Collaboration is essential for any organization’s success and productivity. Companies need to share vision and have an understanding of each other’s projects to achieve excellent business outcomes.
What is Collaboration?
Collaboration is group work. It’s a group of people coming together to offer their expertise for a shared project or initiative. Successful employee collaboration is how well you’re able to work with members across teams that will impact the outcome of the project in a positive manner.
Creating and nurturing a collaborative workplace takes time and effort. Give employees opportunities that will demand business collaboration and encourage them to connect with members outside their team. Organizations that are able to and encourage collaboration find that their employees are more aligned, business is successful and have higher retention rates.
Why is Employee Collaboration Important?
Collaboration in the workplace encourages company growth across the board and becomes an innate skill when done regularly over time.
Collaboration helps organizations problem solve: People are able to work within their teams or cross-functionally to pool their knowledge, talent and skills to figure out the best solution for the problem at hand. Getting insight from other colleagues can often lead to a collaborative brainstorm session
Collaboration leads to high retention rates: Collaboration encourages a more aligned and engaged workplace as employees aren’t siloed and disconnected from others. With access to employees with a diverse set of skills and expertise, employees aren’t looking elsewhere to develop their talents.
Collaboration helps employees learn from one another: Being connected with other team members and especially across teams creates an atmosphere which allows for more diversity in background and expertise. Learning from fellow colleagues gives better insight into working styles and techniques and builds a well of knowledge sharing.
Here are 6 Ideas to Help Employees Collaborate and Strengthen the Organization.
Improving teamwork and collaboration in the workplace means looking for new solutions to your company’s problems. The best way to increase and encourage collaboration is employee collaboration software. The platform helps store information, documents and communication through technology. With a simple search for a related topic or employee skill, an employee can find the right information or point of contact from across departments and locations.
Using a collaboration tool, like Simpplr, it can bring together employees from a variety of locations and work together in a way that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Employees can talk on a regular basis about work, work activities, internal news and use it to brainstorm new ideas.
Lunch and learn sessions
By hosting and encouraging learning lunches, employees are given the opportunity to meet colleagues from other departments that are interested in similar topics. Employees are able to get to know their fellow co-workers in an informal meeting setting and are typically facilitated in group discussions or activities.
Company-wide team building exercises
Game type activities are one of the best and fun ways to build trust and culture when meeting new people. Team activities and problem-solving games (escape rooms, scavenger hunts etc) are effective methods to creating trust in judgement, developing communication skills and honing in on problem solving abilities. For tips on improving engagement with your remote workforce, check out our list of virtual team building games.
Happy Hour events
Getting to know coworkers in a relaxed environment can boost company morale and increase communication across teams. Removing boundaries between teams helps decrease the information gap on projects by gaining insight into the workings of other departments.
Open Workspace/Hot Desking
Employee collaboration doesn’t just happen at your desk anymore. It happens in lounges, cafeterias, and open workspaces. Instead of setting a rigid assigned desk, employees are able to rotate through more open spaces to interact with fellow employees outside of their departments. This method promotes better teamwork, strengthens relationships and improves cross-departmental communication.
Town Hall Meetings
Companies that have quarterly all-hands meetings to review performance and objectives within each department thrive more than those with the lack of transparency. These meetings create a collaborative environment when employees are able to get insights into each department’s reports.
Transitioning from a siloed to a collaborative work environment doesn’t happen overnight. Companies that are committed to bringing together high-performing employees are able to foster a culture of workplace collaboration without making dramatic changes.