For true collaboration to take place, your whole company needs to embrace the concept. From ideation to implementation, group thinking and colleagues working together is essential.
It’s not always the easiest thing to incorporate in a business’ strategy, though, which means that a concerted effort must be made for the benefits to be realised.
Set the example
Having your company’s leaders work with each other is one of the first things you should be doing to encourage collaboration among the rest of your workforce. Staff members will be looking towards their managers and directors to set the example. If senior colleagues are seen to be collaborating, it makes it easier to instil this practice in the company as a whole.
You can set up regular meetings for your directors and department heads to discuss strategies, processes and operating methods. Keeping everyone else updated about the content and results of the meetings will help motivate them to do the same.
When team members have problems that they bring to your attention, you can use this as an opportunity to encourage more collaboration. Suggest a meeting with colleagues who have dealt with similar issues and overcome them. It presents a chance for workers to learn from each other and grow their own skill sets.
Use the right tools
Collaboration can be made far simpler when the right tools are used. In order to benefit from the ideas and input of various departments and individuals, you should make it as easy as possible for them to work together on different projects.
Software powered by the cloud is the best place to start. Your workforce can have their own login details and set up their own accounts, from which they can then work on their own tasks. The beauty of the cloud, however, is that everyone can access documents, planning boards and more.
With teams working together on achieving the same goal, it’s very unlikely that collaboration wouldn’t take place. Questions can be asked and answered within documents, tasks can be signed off and team leaders can check in to ensure timelines are progressing as expected, which boosts the chances of successfully completing a project.
When encouraging a more collaborative environment, it’s vital that you are aware of any potential problems or concerns held by your workforce.
One of the more troublesome issues you may encounter in a collaborative environment is the differing working styles favoured by various people. This is when a company director should show their leadership qualities and either eliminate any conflict or - preferably - prevent it altogether by making sure established processes are not deviated from without good reason.
Another risk of increased collaboration is the potential for more complex decision-making, which could eventually lead to delays in deliverable assets. This can be avoided by effective communication channels, so you should ensure that you are being kept abreast of new developments and any possible obstacles.
Posted by Jon Aspinell on 27th March 2017
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