Collaboration defines how people within an organization communicate, relate, and work with one another towards a common mission. In other words, it is the heart of teamwork that makes it successful.
Cultivating a collaborative culture is essential in achieving company goals. When there is a positive collaborative culture, employees work in cohesion, learning from one another and finding solutions together.
Positive collaboration magnifies peoples’ strengths and capabilities and improves employee retention. It brings people together, enhances communication, and workplace relationships. All these are catalysts that enhance productivity.
How does a company cultivate a collaborative culture?
1. Utilize Technological Collaborative Tools
For companies with teams spread across different locations, utilizing collaborative tools is very important in creating a collaborative culture. Communication is crucial between members, as they need to be on the same page. This means sharing information and files, assigning and tracking projects, and brainstorming.
A lack of reliable tools can inhibit collaboration. Find tools that can work for you and use them for your team. Ensure that members are trained on how to use them. For instance, employees will need tools that enable them to open and compress large files.
This brings the need to use zip files. Zip files save on storage space and make it easier and quicker to share large files. Ensure your employees know how to create them, and provide support whenever needed.
2. Set Clear Goals and Expectations
Unclear goals and objectives can demotivate an employee. For starters, employees won’t know what’s expected of them. It becomes difficult to be part of a team when you’re unaware of your position in it.
On the other hand, communicating the company mission clearly, and telling each employee their goals, motivates everyone. So each team member will be ready to bring their expertise and A-game to the table.
3. Create Opportunities to Work Together
Employees can’t work together if there are no opportunities to do so. Companies should be deliberate in creating situations that call for teams to brainstorm to find solutions, or work together to complete a project. It is a good way to fast track projects, find solutions to difficult challenges, and bring new ideas to the table.
For instance, a company looking to expand globally can pose a question of how it can sell to global customers better. Making it a challenge with a reward at the end for the winning team is a good way to motivate participation.
4. Encourage Workplace Relationships
Working together for teams relies on mutual trust and respect among team members. People would be hesitant to work with people they rarely talk to. When members are familiar with each other, working together feels natural.
Companies need to encourage personal relationships both at and outside work. One way to do this for a co-location workplace is creating a breakout room. Design it in a way that encourages conversations among workers.
For a company with a remote team, managers can encourage relationships by pairing people to chat over virtual coffee breaks where they get to know each other. Hold team-building activities to help people get talking. It also helps when members join together to celebrate each other’s achievements and milestones, whether in the office or outside work.
5. Lead by Example
When hiring leaders, it is important to assess their collaboration abilities with previous employers. It also helps to create training programs for leaders on leading by example when it comes to collaborative efforts.
While employers benefit from a collaborative team, team members also stand to gain from this. It makes their work easier as they have a way of finding solutions from coworkers.
In addition, learning from more experienced colleagues raises them to the next level in their careers. Companies can help employees see this to encourage and maintain a good collaborative culture.
How Can Leaders Build a Collaborative Culture?
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