For any business to achieve long-term success, collaboration must play a part. Different units work within your company to meet your organizational objectives. Without cohesion, these units cannot meet your expectations. As a result, customers will be unsatisfied, products will be of lower quality, and you will lose valued clients and top talent to your competitors in the long run.
Collaboration improves workflows in the company, whether in Michigan or elsewhere. It also boosts problem-solving, innovation, and chances of success in a highly competitive market. So, how can you boost collaboration within your business? The Charlevoix Area Chamber of Commerce presents some solutions to consider below.
Exerting too much influence on your staff may seem wise, at least in the short term. But in the long run, it's one of the biggest enemies of collaboration. Constant worrying about what the manager thinks discourages your employees from working as a team. As a result, they may rely solely on the micromanager instead of each other.
Micromanagement also drags down your staff’s morale, which causes reduced productivity, innovation, and progress. No one wants to think outside the box when their managers are always hovering; with too much oversight, your top talent will be unable to reach their potential.
Create Opportunities For Cross-team Collaboration
Your employees should not have to feel like they are only productive when they are at their desks. They can still share ideas over conversations at lunch, during coffee breaks, and in boardrooms as they wait for meetings to begin.
A staff break room provides a place for informal but still useful cross-team collaboration. Also, consider off-work hours, like early morning coffees or drinks after work, when staff can see each other more as human beings than co-workers.
When your team does need to collaborate more formally, give them the tools to do it easily even if they are working remotely. PDFs offer great options to edit, comment, and save files for reference later. If you're looking for a way to convert your Word doc to a PDF, use a conversion tool. They are free, online, and easy to use. Just drop your files in the converter, and the tool will automatically convert them into PDF.
Use the Right Tools and Technology
Some business tasks are repetitive and time-consuming, which takes time and motivation away from collaboration. Invest in technology that automates such tasks, so your staff has time to collaborate on more interesting projects.
You should also use modern communication technology to enable collaboration among team members in different locations. Help them share documents, brainstorm on tough assignments, and share messages. Staff in different time zones should also be able to share their input at convenient times.
Incorporate a Culture of Open Communication and Sharing of Ideas
The more people feel encouraged to contribute, the better a team’s solutions will be. However, for some employees, speaking up may not be easy. It's key for you to develop a psychologically safe working environment that is free of judgment.
Reward Collaboration Efforts
Some members will be natural collaborators while others will not. This is where incentives come in. Identify the most active collaborators in your teams and reward them. Reward programs can include points, badges, gifts, and rankings.
Feedback is known to foster trust within an organization. You can schedule open forums for teams and team leaders to offer feedback on how collaboration can be improved and to resolve any barriers they have encountered on the job.
Increase Success Through Collaboration
As teams grow larger and more diverse, collaboration is key in keeping any business afloat and competitive. Create opportunities for collaboration by providing both physical spaces and digital tools that allow your employees to work together in healthy ways. And be conscientious about creating a supportive environment that is open to encouragement and feedback. It can be difficult for coworkers to trust each other and their supervisors, but with the right strategies you can create a healthy and collaborative work environment.
Access even more great resources to help your business grow and thrive in our community by joining the Charlevoix Area Chamber of Commerce.