A collaborative working environment is essential if you want business success today. Team members must be able to share ideas, communicate, and achieve common goals.
Facilitating collaboration in the workplace has many benefits, such as improving employee learning, promoting knowledge sharing, and increasing creativity and productivity. Here are seven ways to promote collaboration.
1. Choose the Right Workspace
Employees should not feel they have to stay at their desks for the entire workday to be productive. At times it may help them to describe a challenge to someone else for the solution to become clear.
Sharing ideas during unplanned interactions, like getting coffee or waiting for a meeting to start, can be very beneficial.
Office spaces for rent in New York City, such as those located in central Manhattan or on Madison Avenue, will place your business in one of the epicenters of the world. One of these shared office spaces can provide the perfect collaborative working environment.
2. Leverage the Right Technology
Using the appropriate tools to encourage collaboration is a necessity. This may include using video conferencing software, peer feedback networks, and shared dashboards.
Today your teams may be located in a brick-and-mortar office, working remotely, or a combination of the two. Modern technology makes staying in touch possible.
Using online collaboration platforms enables employees to send and receive messages, ask questions, share documents, and much more.
3. Create a Collaborative Work Culture
Showing all employees that you value them and respect their opinions will encourage engagement and collaboration. A transparent and open work environment empowers employees to contribute their innovative ideas.
As the workplace is full of employees from different backgrounds and with varying skills and experiences, drawing on their diversity can have many benefits.
Consider encouraging team members to ask questions and brainstorm. Maintain a non-judgmental environment where team members know they can share their reasoning and thoughts without being shot down.
When you motivate employees to be proactive, they will often exceed your expectations.
4. Work With Employees’ Individual Strengths
Creating a collaborative work environment involves drawing out employees’ strengths rather than focusing on their weaknesses. Doing an online personality test, such as the well-known Myers-Briggs test, could offer insights that team members could share to improve collaboration.
Collaboration improves when you can assign employees tasks that suit their strengths or team them up with those who complement their weaknesses. For example, you could team up an organized, detail-oriented employee with one who is very creative but tends to be disorganized.
5. Treat Mistakes as an Opportunity to Learn
The way teams handle mistakes can affect collaboration. No employee will respond well to being criticized or called out for making a mistake. This does not mean letting mistakes slide. Teams need to use mistakes as an opportunity to learn.
It does not help to blame any individual team member. If you spend time trying to assign blame, it takes away from learning how to avoid the same mistakes in the future. Rather ask questions such as:
- Is there something the team did or didn’t do to cause the mistake?
- What could the team do to regroup and reach the goal?
- What can each team member do differently to reach the goal?
6. Communicate Clear Expectations and Set Team Goals
Without realistic and measurable team goals, it is more difficult to collaborate. When you set clear goals, everyone has the same objectives. They can focus on the goals, track their progress, and remain accountable to one another.
It is important for you to reevaluate your goals on a regular basis. You can then adjust them where necessary. Monitoring progress towards goals and determining where improvements could be made will ensure that employees stay on track to meet them.
When your employees understand the role they play in helping your business to meet its goals, they are more likely to contribute meaningfully.
7. Inspire From the Top Down
One of the best ways to promote collaboration in the workplace is to start from the top down. Team leaders should set aside time to spend with each individual team member. One-on-one dialogue is important for leaders to get to know team members.
It also offers an opportunity for team members to ask for support or make requests. Listening carefully to each request and not making promises they can’t keep is important. Leaders should never fall into the trap of “Do as I say, not as I do.”