5 benefits of collaboration that foster the most productive work environments
Some employees like working in groups and some prefer to work alone. While each team member in an organisation has different work styles.
5 MINUTE READ
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August 29, 2018

Some employees like working in groups and some prefer to work alone. While each team member in an organisation has different work styles, collaboration is key to driving the results you desire.

The potential benefits of collaboration are as broad as the strategies that businesses can take to foster a collaborative work environment. Keep reading to discover five of the most potent benefits of collaboration for any business, then take the first steps towards building collaboration skills with your team members.

1. Team Collaboration Improves Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is the lifeblood of any organisation. However, one Gallup poll indicates only 33 percent of employees feel engaged.

When teams work together, they feel more connected, especially across departments. It's quite common for departments in large companies to work in silos, even if their work overlaps or affects one another.

Organisation-wide unified communication is very valuable. If your teams don't feel like there is anything to hide, they are actively building trust and sharing resources to reach common goals.

Take it a step further and encourage employees to build healthy relationships outside of the office. Plan and arrange a variety of social opportunities with happy hours, book club, and recreational sporting opportunities. You'll reap the benefits of a more satisfied workforce and decreased turnover.

2. Collaborative Teams Have More Productive Meetings

Working collaboratively shouldn't mean having more meetings. It's common that executives think problem-solving involves lengthy meetings with large teams to make sure everyone is heard.

While intentions may be good, too many meetings ruin productivity. When companies embrace the right collaboration technology, they don't have the need to meet about every issue that crops up.

When effective collaboration is weaved into your work culture, team members don't need to have a formal meeting at every turn. With strong collaboration skills, they are constantly communicating throughout the day and using collaborative technology to record and measure their tasks and targets.

As a result, they spend less time in unproductive meetings. When highly collaborative teams do have meetings, they are more structured, encourage active information sharing, and are focused on high level problem-solving.

What does a meeting look like in a highly collaborative environment? Meetings should start on time, end on time, and have a clear agenda that team members stick to. Collaborative teams respect one another's time and participate equally.

3. A Collaborative Culture Attracts Top Talent

Today's workforce is composed of Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and millennials — with an increasing number of Generation Z employees entering the workforce for the first time. No matter what industry you're in, collaboration matters more than ever.

Millennials and Generation Z have a different set of expectations. They want to contribute new ideas, they expect constant communication and praise and they typically want more feedback. As baby boomers retire, these two generations are increasingly comprising the majority of today's workforce, and a collaborative work culture environment fits their wants and needs.

What does a collaborative culture look like? Build out open office spaces that foster natural communication to drive collaboration. When people can hear one another, they will naturally gravitate towards more teamwork and idea sharing. Be sure to include rooms for private meetings and places where employees can work in a quiet space when appropriate. Don't forget to include collaborative technologies for your remote workers to keep them engaged with the rest of the team.

Be an active part of building the leadership skills of your new employees. If you want to attract and retain the best talent, foster a workplace that encourages sharing resources, transparency, inclusion and an openness to innovative ideas across every level of the organisation.

4. Effective Collaboration Produces New Ideas

When employees with different backgrounds and opinions work together to flesh out and gather new ideas, conflict is common, but it can be constructive. Group teamwork produces dynamic, creative ideas. Without the energy of innovative ideas, you fall behind the competition and become a static, outdated business.

According to a Nielsen case study, including more team members in idea generation, especially across various departments, creates a broader collection of ideas that allow the entire team to identify one unique idea that their customers will resonate with the most.  

When team members participate in a collaborative working space where everyone feels safe and welcome to contribute, new ideas are easily generated. Employees should feel comfortable contributing any idea, even if it's not a 'good' one.

5. Collaboration Improves Individual Productivity

Organisation-wide collaboration produces fully engaged team members who are enthusiastic about taking on new projects and responsibilities. They are also more likely to embrace change because they are invested in the mission of the company and improving processes.

When businesses use tools and resources that make collaboration and teamwork easier, individual workers meet their goals faster and produce higher quality work. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, a global software team that used collaborative networking tools and improved their collaborative methods improved productivity by 20–30 percent.

Smart Teams Use Collaborative Technology

Now that you are familiar with the vast benefits of improved collaboration, begin using the best online collaboration tools that make collaboration simple.

Samewave is social performance management software that makes team collaboration come to life, no matter where your employees are. Benefit from straightforward information sharing for teams spread out across multiple time zones. Samewave is the one place that your team can use send and receive the updates that matter in real-time.

Samewave's robust features allow team members to communicate about shared goals with chat streams and create, track and measure progress towards tasks and targets in one transparent place.

Ready to get your team on the same page? Samewave is free, so sign up today and incorporate it into your work environment and leverage the power of collaborative technology to help your business prosper.

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