to be good listeners as they need to be open to new ideas, concerns or suggestions.
Communicate The Benefits Of Collaborative Organizations
Highly collaborative organizations communicate openly to their employees about the personal benefits they’ll enjoy from a collaborative environment. Mentioning aspects such as how it will make their work easier, how they’ll feel part of something larger than themselves and their position in the company and even how it will make it easier for them to make friends with colleagues are strong arguments that you can rely on.
Even though it may seem evident why being part of a collaborative company is better, many a time employees fail to see the benefits and need somebody to remind them.
Collaboration Is Part Of Everyday Workflow
Collaboration should not be seen as another competency that employees are expected to have but as a skill integrated into all aspects of their work. In other words, collaboration should be part of the workflow.
Leaders Don’t Get In The Way
Micromanaging and collaborative organizations don’t work well together. Leaders should understand that once they set the objectives and everybody knows what to do, who to work with and where to gather the information from, their job is to monitor the process and provide feedback.
Getting in the way will only discourage employees from the advantages of collaborating with each other and hinder communication. Make sure employees know, feel and perceive that they are part of the decision process from day one.
Create a Supportive Environment
If your organization has been rewarding employees for individual performance as the main driver of success, you need to start rewarding teamwork equally at the same time. A company that offers a supportive environment for collaboration, encourage teamwork and employees to talk to each other.
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