The term collaboration means any action that involves working with someone to produce or to create something. With growing technology the concept has gained importance as more and more people are expected to work collaboratively. Even the use of this word has been quite popular in the past few years. And how does this increase productivity at work? It is still a question. The reason it is a huge one is because sometimes it is very difficult to make a group of people work efficiently together. Although most people agree that collaboration is a way to successful business, it is still unsure how it can.
What one might not have realized is that collaboration is a well defined process and not just throwing employees together in a room and asking them to work together for creating something new. Forcing employees to function together might be a huge disadvantage sometimes. Successful collaborations have 3 major aspects; company culture, process and having the necessary tools and technology to get things perfectly done. A few suggestions given below can lead your way to establishing a great culture for collaborative development in your work place or business among your employees.
- Your company needs to have a collaborative culture
Two heads is better than one; is generally apt in business. Especially when it comes to creative ideas, it is very essential. Collaborative culture will ensure that your employees work together to bring new ideas. It is not necessary that they need to work on group projects. Sometimes even encouraging them to ask each other’s help will ensure a great culture. A few suggestions for the same are:
- Share business goals with employees
Your company as a whole should have the same goal. Each one might have a piece of it. All staff must know how their personal goals can contribute to the company`s goal.
- Encourage mutual respect among employees and supervisors
Everyone`s role is valued in your company and it is very essential that each one gets the respect they deserve. Make sure your employees understand each other`s contribution and foster mutual development.
- Having uniform measurements and deadlines
When you are looking forward to encouraging a collaborative culture, it is essential that you make sure the process is in favor of it. Working as a team means making deadlines and targets more similar. This will ensure successful employees to share their achievements and goals with others and take help.
- Encourage collaborative culture
Designing a collaborative culture is equally important in implementing it. At first you can start off letting your employees develop their process but later it is essential that you refine them. Make it as a requirement. This will make a super collaboration norm and also serve as a guide for future employees to learn the process.
Just ensure that you don’t force it to get started. Once the culture is created they will follow it as they had a hand in developing it. As an alternative you can try to develop few new processes and ask them to try out as a team. Poll to find which works the best in your team.
- Have the tools and technology necessary
Asking is the only possible way you can find if your team has all the necessary tools and technology. Even a simple weekly meeting or moving office desks, furniture etc could be ways of encouraging collaborative skills. It could also be based on including more technology based collaboration tools. A few things to try could be:
- Instant messaging
- Social intranet
- Company wiki
- Shared calendars for days off
- Telecommuting days
- Task management tools such as base camp.
Bad usage of technology can discourage collaboration. Sometimes it is better to get up from your desk and walk up to your employee and know what they feel and what changes need to made. Be sure that your collaboration technologies are balanced with the need for face time. While collaborations can work magic and bring out impossible developments in your future, it is also necessary that sometimes you make use of technology in the most efficient and acceptable manner.
Although it is necessary for you to remember that all projects cannot be complete with collaboration alone, those which require intense research and thought are not very conducive to collaboration. Even in such cases employees must be penned to ask help from other employees at their level and higher level. Having a collaborative culture in cases as thus will be a huge advantage. Develop personal process and also give them individual tools to success and then you will see your business walking towards increasing productivity.