Today's workplaces are vastly different from previous eras. Gone are the days where it was just one authority figure determining everything. Nowadays, many organisations are investing in collaborative teams to achieve results. Especially since it is very clear that collaborative teams can produce more innovative solutions. This is because everyone is able to provide unique perspectives and discuss different concepts with one another. Subsequently, employees feel like they have a stake in the organisation because their ideas have an impact. Employees also have to rely on each other to ensure success, and so, they feel like they are part of something bigger. Research has shown that employees thrive in such conditions and that leads to them producing high-quality work.
Organisations can take note of the following 4 steps to ensure that they are nurturing a collaborative workplace.
1. Having a shared vision that everyone understands
Collaboration is about a group of people working towards a common goal. As a result, it is important that teams have a shared vision that everyone understands clearly. With a clear vision, employees can come together and decide the crucial steps that need to be taken to attain that common goal. When that happens, employees are more motivated towards high performance. This will also lead to increased employee engagement.
2. Leverage on the strengths of the employees
This step is crucial in ensuring that employees are invested in their work. In any company, there are a variety of workers with different skill sets. Playing to each employee's strengths will empower them to produce quality results. Organisations can also hold sharing sessions where employees can discuss their strengths with each other. That way, when employees work together, they will know which strengths will help them achieve the best results.
3. Foster team cohesion
It is no secret that humans spend an average of one-third of their lives working. With so much time spent at the office, employees would prefer an environment where they look forward to working every day. That includes having people that they can get along with. If organisations want to encourage collaboration, employees would have to get along with each other to make that possible. This can be done by organising bonding activities or even weekly meetings where everyone discusses their goals for the week. (Edit: April) As remote working is the norm now, ensuring cohesion in a dispersed workforce is more important than ever. These bonding activities can be in the form of virtual coffees and weekly meetings can happen over video calls.
4. Reward collaborative behaviours
Organisations should constantly give incentives to departments and employees who engage in collaborative behaviours. This is especially important during the transitory period when employees are getting used to the new work culture. This can be done through managers acknowledging such behaviours or company newsletters mentioning instances of collaboration. That way, employees will remember the benefits of being collaborative. Which will make them more likely to continuously engage in collaboration.
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. – Helen Keller
In our increasingly interconnected global economy, many organisations are relying on a diverse workforce to remain competitive. As companies consist of people from different backgrounds and cultures, encouraging collaboration will ensure that everyone is on the same page, working to see the organisation succeed.