Employee collaboration has valuable benefits for your business — it can lead to increased productivity, more creativity, and better morale. The trick? Finding ways to build a company culture that encourages and rewards employees who work together.
Free-flowing communication is critical to employee collaboration. When employees feel safe and inspired to offer feedback and present ideas, it’s easier to explore new partnerships.
Company leaders play a big part in creating a culture of open communication. Managers should:
- Be optimistic and encouraging rather than pessimistic and discouraging
- Invite feedback at all levels
- Put employees’ ideas into action and offer recognition
- Demand high standards without demeaning the team
- Set aside time for no-rules creative brainstorming
- Show a firm belief in the possibility of success
As with any cultural initiative, it’s important to lead from the top. Ask management to explore collaborative partnerships with other departments; this behavior can pave the way for employees.
Create Strength-Based Pairings
Experts suggest that professionals tend to perform at higher levels when they’re working to their strengths. Keep your team happy and inspire powerful collaborations by pairing people with complementary strengths. If one employee is creative, for example, they might work well with someone who’s analytical; the different perspectives and approaches can lead to interesting solutions.
Don’t stop there — try creating workgroups with people who have different skill sets, educational backgrounds, and professional histories. The more diverse the teams, the more exciting the opportunities.
Nothing kills collaboration faster than a sense of powerlessness. If your goal is to encourage employees to work as a team for the benefit of the company, make sure to:
- Provide the autonomy to make decisions
- Ensure they have a say in the direction of projects and strategies
- Avoid micromanagement
- Reward collaboration
When your team members feel valued and empowered, they can propose new ideas and unexpected solutions without fear of dismissal or reprisal.
Choose the Right Technology
Technology can be a wonderful way to improve collaboration, as long as you choose programs or platforms that suit your company’s workflow and goals. The right options should make existing workflows faster, more efficient, and more intuitive.
Technology is particularly useful in these areas:
- Document sharing: Cloud-based platforms such as Google Docs allow team members to collaborate on the same files in real-time.
- Project management: Slack and Asana enable task tracking, team communication, and updates to keep employees on the same page. You can also create group chats, set up online meetings, and make video calls.
- Accounting: Programs like QuickBooks come with mobile apps for convenient expense tracking, budgeting, and reporting.
Bookkeeping is an often-overlooked opportunity for collaboration, but it’s a great way to streamline your financial records. An invoice maker free to use makes it easy to connect with your accounting team and improve receivables. All you need to do is select from a predesigned template and customize it with your own numbers, logo, and brand colors. The best options enable one-click downloads to your preferred file formats.
Collaboration Benefits Businesses
When you’re intentional about encouraging and rewarding collaboration, it’s possible to create a stable foundation that sets your company up for long-term success. For help building an open and innovative company culture, reach out to Connexus for professional coaching and team development services.
Contributor: Emma Grace Brown of emmagracebrown.com
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