Collaboration is an important aspect of any business that wants to run smoothly and be successful. Without collaboration, you will find that your employees do not work as efficiently, all departments are disjointed, and there is general chaos. However, when you can work with your employees to collaborate better in the workplace, you will see productivity skyrocket, as well as the work morale and your business profits. To help you improve collaboration, here are some top ways to help you.
The first and most important thing that you can do is understand what collaboration is and what it should look like. This will ensure that you know how to set realistic and attainable goals for your business. If you don’t know what it is or what you want it to look like, then you can’t expect your team to either. Collaboration is when individuals get together to achieve something mutual. The effort is shared between individuals, whether that is across a team or different departments of a business. People will come together, even those who typically wouldn’t, so they can share ideas and opinions and help each other achieve something.
The great thing about collaboration is that it brings people from all over your business together, encourages people to speak up and be creative, and can bring together ideas that individual employees would not think of or achieve if they were working on their own. Many important benefits would significantly improve your business, including:
- Increased productivity
- Increased engagement
- Keeping individuals and teams better organized
- Increased efficiency
- Improved workflow
- Improved communication
- Better work morale
- Higher-quality work
There are a variety of ways that you can increase and improve collaboration within your business. Here are some of the top ways to help you hit the ground running.
To implement successful collaboration, you must get to know your team first. Everyone has a different way of doing things, from the way that they learn to the way that they communicate with others. If you try to implement one method of collaboration across your business, it just will not work. Instead, you should take time to observe your team and the way that they currently do things. You can also sit down with your team members individually, and ask them how they prefer to work, how they do things, how they communicate, how they best learn, etc. This will give you a better idea of their needs, as well as how collaboration may start to come together within your business. You need to make sure that collaboration between teams and departments can fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. That isn’t to say to isolate everyone into groups by the way they communicate – but instead, to figure out how you can use everyone’s strengths to their advantage, and improve on their weaknesses.
Early on in the process of implementing more collaboration within your teams, you should start to encourage discussions and group work. This is a great introduction to heavier collaboration work. It will also enable your team members and different departments to get to know each other. This may help with your understanding of how they work together, so you can see it in action. Discussions and group work are excellent ways to get your employees to learn to work outside of their own bubbles, think differently, share ideas, and grow their confidence. You can also begin to experiment with different ways of doing this, to help you set goals and bigger collaboration projects in the future.
Once you have dipped your foot in the water and got your teams and departments working better together, you can take some time to analyze and use this information to set goals and expectations. This is an excellent way to bring your employees together and start bigger collaboration projects. Take time to research and think about what goals and expectations are most suitable, and share them with your team. When they all know what is expected of them, they can get on the same page and begin to find ways to problem solve and work together towards the same objectives. It will help track the progress of your teams and collaboration projects, and review them to see how they can be improved in the future.
Not only should your team know what is expected of them so they can work together, but you also need to ensure that you set them up for success. If they don’t have the right tools to do the work and collaborate with other teams and departments, the collaboration efforts will be extremely difficult or worse, fail.
Make sure that you implement all the right tools, equipment, systems, and space so that your business can collaborate effectively. This might include systems such as Teams or Google Mail so that people can hop on video calls and use the chat box features to ping messages to each other and set up meetings. You may also use applications such as Webviewer whereby employees can access, annotate, and collaborate on important documents. There are a variety of different tools and systems that you can utilize when setting your team up for success.
In addition to systems, you will need to help your business set up the necessary workflows. This will be linked to the type of systems that you use, but everyone needs to know how things work in your business. Make it clear what the rules are, the business hierarchy, and any important processes like sign-offs, customer queries, etc. This will ensure cohesion within collaboration projects and guarantee your employees can work smoothly together, limiting any conflicts.
Collaboration efforts can be enhanced via the use of team-building activities. These are a great way for everyone to step away from the confines of work, especially in strict or high pace environments, and get to know their peers outside of the work pressure. Team building exercises make a huge difference in the way the employees treat and communicate with each other. You can host these inside of work, and keep them related to work. You can also host these outside of work. Both are just as effective and can significantly improve team morale.
Feedback is extremely important. If collaborative working and projects were not utilized in your business before now, then you must seek feedback with every step that you take. This can be done within employee reviews, but also anonymous feedback surveys. This will help you to understand what your teams are enjoying and what they are not, as well as what is working and what is not. This way you can sort any issues out as early on as possible, and make for better collaboration in your business.
Collaboration is vital in any business. If you can bring it into your business, then you will see morale, productivity, and profits all increase. It won’t just happen overnight. It will be something that you have to slowly introduce and get your team adjusted to. You may have to try different methods and adapt where necessary, as it will be a learning process for everyone involved. If you and your team can persist, it will bring great things to your business. Follow these top tips to help you get started.