Do your employees keep to themselves?

Encouraging collaboration offers many workplace benefits, including better ideas, improved creativity, and increased productivity. These tips can help you foster better collaboration at work.

Incorporate the Right Tools

Collaborative tools and platforms make it easier for teams to stay in contact, share information, and track progress on projects. Identify the types of collaboration your teams need, such as sharing documents, visual tracking for project timelines, and assigning tasks. Platforms such as Monday.com project management provide easy-to-use visual tools that let everyone connect easily. A communication tool, such as the Slack platform, is also important to encourage team members to talk regularly. Test different tools to find the ones that work best for your team, but avoid having too many tools, which can become difficult to manage.

Focus on Open Communication

Creating a culture that emphasizes open communication helps foster collaboration. To create your ideal company culture, start by defining what you want to accomplish and how you want your employees to communicate. Focus on creating a safe environment where everyone can share their ideas comfortably. Establishing policies on communication methods and expectations can also help create a workplace that values sharing openly.

Establish Expectations

Expecting employees to collaborate naturally is unlikely to produce the results you want. Let your employees know that you expect them to collaborate. Establish procedures for various business activities, including steps that require collaboration. Provide training on effective collaboration to show how much you value working together. If employees aren’t collaborating when it’s expected, provide feedback and let them know how you expect them to change. 

Collaborate Between Departments

Don’t stop at collaboration within departments. Setting up collaboration between departments can make your company more effective. Many business activities involve lots of departments. Instead of letting each department handle their part separately, hold meetings with all departments, or establish contacts between the two departments to encourage teamwork.

Lead by Example

If you expect your employees to collaborate, you and the other leaders in the company need to do the same. A manager who stays in their office all day and makes decisions without including others discourages employees from collaborating. Ensure your management team circulates and interacts with all employees. Include various employees and stakeholders in decisions and processes to encourage collaboration through your example.

Bond Outside of Work

Planning team activities outside of work gives your employees time to bond and get to know one another. This can make it easier to work together on team projects. Learning about similarities you have or the ways your teammates prefer to communicate can improve interactions in the office. Examples include team dinners or special events, such as taking a cruise on the Spirit of Ethan Allen.

Recognize Collaboration

When you notice employees embracing collaboration, recognize their efforts. In team meetings, spotlight success stories that were largely due to employee collaboration to encourage more of those behaviors. Give employees immediate feedback when you see a situation that’s supporting collaboration.

Improve Workplace Collaboration

Focusing on workplace collaboration can improve productivity and encourage employees to stay with your company. Explore the virtual accounting services available from Reconciled to free up more time to focus on collaboration, whether your workplace is in Burlington, VT, or elsewhere. 

Emma Grace Brown of emmagracebrown.com