4 Ways to Improve Collaboration
Whether you are a founder, owner, president, department head, manager, or leader of people, collaboration is vital to your organization’s success and your teams. Without it, miscommunication, infighting, errors, missed goals, and rework are more likely to occur. If you are seeking ways to improve collaboration within your company, try these four recommendations.
1. Request Feedback
Feedback is a fantastic way for employees and managers to collaborate. Not only does it build engagement, but it also gives you as a leader valuable information from your employees on how to improve the company. For example, maybe your marketing team thinks the company's branding needs updating but you may never know if you do not ask for feedback.
According to one report, 65% of staff members desired more feedback. Schedule time to meet with your staff regularly. While bi-yearly or quarterly sessions are great, try to meet more often, such as weekly or bi-monthly. Be sure to schedule an ad hoc meeting for feedback anytime a major project wraps up.
2. Offer Education and Training
Offering cross-training is a wonderful way for employees to expand their knowledge bases. Oftentimes team members get so focused on their jobs that they lose sight of how other departments impact them and how they impact other departments.
Set up a cross-training program for all departments. This can be as simple as two employees from different teams shadowing each other for a couple of hours or joining a conference call and screen sharing if they work remotely. To encourage participation, offer incentives such as monthly or quarterly drawings for gift cards or extra PTO, for those who take part.
Having technologies that facilitate cross-department collaboration is important as well. You may have one department that works with PDFs and another that works in Word, so being able to convert from PDF to Docx in record time is valuable for fostering collaboration. With the help of online tools, various teams within your organization can find new ways to work together. Their collaboration may yield exciting benefits for your company.
3. Utilize Social Media
While social media is an excellent way to engage with consumers, it is also a great way for team members to engage with each other. Feature posts on your social media platforms that encourage employee participation.
For example, post a question on Twitter or LinkedIn asking employees to share their favorite thing about working for the company. This can include photos, stories, and gifs, all of which in turn improve camaraderie and collaboration. It gives staff members a glimpse into other teammates' experiences, growing cross-department knowledge, and communication.
Tip: If you plan to post images on social media, resize them online so they load quickly without losing quality. Once the images are resized, you can easily upload them to the social media pages.
4. Update Your Company Values
The company's values are the foundation of the business. Your values are your NorthStar, and they impact how employees work and make decisions daily. By adding collaboration, you show team members that it is a top priority, and everyone is working towards the same goal. Just be sure you are backing up the values with action, such as employee feedback sessions and cross-training programs.
While you probably cannot update the business' company values, you can create distinct objectives for your team if you are a manager. Emphasize the importance of respect and clear communication with other departments. One of the best ways to show how much you value collaboration is by leading by example. Never speak disrespectfully about other company divisions and be readily available to communicate with other department leaders if your team members need help.
While having strong employee collaboration has numerous benefits, it takes hard work to foster this business practice. By taking proactive steps to integrate these four tips, you can take your team members' collaboration to the next level.
For help finding collaborative talent to build a thriving business culture, contact Straightline Consulting Group today!