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People & Culture

9 Ways to Boost Workplace Collaboration for Success

ways to improve collaboration in the workplace

By Amy Collett

Workplace collaboration isn’t a nice to have option to strive for but a critical business necessity. According to Fierce, Inc. Survey Data, 86 percent of executives and workers cite lack of collaboration as the top reason for workplace failure. However, at the end of day, an organization is a group of people working together to achieve shared goals. It’s only through teamwork that goals can be achieved smoothly and efficiently. Collaboration not only gets the ball rolling but it’s also the glue that holds everything and everyone together. 

In this mini-guide, Nestor offers practical suggestions on how you could maximize collaboration in your company for better business results:  

1. Make collaboration a company value 

Every company culture has a handful of core tenets or values that employees are expected to integrate and abide by. Making collaboration a company value is arguably the fastest, most impactful way of boosting it. Employees – the new and old ones – will know that the company values teamwork and that they’re expected to – as well as encouraged to – work together. It sets a positive, teamwork-oriented tone for your company.   

2. Encourage open communication

Open communication is a cornerstone of effective collaboration. If employees feel like they can’t communicate freely – if they have to reign in thoughts, feelings, or opinions about a particular subject – they are going to feel cramped and unmotivated. They aren’t likely to contribute as much as they are able either. If employees feel they are encouraged to communicate openly, on the other hand, they will automatically share ideas and contribute more. Of course, you will need to provide some communicative guidelines and rules. Also, be prepared to offer constructive criticism, and resolve conflicts in a healthy way.  

3. Prioritize team bonding 

Humans work best with the people they know and feel comfortable with. It takes time for employees to get to know each other. It won’t happen overnight. Team bonding can speed up the process significantly. Some suggestions on increasing team bonding include pursuing team-building activities, assigning shared tasks, having ice-breaker events, and creating a shared meeting room. 

4. Celebrate successful collaboration achievements 

Celebrating success stories is a great way to foster collaboration in the workplace. It’s inspiring, rewards collaborative behavior, and gives employees an example to live by. How do you celebrate collaboration success? You could offer gift cards, take the team out to lunch, offer a paid day off, or just publicly recognize employees’ achievements. 

5. Guide and mentor your employees 

Collaboration can be a bit of a difficult concept to understand and implement. Employees may know about collaboration, for example, but not how exactly to be collaborative. That’s where mentorship and guidance come in. You can guide employees by sharing practical examples of collaboration, creating collaboration initiatives, and offering feedback. Furthermore, you could (and should ideally) be collaborative yourself, so employees can learn from your working style. People intelligence platforms like Nestor gives meaningful insights about employees and help managers maxime people potential, engage them and foster a positive climate of collaboration and growth.  

6. Create cross-team collaboration tasks 

Creating cross-team collaborative tasks is a good way to bring your teams closer together. As things stand, many teams and individuals are at loggerheads with each other, especially in bigger companies. The competition can be unhealthy, essentially, and teamwork non-existent. Assigning collaborative projects can help you bridge this divide.

7. Use technology to put everyone on the same page 

Technology can be your best friend in your quest for collaboration. With technology, collaboration becomes more convenient and less resource-intensive. Employees don’t necessarily have to find time (and energy) to collaborate face-to-face. They can do it when it’s convenient for them. Some suggestions are using universal communication apps, document-sharing programs, and project management tools. 

8. Create a social media group or page for everyone 

A semi-formal way to break the ice and make everyone feel a part of your company is by using social media. You can create a company profile on Instagram or a shared social media group and invite everyone to join or follow. You can share photos, stories, or videos, which will improve camaraderie in a fun way and make it less of a chore. Sizing images to fit Instagram requirements can be tricky. Resize image online tools can help you upload high-quality snaps easily. Just upload your image, choose the Instagram type, and then download the modified image for use. 

9. Consider allowing more creative freedom for co-creation

There are two kinds of companies: One that sets objectives to employees and gives them the freedom to achieve it their own way and the other that assigns tasks and asks employees to achieve it the company way. Needless to say, employees prefer the former to the latter. While too much creative freedom may not be a good thing, some creative freedom can encourage employees to co-create and innovate – both are necessary to stop the company from stagnating. For example, they could design a project or an improvement that would be superior to any they could create by themselves. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, collaboration can help you build a healthier workplace, attract and retain talent, and achieve new heights of business success. Keep in mind, though, that collaboration in excess may be detrimental to your business. Many hands may make light work but too many cooks spoil the broth. Harvard Business Review advises collaboration when the opportunities outweigh the costs. Avoid going overboard, essentially, to reap the rewards of collaboration. 

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