Did you know that workers who collaborate are more productive and happier in the office? In order to get the most out of your team, it’s crucial to emphasize workplace collaboration and create an inclusive environment for all. Here are some best practices to follow:
1. Define clear goals for workplace collaboration.
It’s easier to achieve results when everyone knows what they’re working towards. These goals should be defined by your organization’s mission, vision, and values and should include an outline of workplace collaboration and why it is important. If there is no focus on cooperation within the company, employees won’t prioritize its importance.
2. Make sure the leadership is on board with collaboration
If coworkers don’t respect or trust their managers, they may not want to work together at all. Leaders should encourage employees to contribute and engage in a dialogue of ideas. This will allow for open communication and create a friendly working environment.
3. Ask your teams what works
Make sure you ask for input from your teams. Find out what tools they use to communicate and collaborate and what’s working well. It might be worth suggesting a few of your favorite apps or programs for collaboration to the team members who haven’t found one that works for them yet.
4. Workplace collaboration isn’t just about work
After hours, it’s vital for your employees to feel like they’re part of the same family. It shouldn’t be taboo to hang out with people from different teams or departments. Encourage workers to establish connections outside of the office by getting involved in community events or socializing after work.
5. Don’t forget the introverts
Introverts are less likely to be vocal in groups, so it’s essential to take time for one-on-one conversations. If there are introverts on your team, make sure you ask them how they’d like to get involved. You can also encourage them to find a buddy or mentor with whom they’ll feel more comfortable working.
6. Keep the lines of communication open
When most people think about collaboration, they think of brainstorming sessions or meetings to discuss the next big project. It’s essential to keep communication lines open between all members of your organization and not just between leaders and subordinates. Encourage everyone to contact you if they have a question about a task or update, but try to avoid taking over their projects by offering advice unless it’s requested.
7. Encourage feedback
Feedback is crucial for improvement, and it can be intimidating for some to give an opinion in front of a large group. Good, constructive criticism will keep your teams on track and encourage them to work harder and achieve more results. If you’re organizing a meeting where everyone is expected to contribute ideas, choose a facilitator to encourage everyone to participate.
8. Different types of collaboration
Group work is great for encouraging your teams to work together, but it isn’t suited for every type of project. Solving math problems or brainstorming with a group might be more complex than working independently on writing reports or creating presentations. Keep in mind, implanting different work styles is never a bad thing. Don’t be afraid to mix it up!
9. Have regular check-in meetings
Check-in meetings are an excellent way to make sure your employees feel like they’re part of a team and not just doing isolated tasks. These meetings don’t need to be long, but it’s nice to connect at least once a week and see how everyone feels about the team.