There are so many rules and regulations associated with keeping a business above board. There is a headache of workplace safety and ensuring that our employees have everything at their disposal to do their jobs. But when we start to give our employees all the tools they need some can feel that these tools are doing the job for them.
This means that you have to start thinking about encouraging a better sense of cohesion within the company. Collaboration is one of those things that can ensure our business organically develops. We need our employees to work together as this will encourage a more vibrant working atmosphere but also improve the business.
So what can we really do, from our perspective as well as the business’ to ensure that collaboration is within the bones of the business?
Have You Got The Relevant Skills?
Before we start working at leveraging the skills that each individual team member we have got to remember that we have the ability to weave the tapestry ourselves. Sometimes we have to go back to the drawing board and look at historical components of running a business.
Whether this is in terms of reading The Art Of War by Sun Tzu to get a better handle on conflict or pursuing a part-time degree in Norwich University that helps us to navigate battles of the past, learning the relevant skills for us to apply them to the business is not always about consulting our mentors for them to tell us what to do.
We can learn a lot from the past and while many of us tend to learn by our failures, when we look at collaboration in its most basic sense, it is teamwork. Make sure that you look at worldly examples of teamwork, not just in the working environment but in the world in general.
Focus On The Cause
Collaboration and cohesion are all about that motivation to work together. We have to remember that we are the only one in the organization focused on the bigger picture and when we start to make a mission more compelling and exciting this will inspire people to want to be a part of this. Motivation is always going to encourage people to focus and to work better which will, therefore, encourage better results.
When we start to give our employees a gripping reason to get involved they will start to exude passions about their goals and objectives. Even if they aren’t necessarily cognizant of the bigger picture, when we provide real reasons for them to work towards their objectives, they will finally view the business in 20/20 vision.
Empowering Each Team Member
As obvious as it sounds, we need to empower each team member by working with their strengths. While in theory, it is a useful process to help employees improve their on their weaknesses, when we’re trying to encourage collaboration it’s about incorporating different viewpoints and practices to work together towards a common goal.
Some employees may already have a good idea of their unique skills but some may not. Sometimes it’s not necessarily due to the skills but it’s about the personality types. We can encourage team members to take a personality test, like Myers Briggs, and share the results as a bonding exercise. Not only does this highlight who can work best together but it also gives people an insight into their own abilities.
Giving everybody the floor to reveal little insights is like the unpeeling of the onion. Rather than are employees feeling that their secrets have been put on display it’s more about revealing an interesting fact that gives them all the opportunity to pick people that fit in with their own personalities and strengths.
Focus On Innovation
In order for teams to develop, they must be encouraged to question everything around them. When we’re trying to encourage collaboration we’ve got to minimize being judgemental. Problem-solving is one of those common skills that is desired in the working environment but when people are so used to working by themselves, encouraging workers to question everything can prove to be an obstacle all in itself.
In order to overcome this, we must instill a can-do attitude. This comes from the blueprint that we set. Leading by example and encouraging an environment where problems can be tackled is crucial. So many people view problems as an insurmountable mountain. The great thing about problem-solving is that it encourages people to think differently.
And when we start to implement collaboration this can break down the mystique of the problem being “impossible.” And, as an additional benefit, your employees will feel more connected to you which will, in turn, improve the working culture.
Recognize And Reward Collaborative Behavior
We can reward people for their abilities to hit targets but when we start to actively encourage collaboration in order to reach the desired goal this will help to dissuade individualism. Placing honor on collaborative behavior will send a message to everybody about what should drive the business.
As time goes on you can share the results of great collaboration through newsletters, and reiterate the importance of collaboration and how it’s impacting the bigger picture.
Encourage External Socialization
In essence, get them to go for coffee together! Yes, we all lead very busy personal lives but if we want to encourage the channels of communication, helping employees to socialize outside of work can help to strengthen that bond, especially if they have things in common. Sometimes there is a big difference between the work version of themselves and the personal. But we have to remember that when we see our employees as human beings that interact and foster relationships that can benefit their lives outside of work it can benefit their productivity at the same time.
In order to guarantee a successful business, we need to implement collaboration. But in order for it to work, it’s got to be for a purpose with sufficient rewards. By increasing your productivity you can benefit the company in so many ways. Collaboration appears to be one of the best methods of instilling, not just an efficient company, but a happy one as well.