While there's certainly no one-size-fits-all approach to effective collaboration, employing best practices can help any organisation find what works for their team. Read on to discover the dangers of ignoring collaboration, strategies that encourage powerful, efficient team collaboration and why collaboration drives excellent business results.
Imagine an organisation is planning a change in leadership and preparing a new strategy for increasing employee engagement and improving internal communications. The CEO and COO have meetings behind closed doors and develop a plan and timeline, excluding the rest of the company.
They research different programs about how to improve engagement and internal communication. They bury themselves in the literature about the benefits of workplace engagement and how it can help drive business results and productivity.
For two months, they have weekly planning sessions and are excited to announce the new initiative. They feel confident the rest of the team will be on board and echo their passion for the plan.
Mid-level managers hear a few rumours about the initiative and their direct reports start wondering what the news is about. However, no one knows quite what to expect. Anxiety rises and employees feel out of the loop.
The CEO and CFO send out a long email across the country, excitedly describing the new engagement and communications plan. Few details are included that describe what types of changes employees should expect or why the plan is necessary.
While the intention of the CEO and CFO was for their team to be excited, the opposite occurs. They don't know if they are going to incur an increased workload or responsibilities and feel detached because they weren't involved in the process. Productivity and motivation levels decrease and the work culture suffers. Employees become disengaged with the mission and turnover spikes.
Mitigate the risks of a non-collaborative work setting with a forward-thinking strategy that plans for success.
Employee engagement is one of the biggest factors towards creating a fruitful business environment. People that work together well feel more engaged with their work and the mission of the organisation.
Satisfied workers are happier and have higher motivation levels. When they are engaged, they are less likely to be tempted by other opportunities, curbing costly turnover and improving employee retention a great deal.
Diversify your project management process. Have team members from different departments work together to cultivate a collaborative spirit. The advantages of an engaged team are broad: Engaged employees miss fewer work days, are more productive and enjoy better relationships with their co-workers as well as their customers.
In general, people work better with co-workers they trust and enjoy spending time with. You can help encourage robust relationships between employees inside and outside of the work environment.
Plan events that get your employees talking and they will be more apt to collaborate even if you don't tell them to. Plan a monthly lunch potluck at the office and voluntary social outings away from the office for team members to build a collaborative spirit. Your team members will enjoy more open communication and job satisfaction when they socialise outside of work.
Plan a broad range of social events to encourage participation and help employees get out of their comfort zone and try new things. The sky's the limit — schedule happy hour events, recreation opportunities, game nights, or volunteer together. Put together a collaborative social committee to ensure that fostering a strong sense of community doesn't fall off the radar.
Leverage employee skills by pooling them together collaboratively. Every team member brings a varied background and knowledge to the group. Effective collaboration helps fuse their talents together to solve work problems.
Everyone sees things in a different light, especially in different departments. For example, a marketing specialist could collaborate with members of your sales team to help solve sales problems.
If the sales teams aren't converting enough new leads, they might assume it was because of their sales tactics. A marketing specialist may help them unravel the problem by revealing the bigger picture from a unique perspective. Were the leads qualified and nurtured? What kinds of campaigns and communications were they receiving? Do they know how to track lead generation?
The departments could collaborate to improve the overall lead qualification process and work together to create higher quality campaigns. They also learn from one another, creating organic continuous learning opportunities.
Your talent is your best asset, so make sure your employees who are subject matter experts in one area leverage their knowledge to help one another become more productive and reach common goals. The same sales professional that learned how to optimise an email campaign also can help the marketing specialist better understand the target customer or market.
When your team members are collaborating on a regular basis, productivity and engagement can reach new heights.
Effective collaboration doesn't always take place during in-person meetings and email communications. As organisations continue to embrace a remote workforce, the software industry has responded with a host of tools and resources to simplify decision-making and team collaboration across time zones and office locations.
Samewave is a different type of program that helps businesses around the world collaborate effectively. It is a social performance management software that uses the influence of social technology for good.
This free software helps teams collaborate, discuss, measure and track long and short-term goals and targets in one transparent place. Business leaders can track an entire project with Samewave, from specific tasks accomplished to progress towards group goals, along with access to the latest updates and real-time reporting in just a few clicks.
Smart, progressive companies use the right tools to help their business prosper. Introduce Samewave to your team today to make developing the most collaborative team simple.