If you're a business owner or manager looking for ways to improve your company's operations, there are a few key points to address. Business retention, expansion, and entrepreneurship are critical pillars of growth and success. Another essential pillar is collaboration. Improving cooperation between the people in your business—and between your business and the broader community—can help pave the path to long-term success. This guide from Emma Grace Brown, in collaboration with Time for Development LLC, covers some of the ways you can boost collaboration in your company.
Recognize the benefits of collaboration
If you're going to put time and effort into improving collaboration in the workspace, you probably want to make sure it's worth it. Rest assured that businesses of all kinds can benefit from enhanced cooperation. According to Lumapps, collaboration encourages problem-solving, allows workers to learn from each other, boosts productivity, and enhances efficiency. Collaboration between individuals and teams can also make it easier to institute larger organizational changes if needed. It’s also key in conflict resolution; without collaboration, it’s nearly impossible to establish guidelines, acknowledge the issues, and the ability to act decisively.
Identify opportunities for collaboration
You can't just tell your team that you want them to improve their collaboration. As a business leader, it's up to you to guide them through this change. Start by implementing best practices for better cooperation within teams, such as reiterating your company's mission, defining team goals, and creating a community-driven work environment. Then, look for ways to get teams to work together such as providing them with set projects and joint objectives. Finally, find ways to boost intra-team communication—for instance, as Thoughtful Leader suggests, by inviting suggestions.
Collaboration isn’t limited to in-company teams. This is just as important if you work with freelancers in some aspects of your operations. If you need a virtual assistant for your business, you can easily find one through freelancing platforms. However, you want to make sure that they can easily collaborate and communicate with your existing teams, not only to ensure that all workflows (especially those that intersect) move along swimmingly but also to make them feel valued and part of the company culture.
Invest in technology to promote cooperation
Technology can help make communication and collaboration easier. Cutting-edge tools like chat channels and project management software are great examples. Templates are another great way to promote teamwork. For example, say you have a product to develop and launch. You can use a ready-made template to generate a product roadmap, outlining a holistic strategy and each team's role in the launch. A great template allows you to set deadlines, prioritize tasks, identify pain points, and set business goals.
Provide feedback and reward positive collaboration efforts
As your team becomes more collaborative, make sure to offer them positive feedback. This goes a long way towards replacing bad energy in the workplace with good. You know that negativity has made its home when there’s excessive complaining and people playing the blame game, so nip it in the bud as soon as possible with open communication. It can’t hurt to declutter the office, too, and get a bit more organized, as such things can be sources of stress, and be big distractions.
You want to reiterate the benefits of their cooperation and encourage continued teamwork. Robert Half offers tips on how to provide feedback, such as emphasizing facts over feelings, being direct, and choosing your words wisely. This is also an opportunity to address things that aren't working in your efforts to boost collaboration. Providing a mix of positive and negative feedback is advisable.
Look beyond your company to further your collaborative efforts
Collaboration can be useful beyond your company as well. For example, improving collaboration with external parties like vendors, suppliers, and customers can help simplify operations even more. Further, to boost your business profile, think of ways you can collaborate with the community.
Make sure you're a role model for collaboration yourself
If you're going to agitate for change and demand greater collaboration from your team, you should exhibit efforts towards increased cooperation yourself. Leading your team as a role model can be a great way to inspire them. There are many ways to become a role model manager, like presenting a positive attitude, earning and building trust, and exhibiting integrity. Also, make sure that you're giving employees the time they deserve. You want your workers to feel seen and heard.
Collaboration can benefit your company in many ways, from enhancing innovation to creating a more welcoming work environment. Trust the tips above to help you create a more cooperative business atmosphere where all your employees can feel included.
Time For Development LLC helps you enhance your organization's ability to attract, hire, develop, and retain a highly-productive and inspired workforce. Book a consultation today! (260) 557-1760