If your goal is to craft a company culture that promotes innovative thinking and the sharing of unique ideas, employee collaboration needs to be a priority. When small groups of employees work toward achieving a shared goal or solving a problem, the results tend to be more creative and productive than if only one or two workers focus on the task.
But, collaboration isn’t a skill everyone holds naturally. This means you need to create an environment that supports idea-sharing and communication. If you’re ready to focus on employee collaboration, here’s how to get started.
Assist in Skill Growth
Effective collaboration requires workers to have the right set of skills. While some people are natural communicators, others are not. Additionally, managing conflict, gathering input, and providing feedback aren’t areas everyone has experience with, so you need to make sure to nurture these skills in your leadership and staff.
Provide the Right Tools
When it comes down to it, email isn’t ideal for collaboration. Additionally, relying solely on meetings is cumbersome, as they require significant time commitments and can be hard to coordinate.
Instead of turning to those mechanisms, explore the range of collaboration software that is available today. Many of these tools are incredibly robust and easy to use, ensuring your staff have the tools they need to collaborate effectively.
If you haven’t used a collaboration solution in your business before, consider providing your managers and employees with introductory training during the implementation phase. This allows everyone to familiarize themselves with the tools, increasing the odds they’ll be used in the preferred fashion.
While collaboration seems like a very fluid activity, when left unstructured, the results might be less effective. Instead of allowing everyone to put their idea of what collaboration is into practice, consider creating some standard approaches to facilitate more meaningful conversations.
For example, consider adding a feedback period at the end of every meeting, where each participant is given an opportunity to speak. This ensures less-vocal team members have a chance to be heard, and those who tend to do more of the talking take a moment to listen, giving everyone a chance to be involved.
Include Collaborative Moments to Regular Gatherings
Everything from companywide events to the onboarding process can include moments that support collaboration if you simply look for the opportunities. By adding collaborative moments to your regular gatherings, you ingrain it into your culture, making it a foundational part of your business and increasing everyone’s comfort level with the process.
Over time, this allows collaboration to become second nature to your managers and staff. Plus, they may come up with ideas of how to use it in unique and exciting ways, allowing innovation and idea-sharing to benefit more aspects of your operations.
If you would like to learn more about how to increase collaboration in your workplace, the professionals at TempStaff can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable team today and see how our experience can benefit you.