Talent attraction

How to improve collaboration in your workplace in four steps

To achieve organizational success, you need your teams to work together. But, for businesses, that is becoming more of a challenge. As companies move toward different working styles, whether flexible, remote or hybrid schedules, this change can cause connectivity and workplace synchrony to suffer.

Therefore, businesses need to find solutions to join together their increasingly dispersed elements. When you can improve how your employees collaborate, it can help meet your business objectives.

The tools and knowledge to improve collaboration in the workplace are within your grasp. This article will explore how you can adjust your organization to help employees connect and work together. We will look at:

  • What does workplace collaboration mean
  • What are the benefits for your company by increasing focus on collaboration
  • And the four ways you can improve collaboration in the work environment

What does it mean when I say workplace collaboration?

Workplace collaboration is the petrol that keeps the engine of a company running. The synergy established can help businesses achieve their goals. 

When workers feel a connection to one another and the organization, it can create an environment where employees are comfortable showcasing their skills, are willing to learn from one another, and understand that they can deliver excellent performance together.

How can a company benefit through workplace collaboration?

Increased Productivity

When employees are accountable not just for themselves but also for others, it can increase productivity. In addition, the feelings of connection you share with your colleagues can lead you to work harder to deliver goals together.

Furthermore, the adage two heads are always better than one is highly relevant. An increase in collaboration can help to improve problem-solving and ensure finding solutions becomes much faster.

Improve Adaptability

When employees work together, they can help support one another through change. The workforce feels a part of something more significant, a vital part of the machine rather than a solitary piece. It can help make transitions to new working processes more manageable and ensure everyone knows what to do and improve.

The support employees feel can help your organization rise to new challenges.

Recruiting success

Employer branding is key to attracting the next generation of business leaders. Active or passive job seekers want to see the company culture and the deep connection between employees.

Creating and displaying a working environment that emphasizes collaboration can make your business highly attractive to your audience. The best talent wants to join an organization where they feel part of a family, responsible for one another, and achieve goals.

Make mistakes but learn from them together.

Bumps on the road are inevitable. But a collaborative working environment can help cope with these better. When employees work together, they know and understand each other's skills and weaknesses, so there is less need for finger-pointing. They know that everyone is human. And so, there is a more conscious effort to learn and help resolve issues rather than play the blame game.

The four ways to improve collaboration at your workplace

Walk the walk and lead by example

As business leaders, management must set the standard. When leadership embodies the correct behavior and values, they can set the tone for collaboration at work. It is crucial to do so. If not, the steps you've introduced can lose authenticity. It is impossible to ask employees to do something if you don't follow.

Organizations do well when their leaders support social relationships, demonstrate collaborative behavior and create an environment that values working together. To improve collaboration at your workplace, your leadership should:

  • Communicate expectations. Make it clear to your workforce the values and environment you want to exist. By clarifying what you want and expect, the workforce can deliver these. Furthermore, by sharing your thoughts on a collaborative environment, you can explain why it is essential, the benefits for the workforce and dispel any concerns.
  • Express the vision. You need buy-in to improve collaboration. It would help if you showed employees how they could uplift the organization by working closer by highlighting how they can make a meaningful contribution and deliver both their goals and the business.
  • Everyone is on the same page. Awareness inspires loyalty, and transparency ensures everyone knows their importance. Ensuring everyone understands the organization's strategic objectives shows the individual's role and how working collaboratively can deliver a sense of shared purpose.

To lead well and improve collaboration is a team effort. Therefore, you must be cooperative with your teams. To learn how to support their development, ensure frequent and fluid communication and host regular meetings as teams and individually.

A better connection among the workforce can deliver a more thriving, collaborative culture. By leading the way and embracing collaboration, you can inspire your teams to replicate key behaviors and show that this is the right way to act.

Create a supportive environment

Everyone wants to feel a part of a supportive workplace environment. And doing so can help employees to collaborate more freely and successfully. When employees feel supported, they know that their contribution is appreciated, and they are in a safe space to share their ideas.

To create a supportive working environment, you can:

  • Host open and accessible meetings. Regardless of experience or position, all employees can contribute their thoughts and ideas and improve the discussion.
  • Stress to your workforce; there is no such thing as a bad idea. Offer regular praise, constructive criticism, insightful feedback and rewards. You can guarantee valuable collaboration will follow.
  • Creating a supportive environment will help promote creativity, allowing employees to express this side of themselves. Workshops or team events allow your teams to dig into new ideas, be happy to disagree and ask challenging questions to move the company forward.

When you create a supportive working environment, employees are more willing to communicate and empathize. In addition, the time spent getting to know one another can build stronger connections that benefit their collaborative work.

In addition, creating a supportive working culture can remove the obstacles that prevent employees from actively participating in office life and ensure they feel confident to put forward their ideas without the fear of rejection or judgment. When employees are comfortable working together, you can remove the shackles that stifle creativity. When you can support one another, it can improve idea generation and creative thinking to leverage your workforce's talent fully.

Time to socialize

The time spent away from work can help to humanize your employees to one another. When you see someone outside of a suit and tie and have conversations that last longer than the time taken to prepare a cup of coffee, you can begin to see them as friends instead of simply colleagues and build the relationships that can unite your workforce.

Socializing is vital to improving collaboration in your workplace. Whether through team building, parties or meals, the effort put into building social connections and building bonds through laughter or shared interests can improve the desire to cooperate and support one another. Your employees' better understanding and knowledge of the person sitting at the desk opposite them will help them work more effectively with one another. As a result, they may be more inclined to share more of themselves, or because of their closer connection, they can provide critical feedback that is more acceptable coming from a friend.

Furthermore, improved social relationships can also help improve staff engagement with their jobs and workplace. For example, having a best friend at work makes women twice as likely to be engaged as those who don't.

The times are a-changin- how can you improve collaboration when employees aren't in an office environment?

Since COVID-19 entered our lexicon, the concept of remote working is no longer an anomaly. And because of its perceived success, a recent survey of 278 executives by McKinsey found that, on average, businesses planned to reduce office space by 30 per cent.

However, with this move to a remote working style, it is pivotal that businesses help their employees stay connected and collaborate effectively. So as not to hinder employee performance.

To ensure remote workers collaborate successfully, businesses need to have the infrastructure to allow the swift transfer of information and work materials. And so, our reliance on technology to deliver business-critical processes has never been stronger. 

You can ensure collaboration among remote employees through:

  • Communication platforms such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, or WhatsApp can facilitate communication among remote workers. It can also allow sending documents and feedback to ensure no delay or wait on project completion.
  • With cloud-based software, it can allow business-critical information to be shared. It can help employees collaborate more freely, working faster and together.
  • Your employees need the tools to work together. Video conferencing applications can share knowledge and visuals and host regular meetings for work and socializing. To help build the ties that enable greater collaboration.

Whatever the distance between your employees, they need to remain connected to one another. And so, if your business is considering moving towards a remote style of working, you need to have in place the structure to allow for excellent collaboration. So your organization can prosper.

Why you need to get collaboration right in your workplace

When your workforce collaborates successfully, it can have many wide-reaching benefits for your organization. As one of the most significant drivers of success, it can spur innovation, increase productivity and profitability, and enhance team satisfaction. In addition, improved collaboration can help your teams to share their knowledge and expertise, ensuring everyone stands to benefit.

So, to ensure your organization has the tools to develop better means of collaboration and for your organization to grow as a consequence, you should look to:

  • Lead by example and explain to your workforce the type of working environment you want to build
  • Foster an environment that encourages employees to feel able to be themselves and collaborate
  • Increase the opportunities for your employees to socialize. Building connections beyond work can help their engagement with their jobs and one another.
  • If you are moving towards a remote working style, you need to ensure that the infrastructure and tools are in place to unite your workforce. 

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