Collaboration in the workplace can help form a group of employees who are relatable, trustworthy and accountable. This is beneficial as a company works to advance its mission and focus. Employees who have and share these characteristics are less likely to feel threatened by others because there’s already a sense of camaraderie among the team.

Setting a culture of collaboration can take time — and resources. Still, for every dollar spent in investing in the happiness and well-being of staffers, a company can expect to see more employees who are motivated to work harder to achieve company objectives.

Collaborative organizations are designed to work as such. Communication and delegation systems are put into place to encourage workers to speak with one another and come together to combine the strengths and shore up the weaknesses of their teammates. This can lead to higher success rates in pulling off effective projects.

1.    Hire team-focused leaders

Having the right leading taskforce in place can do wonders for promoting a collaborative environment and increasing productivity. Leaders who understand the value of what each staff person brings to the team are more likely to utilize those skills for the benefit of the company. This leads to a corporate position that is team-focused.

What does a team-focused leader look like? Look for someone who is open-minded, responds well to new ideas and is able to delegate without feeling threatened.

2.    Resist micromanaging

Once a company has its team leaders in place, take a step back. Think of the situation like a red light. When a driver starts to tail another one in hopes that the light will turn green sooner, what happens? Traffic doesn’t move any faster. The move is just a time-waster that leaves the driver in front angry and uncomfortable. A similar problem arises when managers stick too close to their staff and tell them how to drive. They get upset and resentful, and their own learning experience suffers, driving their work value down.

Instead of using micromanaging techniques to stay in the loop, consider developing a communication system within your company that has a series of “check-in” points — times or places within a project where team members come together to share their process. This can help employees see how well others are working and can inspire them to kick themselves into gear.

3.    Create transparency

An environment that promotes trust and understanding also promotes collaboration. The only way to achieve this environment is through corporate transparency — starting from the top and working its way down.

Transparency can do wonders for opening up communication lines and putting in the proper channels for accountability. Something as simple and easy to do as an employee newsletter can help various departments feel they are “in the know” when it comes to where the company is going.

Sharing the company’s mission and vision with its employees is also crucial to this transparency. Knowing where the company is going can help employees determine the necessity of projects, as well as their place among them. Around a third of projects do poorly or fail because there wasn’t enough collaboration to see them through, and transparency is an absolute must for the needed level of cooperation.

4.    Answer “why?”

One of the most difficult and frustrating things for an employee to swallow is a task that makes little sense and that goes unexplained. Explaining the changes made can help answer the inevitable question, “Why?”

It goes along with the transparency of the corporation and the retention of great staff. Employees often want to know why they are doing what they are doing. Answering this question for them can help eliminate idle talk and promote authentic work relations.

5.    Set Team Goals

Corporate culture tends to focus on personal, rather than team goals. Personal goals drive the performance evaluations and often are the measuring point for additional benefits or pay increases. Though it’s important to recognize individual achievements, the practice of singling out individuals may not be helping the workplace and staff come together as a team.

When goals are only oriented at a single, individual-level, employees have no real incentive to work with others, but to only improve their own performance. Offer both personal and team goals.

Team goals require collaboration and establish a company culture that finds them helpful and necessary. Consider team goals for each department, as well as for managerial staff. The latter should set an example for how to actively work together to accomplish tasks.

Move a company toward an environment that fosters collaboration. In doing so, you’ll watch the lines of communication begin to open and the company staff begin to work together to accomplish more tasks than ever before.

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