4 Ways to Encourage Collaboration at Work
Countless workplace studies and statistics prove the correlations between collaboration and performance.
People who not only work under the same roof but work together under the same roof thrive. These individuals get more done, produce higher quality end results, and boost employee morale in the process.
Yet with all the positive potential outcomes, setting a team up for collaborative success is easier said than done. Clashing personalities, time restraints, and different remote schedules—among other things—leave team members functioning in a state of me rather than we.
To overcome these obstacles, consider these four ways to encourage office collaboration.
Foster a Culture of Inclusivity
If you want a team to work together, you need to ensure that every contributor feels valued. This means that within a team, there needs to exist a certain level of trust. Individuals should feel comfortable expressing their opinions and speaking up when in disagreement.
This culture develops over time as companies champion the work and skill sets of different departments. Lunch-and-Learn programs have become popularized in driving employee engagement and keeping teams informed.
Sometimes people fail to collaborate because they’re unaware of the surrounding talent. Drive home the significance of every role, and make sure everyone is aligned to company and team-wide goals.
Define the Company Mission
It’s hard to work—individually or in a group setting—when you’re unsure what you’re working towards. This is why defining your company’s greater mission is so important to productivity.
Additionally, clear goals keep team members on the same page and more likely to work together. Unified passion can do wonders for collaboration. It drives people towards a solution that will best serve the whole as opposed to the individual.
Stock Your Team with the Right Tools
Teams need tools that help them in presenting ideas and communicating project deliverables. Project management tools like Asana and Trello are useful for teams juggling many moving parts. Team members can weigh in with comments on project threads and assign action items to different stakeholders.
Communication-wise, Slack has become a staple across many businesses. You don’t always have to be face-to-face to collaborate well. But you do need the means to share ideas in a centralized location.
Remain Conscious of Office Design
The layout of your office can impact a team’s ability to remain cohesive and collaborative. Consider the open office revolution for example. Once championed as a surefire way to foster interaction and transparency, it is now criticized for encouraging the opposite.
Avoid discarding all spatial boundaries in a workspace. Instead consider the different types of spaces vital for different working styles (e.g., collision, mixed-use, and huddle).
Building more collaboration is all about remaining conscious of the need for balance. So allow as much physical space for solo concentration as you do joint discussion.