Collaboration is increasingly important in today’s workplace and a highly sought after skill in any employee.
With technology making communication across teams and offices easier and more accessible, staff have more opportunity to collaborate and work together than ever. Building a culture of collaboration has great benefits for your business, increasing cooperation, improving knowledge sharing and promoting teamwork and positive working relationships.
Let's look at how you can help build a culture of collaboration in your organization.
The work culture of any company will be far more positive when individuals work together as a team.
For employees, working collaboratively increases their sense of identity within the team, as well as building a personal sense of achievement and overall team morale. Building trust and cooperation as a group leads to real support for each other, encouraging loyalty and respect.
Managers and supervisors who understand the benefits of collaboration will look for opportunities for their teams to work together and connect, promoting a culture of teamwork.
These days, teams don’t always share the same work space, with employees working from home, remotely or in offices across different continents.
Large, diverse teams often need to work together virtually to deliver a project, meaning fostering effective online collaboration is vital. With so many individuals involved, it’s important to make sure you’re tapping into those resources of knowledge and experience.
Employers and managers should encourage team members to share information and knowledge freely, to accomplish team and organizational goals.
Collaboration is most beneficial when it leads to a direct outcome.
Focusing on outcomes helps to keep progress moving forward, with teams working together to achieve shared goals. Sharing a sense of purpose is an important part of teamwork and will help to strengthen employee working relationships, as well as their engagement with the project.
One of the biggest barriers to success is when teams act as a collection of silos, rather than one organization.
In many offices or job sites, you can see cases of siloed work behavior, with staff sticking to their own teams and not really mixing or interacting with the pods or offices beside them.However, through teamwork and collaboration, employees are able to tap into a larger and wider knowledge base, meaning working across teams can be very beneficial for everyone. Be conscious of helping and supporting other branches and departments, to reach the same company goals and milestones.
During onboarding for new hires, encourage them to meet with other branches and departments, to break down silos and encourage collaboration. Nokia’s collaborative culture begins the moment a new hire starts on the job, when their manager sits down and lists all the people in the organization it would be useful for the employee to meet. They look together at what topics the newcomer should discuss with each person on the list and why establishing a relationship with him or her is important.
In a leadership role, you have the exciting opportunity to drive collaboration in your organization.
If you’re a manager or team leader, particularly in HR, you can lead the way in improving collaboration in your workplace. You also have a responsibility to encourage the collaborative process to make your whole team better than the sum of its parts.
You’ll be helping to increase work satisfaction of your team, while improving efficiencies and knowledge sharing, reinforcing your skills as a leader.
If you’re interested in becoming more proactive in building collaboration within your organization, you can learn more through online courses such as How to Build Collaborative and Focused Teams. This free eLearning course will provide you with the skills and knowledge to understand what drives culture, helping you to build collaborative, high performance teams.