3 Strategies to Foster Collaboration in the Workplace

busy office employees

Organizations today focus on team effort. Deloitte, an industry leader in audit and tax advisory services, has previously emphasized the power of having a network of teams that work together to achieve an organization’s goals. It’s quite understandable how the industry leader perceived teams this way. If you have several teams working simultaneously and independently, your company’s productivity can significantly increase.

Organizations that have worked this way always produce positive results. In fact, many successful companies that have promoted team efforts in recent years have led to many of today’s technological advancements. And it’s not just the companies that are reaping the benefits. Employees working in teams are more satisfied, enabling them to generate more ideas for the companies they work for.

With teams creating new ideas and innovative solutions for modern organizations’ challenges, there remains one huge problem. Both employees and companies struggle to foster a positive environment that encourages collaboration. It’s a challenge for companies to convince their employees to work together and cooperate as a team. While teams are more specialized, they are also distinctly diverse and dispersed. Employees are working remotely from across many locations, making collaboration a formidable issue.

This article aims to help team leaders, members, and companies create a cohesive environment to improve collaboration. There are only three key strategies:

1. Encourage Engagement

It is the company’s initial task to engage employees from day one. Considering every team member has a role to play, everybody needs to get to know each other well. This can help cultivate a level of understanding or empathy, especially if one team member is currently facing complex challenges in life. It’s just easier to collaborate if a team member knows what another is going through. Empathy is crucial in creating a positive environment for collaboration. With it, transparency, trust, and accountability follow.

Collaboration requires transparency because it can help inform everyone about a company’s objectives and the challenges it needs to overcome to reach its goals. Transparency can be achieved if the management is open about its issues, so the staff aligns with its strategic objectives, helping accomplish its business goals. There is also transparency if everyone on a team is on the same page. It helps if everyone is aligned with the priorities of each member and the agendas of each team. Projects can quickly move forward this way.

To move forward, teams also need to build trust and accountability. Members work better if they know their team leaders and co-members have their best interests at heart. And when there is trust, members can easily own their assigned schedule and tasks. They are not hesitant to accept accountability, making it easier to correct errors and provide constructive feedback.

All of these: empathy, transparency, trust, and accountability, fosters a cohesive and positive environment for collaboration. If a project doesn’t work, these elements can help teams approach new tasks with a positive mind. They’ll know what went wrong and how to correct it should it happen again on their next project.

employees collaborating

2. Use Technology and Tools

The right technology and tools can increase team collaboration. A company should have the right corporate audiovisual system, team collaboration portal, task scheduler, and project management software for its collaboration efforts.

Technology can help provide a repository of files that employees can use to store, share, and edit files in real-time. It can provide a medium for simultaneous communication between teams and departments on-site and from different locations. It can update everyone about tasks that are already accomplished and what still needs to be done.

Collaboration tools can also help multiple devices interact seamlessly, eliminating the need to operate individual settings. It can help provide simplified employee training through documents, presentations, and videos.

In other words, various collaboration technology and tools help companies bring together their teams.

3. Allow Collaboration Across Departments

Deloitte further highlighted the need for organizations to create adaptive teams to foster successful collaboration. Teams should be created with a few members and for a temporary purpose only. Once they accomplish their task, members should be assigned to other teams and work on an entirely different project. This can help employees grow while eliminating routine tasks that can lead to boredom if they work on the same team for years.

Workplace, Facebook’s online collaborative tool for business, is a champion of this strategy. And according to them, cross-functional consistent communication, without jargon and department-specific language, plays a huge role in adopting this approach effectively. It avoids confusion between teams and departments.

Recognize and Reward Your Employees

Workplace further reiterates the need to reward collaboration. It can only be successful if company management shows that it values the collaborative efforts of its employees. This means that whatever strategy your company attempts to adopt, it’ll be useless if you don’t recognize your staff’s efforts and reward them.

Follow these three key strategies and then recognize and reward your employees for their efforts to collaborate. Rewards will always encourage employees to help the companies they work for to achieve their business goals. Keep that in mind if you want to foster a positive collaborative environment for your company.

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