A guest post by Clarence Wilkins
Businesses today work in rapidly changing environments that present many daily challenges. Overcoming these challenges requires quick decision making and a collaborative effort. In addition, good employee collaboration leads to higher retention, higher productivity and better use of resources. Today, to help your organization reap these benefits, this post explores four effective collaboration strategies to explore.
Develop a culture of transparency.
Transparency is the foundation of good collaboration, which requires an honest and timely flow of information throughout the organization. This can be achieved through the following steps:
Share weekly business performance reports with employees via email or meetings. Good or bad, it’s important to keep employees informed about how the company is performing against set goals.
Develop a system through which employees can voice questions or concerns regarding projects. This can include creating separate channels in your messaging apps, an anonymous suggestion box, and hosting “open floor” meetings.
Celebrating employee achievements will serve as a morale boost and send a message to others that the organization appreciates their efforts. One of the best ways is to share appreciation posts on social media, which should include the employee’s name, designation, photo, and achievement.
Involve employees in decision making
Team Building World points out that when it comes to setting goals and finding ways to achieve them, you need to make sure that all team members collaborate in the process. For example, when planning a paid marketing campaign, instead of having the marketing manager make all the decisions about budget, messaging, and performance, encourage all team members to participate and contribute to the goal-setting process. Once the goals are established, a similar collaborative effort can be followed to create an action plan to achieve the stated goals.
A collaborative discussion will allow all specialists to provide input on how to achieve their part of the project while receiving feedback from the team and ultimately creating a mutually agreed upon process. Such discussions will improve communication between team members, leading to increased productivity and timely achievement of goals.
Take the initiative as a leader.
As a leader, your actions should serve as an example for others to follow. Therefore, it’s important that you actively participate in collaborative activities such as hosting team meetings, post-work socializing events, and providing timely feedback to employees.
Whether you’re a new employee or a long-term employee, feedback can help improve your performance and provide the motivation to do better. This is how you should approach the activity of providing feedback:
Keep an eye on the performance of your team members. If you notice they are having difficulty with a project, don’t wait for them to come to you for help, take the initiative to talk to them and offer assistance needed.
As reported by Value Prop, always provide feedback in a personal environment. If you work remotely, set up a video call. Comments sent by email can lead to misunderstandings, while during conversations, people can ask for explanations and clarify all doubts.
Make feedback a two-way street. Follow an open door policy where employees can approach you with questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding projects and the workplace in general.
Please be open to these suggestions and update them on any actions taken after receiving feedback.
Consider walking meetings
If you want to encourage collaboration while combating feelings of isolation in the workplace, you might want to consider the unusual approach of walking meetings. Basically, as the name suggests, this simply refers to a meeting that can be done in person or via headset with two or more people walking around while talking. Just adding a little physical activity adds more energy and creativity to the meeting, and depending on the walk score of your workplace – that is, how close it is to other popular destinations, such as parks, restaurants and cafes – the meeting could be a prelude to a team building lunch.
Invest in the right technology
No business collaboration effort can be completed without the use of cloud-based tools. These tools enable a seamless transfer of information, allowing employees to make informed decisions based on real-time data. Look for project management tools on the market that help your organization achieve a maximum level of collaboration. Many software platforms allow managers to create to-do lists and assign stakeholders for each task. Ideally, your chosen product will also provide cloud storage, resulting in all your important documents being stored in one place for easy access.
Collaboration is an ongoing process that will depend on creating strong communication channels, a positive work environment, and leaders who take the initiative to drive open communication throughout the organization. To that end, remember to encourage transparency, involve your employees, take initiative, and use the latest and most appropriate technology to your advantage.
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