In the innovation economy, collaboration is the secret sauce that allows companies to create new ideas and incite change. Without a trailblazing team behind every product or service, the world would look much different. However, it can be difficult to understand all the moving parts that make collaboration as effective as possible, especially if your company is lagging behind. If collaboration is one of your key concerns, here’s how you can make it into a holistic, company-wide goal:
Hire Right and Be HR Mavericks
According to a recent Gallup poll, 70 percent of U.S. employees are not engaged at work. This data indicates that most companies are not taking the extra step to create a strong company culture that attracts and retains high-quality, collaborative employees. To ensure that workers are bringing in strong output and camaraderie, your human resources department needs to up it’s game. First, you have to hire individuals that are team-players—no one likes a ball hog—and second, you need to create a culture in which these individuals are motivated and empowered to share ideas.
Identify Pain Points Before They Boil Over
Let’s face it, your employees probably have a wealth of good ideas. Sadly, these unique insights get killed before they make it up the ladder. If you’re serious about collaboration, survey your employees and see how they feel about your company’s current efforts and level of openness. If your employees feel like their ideas just get shot down by unreceptive management, that’s the first sign that collaboration isn’t a company priority. Ensure that all stakeholders are aligned with your new short-term and long-term goals by creating top-down transparency and training your managers to be more open-minded about innovation.
Set Remote Team Up For Success
If remote working is a huge part of your company, you know full well how distance can make it hard for you to truly collaborate. But by using software, you can fill in the gaps to ensure that your remote employees feel like a part of the overall team. Working sessions through Skype and other video conferencing software are simple methods that you can use in order to include remote employees in ideation sessions and problem-solving initiatives. Consider adding on workflow automation or forms automation into your processes, this will help remote and on-site workers to stay accountable while helping them allocate more time to collaborate instead of emailing or getting bogged down on paperwork.
You may think sociability has nothing to do with collaboration, but it absolutely does. Think back to your school days; Were you ever put in a dysfunctional group project? You probably felt that way because you didn’t know enough about your partners to create strong working relationships. For teams to function well, all parties should have an idea of their teammates’ strengths and weaknesses. Through social initiatives, parties, and team-building efforts, employees can learn a lot about themselves, their coworkers, and leaders, helping them to navigate meetings and working sessions more effectively.
Collaboration is the DNA that makes business work. But in order for collaboration to hit its peak, it needs to be a priority for all members of your organization, especially by managers. By breaking down barriers and letting your employees learn more about each other, collaboration will become truly second nature.