From building the greatest wonders of the world to high-tech machinery, collaboration has always taken a front seat. With teamwork being the driving force for any business, it is essential to ensure you create an open and collaborative environment for your teams to work together. After all, a cohesive environment is where exceptional ideas are born.
Here are five tips to help you build a collaborative workplace:
Set measurable goals:
Make sure you know your team inside-out and play by their strengths. Constantly communicate the team’s common goals to ensure everyone’s on the page. Openly convey individual and collective responsibilities that every member holds so that employees don’t step into each other’s area of expertise. And, never forget to show how each of them = contributes to the big picture. This will encourage a great sense of responsibility and involvement, inspiring your team to naturally perform better.
Did you know: The chance of retaining best employees is 4.5x more when companies communicate their goals more effectively. (Bit.Ai)
How to do it :
→ Conduct a monthly or quarterly meeting and clearly outline your team’s goals.
→ Discuss an action plan and ensure every member is aware of how their achievements affect the overall picture.
→ You can use project management tools to openly track your team’s short and long term goals.
Recognize collaborative efforts:
Once you have identified your goals, it’s time to get your team to work closely. Brainstorm and solve challenges together. Establish a judgment-free atmosphere where employees can share constructive feedback and ideas. Identify and reward employees not just for individual achievements but for their collaborative efforts as well.
Did you know: Though 75% of employers rate collaboration “very important”, only 18% of them include communication evaluations as part of the performance reviews.(Penn Foster)
How to do it :
→ Set team milestones and acknowledge once they are achieved.
→ Include team goals in individual review and reward employees based on their collaborative efforts
Build an environment of trust:
There is always a certain inhibition while sharing one’s ideas—the worry that their suggestions might be irrelevant. The fear of being ridiculed is a great hindrance to success and to avoid this, you need to build trust among your employees so that they can easily share their thoughts. Establish a judgment-free atmosphere where employees can share constructive feedback and ideas.
Did you know: 54% of employees stayed in the same job for a long time when the company offered a strong sense of community and great coworkers. (Gusto)
How to do it:
→ Offer a platform for people to connect, conduct stress-free team building activities, and support group events.
→ Build an informal community within your company so that employees can comfortably mingle with each other within the business setting.
Training employees to communicate:
Collaboration does not come naturally to everyone. The best way to encourage teamwork is to educate employees on how a thriving team looks like and what they can do to support it. Implement experiential learning, discuss real-world challenges, and constantly reinforce collaborative behavior through group activities.
How to do it:
Set up workshops for recruits, implement experiential learning, and discuss real-world challenges
Introduce a buddy system, pair a new joinee with a veteran employee. The buddy will help the new member get accustomed to the company’s culture and policies.
Invest in the right technology:
With the right tools in place, businesses can foster a better collaborative space for teams to communicate and work efficiently. This will improve their problem-solving capability, foster innovation, and stay ahead of the competition.
Did you know: 83% of professionals depend on technology to work together and 82% of them felt that they would be affected if the same technology was lost. (Alfresco)
How to do it:
→ To find the right tools, one must first identify areas that would benefit from using the tools.
→ As you grow, so will your team, and the amount of work done. Ensure the tools you use can scale along with your business.
→ Try to standardize tools for every purpose across your organization, so that you can establish a cross-functional collaboration.
Collaboration and teamwork play an important role in today’s business world, especially when you have teams working from the different parts of the world. It is essential for employers to set up an open environment where teams can freely interact and share ideas without being judged.