Team collaboration in the workplace can be a tricky thing. If you try to force it too much, it can have the opposite effect of what you want on your workplace culture.
On the other hand, healthy and effective collaboration in the workplace is the only way your business will be able to truly succeed.
Thus, it is vital for every business, no matter how large or how small, to learn what they can do to improve collaboration within their teams. Doing so can have a huge impact on the health of your business!
How to Create a Collaborative Culture
So how exactly do you go about building and creating a collaborative culture in your workplace? It’s actually much easier than you might think. Read the following tips for some easy-to-understand advice you can apply to your workplace in no time at all!
Schedule Regular Check-Ins
It’s always a smart idea, no matter the size of your business or what your industry is, to have a plan for regular times to meet with your team and chat about logistics, growth, challenges, and company goals.
No matter if your workplace is in-person, strictly remote work or a hybrid model of both, you should have a way to meet together and check-in.
Don’t wait until the last minute to find a program; try to mass email out a link to all your coworkers to a video call or reserve an empty conference room.
Implement a digital calendar and schedule meetings with one specific hosting software or location in order to prevent confusion. Your coworkers will all thank you for saving them the stress, and you’re sure to save extra time with your meetings running smoothly.
Have Regular Performance Reviews
Checking in with your teammates on an individual level on a regular basis should be an important priority for you as a team leader.
While people can sometimes feel shy or uncomfortable about giving or receiving feedback, there are lots of ways to make sure it’s a pleasant and valuable learning experience for both parties involved!
It’s also the best business practice to make these performance reviews a two-way conversation.
Your performance reviews should never be you conducting a one-sided critique of an employee. Rather, let the meeting be a time for both parties to take the time to check in and let the other know what they appreciate about the other, as well as offer kind and thoughtful, constructive feedback.
Invest in Your Employees’ Technology
No one likes dealing with broken down or buggy old technology, sitting in an uncomfortable office chair, or having a break room where the microwave is broken.
So make sure you’re also investing in your employees, not just by listening to their feedback, but by actually implementing it and showing concrete proof that you are listening to and value the feedback that they have to offer you and your company.
Doing so can help keep all of the valuable members of your team feeling needed and empowered in their individual workplace roles.
Investing in your employees’ technology also leads to higher rates of workplace productivity.
Without older, slower equipment to work with, which can of course cause delays, employees are able to work smoothly and steadily without having to worry about issues like a slow computer or server downtime.
Features like a digital calendar, real-time file sharing, and even less thought-about amenities for employee cubicles or common office areas can go a long way toward helping your employees feel valued and appreciated at their place of work.
Create Flexibility At Work For Everyone
It might seem like a no-brainer at first, but make sure that you’re also creating a flexible working environment for yourself and your employees.
Possible options could include remote work or a hybrid possibility of their choosing if these are not already perks that you offer to your team members.
Creating a manageable, flexible timeline when you are able to for project deadlines also helps prevent your employees from experiencing the symptoms of workplace burnout.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider utilizing a short, anonymous workplace survey or collecting feedback from your teammates on how you could be doing better and what they would like to see improved at the company.
Remember, listening to and being able to empathize with your fellow workers is crucial to being able to cultivate a collaborative culture at your place of work.
Encourage Knowledge Sharing
Work together with a team long enough, and you are sure to eventually hit some sort of roadblock.
The truth is that this is very normal and happens to every team, even the very best ones!
It can be tough to know what to do when you are stuck trying to figure out the solution to a specific problem or diffuse a volatile disagreement between your coworkers or even entire departments.
One of the best ways to get unstuck when you and your team are dealing with this particular issue is to get together and try to understand the situation from the other’s point of view.
Encourage employees to share knowledge as much as possible so that when conflicts do arise, you and your coworkers are already rehearsed in empathizing with each other. Before you know it, you’ll most likely will have already have a list of potential solutions to your workplace issue!
Likewise with brainstorming sessions, getting together in order to share ideas and other feedback from fellow teammates can actually be just what your team needs to get back on track.
Consider implementing this strategy on a regular basis, so teammates are frequently collaborating and working together. Your business is sure to flourish accordingly!
Employee engagement can be a difficult thing to get figured out and the truth is, every employee and workplace and department is a little bit different and has varying needs.
So the truth is, you may not get it 100% right the first time you do it. And that’s okay! Employee engagement is an ongoing part of being a good team leader.
Gather feedback from your employees, go through it, and then decide what you can do to implement and improve your employee engagement.
Ensure All Your Employees Feel Appreciated
It should always be a goal of a leader in a workplace environment to make sure that each individual member of your entire team feels seen and appreciated by your company.
Your employees should be able to see regular demonstrations of this in a practical application and it should go beyond simply just words of praise and into something tangible, like new technology, bonuses or wage increases, or other valuable motivators.
Remember, it all comes back to investing in both your employees and in your workplace long-term, in order to see the maximum possible return on investment (or ROI). If you’re not, your employees are likely to eventually reach their breaking point—and take their talent with them elsewhere.
Reaching Common Goals Together
Whether it’s a big impending deadline or a challenging new marketing campaign, teams must work together in order to reach the goals that they have set for themselves. This requires everyone to work together as one cohesive unit and be willing to communicate and share feedback, including constructive criticism, with each other.
Team Performance Building
Like any relationship, building a team takes time– and so does growing together as a cohesive unit as you learn how to work together.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your new work environment be. Remember to be patient with one another.
We’ve all been the new person at one point or another and everyone knows it can be pretty frustrating, especially when there is a sharp learning curve or a fast-paced working environment.
Trusting Roles and Responsibilities
When working together as a team with other people, it is absolutely critical that everyone is able to trust each other.
Consider this the golden rule of team building and creating a collaborative culture in your workplace!
If no one is able to trust each other to get their individual tasks done and is constantly checking up on each other, you can be certain that negative emotions are sure to start brewing almost immediately.
Customer Relationships Management
CRM refers to combining the resources used to manage your customer data and then analyzing it. The goal is to build better relationships with customers, increase customer retention, and grow your overall market. Practicing good relationships and team collaboration with your coworkers is a great way to make sure that they transfer those social skills and growth into their relationships with customers.
Benefits of Long-Term Collaborative Work
Regular collaboration with members of your workplace team can have a number of positive benefits:
Increased Workplace Morale
Being able to collaborate regularly with your coworkers in a healthy, productive way can do a lot to boost everyone’s morale. Especially coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers are struggling with mental health and job-related burnout.
Investing in boosting morale for all members of the team can be a great way to demonstrate your leadership and show that you care about and value all of your employees, regardless of what their role is, and are willing to do what you can to help with managing their workplace stress levels.
Workplace collaboration can also lead to a significant increase in job productivity when it is implemented correctly. Clear and concise communication between you and your employees can do a lot to increase everyone’s productivity, as there is less room for confusion or misinterpreting instructions and teammates already know each other and have worked together before.
Positive Company Image
Healthy collaboration implemented by you and your teammates can also boost your company’s overall image, especially for potential future employees and customers who are looking for a trusted leader in their industry.
Word travels fast, especially in the era of the internet, and workers (especially those of the younger generation) aren’t afraid to tell those they know when a particular company is known for a toxic culture or poor workplace values.
Long-Term Return on Investment (ROI)
Thinking about team collaboration as a long-term business investment and marketing strategy can help to put its value into perspective if you are still are not convinced.
When employees are frustrated in their work environment and feel like they are unable to thrive and collaborate with other members of their team, they tend not to stick around for the long haul.
It’s extremely important to remember that it’s always cheaper to retain and invest in your current team of workers, rather than hire and train brand new employees due to high turnover rates at your company.
Cultivating an environment where everyone feels valued and can meaningfully collaborate with others is key to creating a workplace of professional, capable employees who are loyal to you and to your company.
Healthier Overall Workplace Culture
Team collaboration is also the key solution to creating what is overall a healthier, happier, more productive culture for your place of work.
Creating an environment where open dialogue and team collaboration and normal and valued can help your business in a number of ways.
Whether it’s aiding in employee turnover and retention, establishing your workplace culture as an industry leader, or improving your marketing strategies and employee productivity, team collaboration can help you create the workplace of your dreams. You shouldn’t wait to start implementing these tips either!
Even just implementing one or two of them on a smaller scale just to get started can do a lot towards building the kind of collaborative culture that you want for yourself, your coworkers, and your company.
Build Relationships With Team Collaboration
Successful collaboration with your team is key to reaching the goals that you have set for your business.
Working together with your team members in order to reach a common goal for your company can be both exciting and empowering. It is also a wonderful way to grow your business, whatever the size of your company.