5 Tips on Improving Employee Collaboration

Lisa MichaelsMarketing Consultant
Successful collaboration among team members is essential for the growth of your business. When employees work together on projects, share ideas and communicate effectively they get better results.

Good collaboration between coworkers gives companies a clear advantage. It provides for fast and easy sharing of knowledge and skills in tackling projects or solving problems. A wider skillset working the same issue leads to more creative results.

Collaborative environments enable your business to produce better products, processes, and ideas that in return boost profitability. A team environment also helps employees to become more engaged with their work, bringing greater job satisfaction.

Here are several ways to promote collaboration in your workforce.

Encourage Open Communication

Clarity and frequency of communication are very important to setting the stage for effective collaboration. Your team leaders should focus on creating an environment where information and ideas are openly exchanged.

Encourage your team members to brainstorm ideas and solutions to problems that will help them to stay on the same page. Sharing information and ideas creates a more transparent and cohesive company culture. It also reduces the possibility of wasteful duplicated or pointless efforts and improves progress.

Also, your employees should always be able to speak frankly with you and the management. Having an open-door policy can allow your employees to come to you with questions and ideas. You should be willing to listen to every suggestion and offer your feedback.

Foster a Sense of Community

Effective collaboration isn't possible without positive workplace relationships. By promoting a sense of community within your company, you encourage employees to relate to one another in both a personal and professional context.

You can do this by scheduling non-work activities that allow employees to socialize and build stronger bonds. Having a personal connection to fellow employees encourages individual contributions and creates a healthier team dynamic. This should make every individual feel comfortable in being honest and sharing insights.

Make Meetings Productive

Daily meetings can be very beneficial to communication and coordination of efforts, provided they're done properly. Often conflicting schedules or personal obligations can make productive meetings difficult. Even when the entire team is present, much of the time may be wasted on small talk.

A senior member should serve as the meeting chairman or leader, and follow a pre-defined list of topics and concerns that must be addressed at that point in the workflow. Debates and office politics should not be addressed during meetings if they aren't on the agenda, but rescheduled if they're truly relevant. This way you ensure that priorities are covered in the time allotted.

There should also be a meeting at wider intervals, such as weekly or monthly. This should be more of an organizational perspective to which you would invite various departmental managers, specialists such as IT or accounting, or other shareholders. Particularly with company-wide initiatives, this allows everyone to share their progress, challenges, and goals, as well as ask questions and offer solutions.

Use Collaboration Tools

Organized meetings and open communications are important for collaboration, but in practice it's unusual for everyone to be available in the same time and place.  This is why you need to set appropriate channels for communication and distribution of data and documents, such as file sharing apps, video conferencing or project management software.

Projects operating through a central hub enable organizations to be more adaptable in the event that concerned parties can't be brought to the same location or are too busy to review critical documents. This way team leaders or senior management can coordinate developments and make decisions when the normal protocols can't be enforced.

Implementing collaborative tools throughout the enterprise allows teams to cooperate and share even under difficult circumstances. It also enables teamwork on a broader scale, such as across business locations or up the chain of command. This creates an in-house network with the common goal of faster progress and directed innovation.

Engage and Motivate

Focusing on employee engagement and motivation is an important part of keeping your business successful. Engaged employees are more satisfied and productive in the workplace. When they are motivated to do their daily tasks it creates a perfect working environment for collaboration.

To maximize engagement, first, make sure every employee is familiar with the company’s mission and vision. They should also understand what is expected of them every day. When onboarding new hires to your team, be certain they're introduced right away to their duties, tools, and co-workers. A mentorship period with a senior employee can speed the learning curve and help them build relationships. Get them involved in company activities and initiatives to introduce them to more people and make them feel like a valued member of the team.

You can motivate your team additionally with attractive benefits, recognition, training and advancement opportunities. This will ensure your employees are happy and productive team players who help your business succeed.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, effective collaboration is one of the greatest assets your company can have, but it requires nurturing a collaborative environment through open communication and developing a culture of cooperation. If you can keep meeting focused and employees engaged, your productivity will increase. Software tools that consolidate enterprise resources can make collaboration easier to achieve and sustain.


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