Workplace collaboration serves important purposes. It helps employees work more productively. They complete projects by pooling their various abilities and insights. They’re also less likely to feel isolated, cut off from each other and from your company’s culture as a whole.
When managed wisely, collaboration opens up new possibilities for efficiency, innovation, and improved morale. The following are four tips to encourage collaboration at work:
1) Give them a sense of purpose
It’s easier for employees to collaborate when they understand why they’re doing so. What’s their shared goal or mission? What’s the point of the specific project they’re teaming up for? Give them clarity about their work and about the benefits of collaboration for the business as a whole and for each employee as an individual.
2) Create a culture of trust and respect
Employees are less likely to collaborate with each other when they’re afraid of speaking up and sharing their work. Maybe they’re concerned their colleagues will turn on them in some way, or that they’ll suffer ridicule and humiliation for their ideas and other contributions. Collaboration depends on mutual respect and trust; it doesn’t thrive in a cutthroat environment.
3) Show them by example
One of the best ways to demonstrate that you encourage collaborative activities is to participate in them yourself in meaningful ways. Granted, you have to be careful not to intrude too much or micromanage your employees, which will wind up dampening their collaborative spirit. But you can demonstrate collaboration by soliciting feedback and suggestions, and showing an understanding of your employees’ strengths and how each of them can uniquely contribute to your business. Don’t complete all of your own work in isolation.
4) Equip them with the right tools
There’s a proliferation of digital tools that encourage collaboration even among employees who aren’t in the same physical location (or time zone). As discussed in a recent article from IT World, not all tools will prove popular or useful for your employees; you need to choose them carefully, based on your employees’ needs and preferences, along with what works best for your business.
Because so much of communication occurs via computing devices, strong IT support services will help you foster collaboration among employees. Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss how you can create a collaborative environment at your workplace.