Collaboration is the key to innovation in the workplace. There’s a reason people say, “Two heads are better than one!” But what if you feel like your team members are disconnected? It’s time to make some management changes to create new opportunities for collaboration. From integrating important software systems to housing online communities and holding frequent brainstorming sessions, here are a few ways you can support collaboration in your business.
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Welcome Open Communication
Does it ever seem like your employees are hesitant to speak up, even when you wish they would contribute more ideas? It might not feel like you have a culture of open communication at your company, especially between workers, admins, and leadership. If you want your employees to feel like they can share their thoughts openly, it’s important to create a positive, optimistic atmosphere. While constructive criticism has its place, the aim is to emphasize encouragement and motivation over discouragement. And while a good manager will demand a lot from their employees, they won’t demean team members who occasionally slip up.
Host Brainstorming Sessions
Perhaps your employees have more ideas than you realize, but they don’t know when and where to share them. They might feel like they don’t have much contact with management. If you suspect that this could be an issue, try scheduling regular brainstorming sessions with your entire team – and invite representatives from other teams as well! During brainstorming sessions, Atlassian suggests identifying a goal for the meeting beforehand, picking a skilled facilitator who can keep the conversation moving along, and establishing ground rules that will allow everyone the chance to participate.
Is your company located in a pedestrian-friendly district? Walking meetings are a great way to improve communication and collaboration with employees. Not only do they help to promote physical activity, which is important for maintaining good health, but they also encourage more interaction between coworkers. This can be especially beneficial for managers and their direct reports, as it allows more time for discussion and problem-solving. Moreover, walking meetings can facilitate team-building by bringing people together from different departments or business units.
Build Connections Between Teams
Do you ever feel like the different teams at your company rarely communicate unless it’s strictly necessary? By building real connections between teams, you can open up a free-flowing exchange of ideas. To achieve this, Teamwork recommends aligning and sharing project goals with everyone and giving employees the opportunity to learn from other teams with upskilling workshops. Furthermore, you can use an organization-wide project management program that everyone has access to. That way, everyone can check in on the progress of important projects and stay in the loop.
Move Forward With Systems Integrations
If you use several different software programs in your business, you might end up with information silos. Basically, information stored in one program isn’t automatically shared with another, so some people who could benefit from seeing this data won’t have access to it. Integrating your systems can make collaboration much easier! However, it’s important to note that any systems integration project will take some time, and if you don’t possess the necessary technical skills, you may not be able to tackle it on your own. Therefore, if you want to move forward with systems integration, it’s a good idea to hire an IT support specialist to assist you with the project.
Use Services to Free Up Staff for Other Tasks
When running a business, it is essential to free up your staff members to manage other tasks. This could be something as simple as hiring a formation service to handle paperwork related to your business or outsourcing payroll to a service that specializes in it. Another great option is to hire a service to answer your business telephone. Telephone Answering, for instance, can provide an efficient and reliable solution for handling incoming calls. Streamlining workflow and freeing up staff members is easy when using the right services.
What motivates employees to work harder? Naturally, your first thought might be monetary compensation – and there’s no denying that the thought of a bonus or raise can be a powerful motivating factor! But if you want to reward collaboration, public recognition can also go a long way. For example, you can set up a peer-to-peer recognition program at your company, in which employees can nominate each other for awards. Employees who put concentrated effort into collaboration will be much more likely to receive formal recognition from their peers.
Collaboration doesn’t always happen naturally. As a business owner, it takes sustained effort to make collaboration a cornerstone of your business. But with the right approach – including fostering open communication, brainstorming, building connections, and integrating systems –
you can bring your team together to spark new ideas!
Telephone Answering can provide your business with a trusted, affordable answering service. This way, you’ll never miss a call. Contact us at 01582 540540 for information.
Photo Credit: Nate Johnston via Unsplash