“Team collaboration is key to business success” – how many times have you heard and used this sentence during meetings and conferences?
Innumerable times, right?
But, is this concept implemented with the same seriousness as it is spoken about?
Often, organizations fall victim to knowledge silos when teams aren’t given a collaborative work environment. This hampers their productivity and eventually strangles your business growth.
It’s time you said sayonara to silos and turned your organization into one big happy family by creating a collaborative and supportive work culture.
This blog sheds light on some incredibly helpful tips to cultivate a collaborative culture in your workplace.
Effective Tips to Develop Team Collaboration in Your Organization
Here are some simple tips to help you bring your employees closer and keep them driven to work towards your business goals.
1. Create a Culture of Open Communication & Innovation
Achieving open communication within teams is not an easy feat. Every organization has individuals with different personalities. While extroverts will share their ideas easily without anyone pushing them, introverts will think twice before sharing their suggestions.
Creating a safe environment where employees do not feel judged while sharing their experiences or opinions is an ideal starting point. Develop an inclusive work culture where employees of varying personalities and cultures are encouraged to voice their opinions and show their creativity.
Conducting weekly meetings where different teams can communicate and provide innovative solutions to business problems can help you in this endeavor.
|Google is an excellent example of a company that encourages communication and innovation. It hosts weekly Thank God It’s Friday (TGIF) meetings that include product demonstrations and introductions of new hires. The most important segment of these meetings is the 30-minute session, where employees across teams and hierarchies are encouraged to ask questions and share ideas.|
2. Encourage Teams to Socialize After Office Hours
Your team collaboration efforts shouldn’t be restricted to office meetings. Encouraging your team members to socialize after work is important as it helps them bond naturally.
Organize offsite events where your employees can indulge in meaningful outside-work interactions. Take your team out for regular lunch or coffee outings. Give them an opportunity to understand one another better and form relationships based on mutual interests.
Encourage them to plan short trips on extended weekends whenever possible. Such activities will boost their morale and help them brew better bonds. This chemistry also reflects during work as they start becoming more supportive and understanding for one another.
This results in an improved work culture, where employees don’t just see one another as colleagues, but as humans, friends, and partners.
Read More: How to Choose the Best Collaboration Software for Your Organization
3. Be a Role Model For Your Teams
To make collaboration an integral part of your work dynamics, leaders should serve as role models.
Their team members look up to them for inspiration, making it all the more important for leaders to practice what they preach. An hour-long meeting on how your team can work collaboratively is a great first step to get things started. The problem arises when you pay lip service to collaborate, but don’t put it to action.
Have a new collaborative framework in place? Be the first one to use it and set an example for others. Make deliberate efforts to show how keen you are to create a culture of collaboration. Do not micromanage. Give your employees the freedom to work in collaboration.
Show some vulnerability. Ask for suggestions and value the contributions of your team members.
Remember that collaboration starts with you. If you are on the right track, your team will soon follow suit.
4. Create a Centralized Company Wiki
Your collaboration efforts will be futile if employees don’t have access to the right resources. Limited or no access to your company’s knowledge means employees won’t be able to collaborate and perform well in their roles.
Creating an online wiki that comprises information related to your company’s policies, clients, projects, and much more can be of tremendous help here.
Employees can use your company wiki to access information about different teams, projects, employee policies, and much more. The best part is they can use the wiki anytime, and from anywhere they are.
For instance, if a person from your sales team in Indonesia wants to know details about a particular client from his counterparts in the U.S., he can quickly refer to your online wiki.
Read more: How to Create a Corporate Wiki for Your Business
It’s an excellent way to develop a collaborative knowledge sharing culture in the workplace.
Watch this video to learn about how to create a wiki for your employees.
5. Acknowledge, Celebrate & Reward Team Collaboration
Whenever your team collaborates effectively and comes closer to realizing your business goals, make it a point to share the victory with other groups as an example.
Little gestures, like an appreciation email or recognizing the team’s achievement in a meeting, go a long way in keeping your employees motivated.
During the yearly or half-yearly appraisals, you can consider both team collaboration efforts and individual efforts in achieving goals. Ensure that these metrics are used in combination to provide appraisals and promotions to employees.
This will make it clear to employees that your organization recognizes and rewards teamwork as much as it appreciates individual contributions.
Read more: 5 Effective Strategies to Improve Team Collaboration
6. Build an Online Discussion Platform
Create an online question and answer platform where employees can initiate conversations with peers and get instant answers to their questions.
Such a platform allows employees across departments to exchange knowledge, keeps the relevant answers on the top, and organizes the information by topics and threads. Employees can create private as well as public groups to start conversations and get their issues addressed.
For instance, if someone from the sales team has a product-related question, he or she can either privately message a member of the product team or post it publicly. This conversation thread can be revisited anytime in the future for reference.
An online discussion portal is a great way to foster team collaboration and create a learning-focused community of employees.
To build an engaging Q&A platform, you can consider using a tool like ProProfs Collaborate. It has got everything you need to boost internal team communication.
7. Identify Conflicts & Resolve Them
Conflicts are bound to arise in teams with members of varying personalities, cultures, and values. But, don’t look at them as something that can harm the work environment.
Various types of conflicts can emerge among employees. Some of the most common ones are task conflicts, relationship conflicts, and values conflicts.
While task conflicts involve issues related to work assignments and managing team expectations, relationship conflicts arise due to differences in personalities and work styles. Values conflicts revolve around differences in matters of politics, religion, and other deep-rooted beliefs of employees.
Such conflicts are an integral part of office culture. Treat them as opportunities to facilitate change in the perspectives of different individuals. Demonstrate empathy, engage employees in a collaborative conflict-resolution process, and encourage them to discuss possible solutions.
Resolve conflicts before they augment and disintegrate your team.
8. Involve Remote Employees
Working remotely can feel isolating and confusing.
Remote employees crave for meaningful relationships with their team members. Since they are not physically present in the office, they miss out on casual chit-chats, office celebrations, brainstorming sessions, and much more.
Technology can help you bridge this gap easily.
You can use video conferencing tools like Zoom or Google Meet to involve remote employees in brainstorming sessions and project meetings. As remote employees are dispersed across locations, ensure that the timings of these meetings are suitable for everyone.
|HP shows us the way as far as collaboration with remote employees is concerned. The company is working aggressively towards training its employees on how to work and collaborate remotely. It keeps organizing virtual events that include movie nights on Fridays to keep its workforce involved. HP also actively uses tools like Zoom to keep teams connected.|
Read More: Support Remote Workforce During COVID-19: Challenges & Best Practices
Team Collaboration – Your Ticket to Success
Running a successful business is not a one-person effort. Can a boat sail smoothly without people with oars making collaborative efforts to push it forward?
It can’t. Those sitting in the boat have to work in alignment to keep the boat in motion and reach the destination.
Similarly, your organization can’t function smoothly if your teams aren’t aligned, motivated, and happy. Collaborative work culture is a critical factor in achieving business success. It keeps your teams tight-knit and builds a sense of unity in each individual. They start thinking of the organization as a family where their contributions are valued and appreciated.
To cultivate a collaborative work culture, you should encourage open communication and innovation, reward collaboration efforts, and most importantly practice what you preach. You can also create a centralized wiki and an online discussion portal to help employees work in sync with one another.
Follow the above tips to keep your employees close and bring your business closer to success.
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