How does your company or organisation make decisions? Do your employees have the opportunity to interact and collaborate with their colleagues and managers on a regular basis? Do your team projects require input from various team members from a range of departments? A workplace should be a democracy rather than a dictatorship and according to WeWork’s latest survey, 70% of happy employees find that collaboration is one of the keys to being content in the workplace.
What is workplace collaboration?
Workplace collaboration happens when two or more colleagues come together in order to work together and mutually solve a common problem or situation, each drawing on their unique skills and experience to get the problem solved as efficiently and effectively as possible.
The benefits of collaboration
Among the many benefits, collaboration can add efficiency and maximise productivity within an organisation. A recent study cited a lack of or ineffective communication for a huge 86% of work failures, proving that taking steps toward a more collaborative workplace is hugely beneficial to staff and the company as a whole. When their professional input and opinions are taken into consideration, employees feel more valued and appreciated within the company structure, leading to greater workplace happiness and productivity as a result. Communication between employees and team members ultimately allows the company and its staff to consistently reach their full potential.
Some tips to encourage workplace collaboration
Simplify file sharing within in company by using a collaborative tool like Dropbox or Google Drive, reducing the amount of time spent composing emails and manually sharing updated files.
Remove assigned seating in offices and encourage collaboration by creating open and shared meeting spaces for staff. Unexpected encounters and conversations with colleagues can sometimes spark creativity.
Introduce video conferencing with remote workers, not only to keep them involved with the daily goings on within the company but also to encourage them to stay involved and give input.
If the company is going through some structural changes, a management reshuffle or any other notable event, keep all staff in the loop. Even when these plans aren’t 100% finalised, it is better to let staff know to expect a change than springing it on them unexpectedly.
Make every meeting count. 67% of workplace meetings are considered a failure. This is often due to ineffective communication and could be remedied by having a strict meeting structure, engaging each member to encourage involvement in the discussion and having clear objectives and expectations for every single meeting.
On a less professional level, encourage staff to interact and socialise with each other regularly by arranging regular team building days, outings or even a communal lunchtime. When staff feel more comfortable together, they are more likely to offer input and opinions to their peers without intimidation or fear of being scorned.
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