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In just the last few years, the workplace has undergone major changes. More people are working remotely today than ever before, largely due to the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic. That being said, it worked so well that remote work is still a trend and could be the preference of employees for years to come. The benefits of remote work speak for themselves, such as increased employee satisfaction, lower burnout rates, higher profits for the company, and higher levels of productivity during work hours.
Many of these results stem from eliminating the daily commute, which can drain the body, brain, and soul. Needless to say, many employees hope that remote work is here to stay.
Whether you work remotely or in person, there is still a need for collaboration between professionals. Collaboration is essential to creating a successful and competitive business in the modern marketplace, because there is no way for one person to do everything alone. The following suggestions can help organizational leaders and decision makers promote, nurture, and cultivate collaboration among employees, coworkers, and peers.
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As Team Asana said: “Team collaboration is the cornerstone to creating team synergy because collaborative teams work together to generate new ideas, share knowledge, and complete ambitious projects. Simply put, a collaborative team is one that achieves more together than individual team members alone.”
1. Create a collaborative culture
In order for employees to collaborate, the company culture must encourage an open dialogue between team members and individuals. Workplace culture is directly related to a team's ability to collaborate on projects. When defining the company culture, this open and collaborative mindset must be embraced and established by organizational leaders and decision makers. This means reinforcing the culture of collaboration among the executive team, managers, and everyone within the organization.
As Christy Pyrz, director of marketing forParadigm Peptidessays: “Studies even show us that workplace culture is critical to attracting and retaining the best candidates. If companies want to remain competitive and attractive to high-quality candidates, pay attention to the culture that is being created.”
No one should feel like they can't bring their suggestions or ideas to the table. When they offer their ideas, they should receive encouragement and support, as well as productive criticism.
2. Make sure everyone's voice is heard
It is important to note that a positive work culture that encourages collaboration does not shy away from reviewing and critiquing ideas as they are presented. Instead, the critique is presented through a supportive and productive lens that encourages conversation and can build on the original idea. This is very different from a culture that stifles ideas as soon as they are presented, leaving employees feeling undervalued and closed off.
Max Schwartzapfel, CMO there Lawyers in Schwartzapfel No luchandoporti.comnotes that, “Everyone wants to be heard, and keeping that in mind as a manager will make you more than a manager—you'll be a leader. Improving your listening skills can make you someone people look up to and approach trouble with.
Making sure that everyone in your company has the opportunity to share their thoughts is one of the first steps in ensuring that collaboration can take place.
3. Give employees time and space to collaborate
Once you've established a strong company culture, you're not done yet. Culture is permanent and must be continually developed. In addition to fostering the culture, employees also need time and space to hold collaboration sessions. Remote work conditions can make this tricky, with so many people working full-time remote or hybrid schedules.
“It could be a Zoom brainstorming session or a multi-departmental team meeting complete with people calling in and being on-site,” says Ryan Rottman, co-founder and CEO ofOSDB Sports. "It's about giving people the time and space to put their energy into the collaboration."
Some teammates may call through a video conferencing app, while others work in the office. Some teams may be completely remote, while others may still be 100% on-site. No matter the case, providing employees with time and space for active collaboration will allow them to move forward on this front.
4. Allow asynchronous collaboration
Sometimes, depending on the type, scope, and scale of the project, there may be a lack of collaboration during team meetings. Instead, individual team members can walk away with a series of tasks and responsibilities to complete. Then comes collaboration as you put all the pieces together and make changes as a group to deliver a more cohesive and seamless project. This part can even happen asynchronously instead of in a meeting, but it can still produce fantastic results.
“Collaboration is often about trusting your teammates to do your job in a way that aligns with the skills you bring to the table and makes your job easier,” says Sasha Ramani, associate director of corporate strategy atMPOWER Financing. "Whether it's in person or remotely, it doesn't matter."
There is no perfect way for collaboration to happen. Instead, give your employees the flexibility to figure out what works for them as a group.
5. Pay attention to hiring practices
By developing a culture of open collaboration, hiring practices become even more critical than before. Company culture is a delicate ecosystem. If you make some hires that bring the wrong attitude towards the position, it can distort the culture of the company as a whole.
As Sumeer Kaur, CEO ofLashkaramentions: “There is some truth in the saying that a rotten apple spoils the bunch. It only takes one bad hire to destroy the culture of a company that's been in the making for years."
Understanding the impact that contracting processes can have highlights the need to design a complete and conclusive contracting process. That's why many organizations put professional candidates through multiple rounds of interviews to assess their cultural fit.
6. Be open to candidates with different skill sets
The better a candidate fits into the company culture, the less important their actual technical skills become, though of course they never become obsolete. This highlights how valuable cultivating a comprehensive set of interpersonal skills can be in a professional setting.
"It's harder to find good people than qualified people," says Max Ade, CEO ofpickles. “Every HR professional and hiring manager should keep this in mind when conducting interviews. You can teach technical skills, but it's hard to teach someone how to be a good person."
If you find someone who you think would be a good fit for your team, they're worth considering, even if they don't have all the experience or certifications you're looking for. The right attitude and willingness to learn goes beyond what you think.
7. Listen and encourage good ideas
You don't have to look far to find stories of people at the bottom of an organization who came up with an idea so innovative that it was implemented throughout the company. Often the best ideas come from the most unexpected people.
“The best companies in the world listen to their employees, no matter what role they play. If leaders let good ideas go out the window because of where they come from, it's their fault," says Chris Thompson, CEO ofAbout the Sidekick app.
To get ideas, many organizations implement simple ways for employees to provide input and feedback. This can be as easy as setting up a suggestion box, or it can be more complicated, like having a full submission and proposal process.
8. Keep your eyes and ears open.
While it's important to create a dedicated space for collaboration, chances are many of your employees are already involved in it on their own. It's natural for people to want to work together, and the talent already on your team is probably already involved in initiatives like this.
Cody Candee, Founder and CEO ofLuggage deposithe talks about it when he says: “Good ideas surround us. We have to be perceptive enough to open our eyes and see them. They are often right in front of us."
Listen in on office conversations and stay on top of your employees' activities. Great ideas are likely to pop up all the time, so keep an eye out in hopes of finding one.
9. Plan team bonding activities
Team building activities are a great way for a company to encourage teamwork and employee collaboration. Not only that, but team bonding activities can bring coworkers together in a fun, low-pressure environment that allows them to blow off steam.
“The best team-building activities are the ones that are creative and allow people to relax,” says Dan Potter, head of digital technology atCRAFTD Londres. “Team-bonding activities can make employees come out of their shells and show more of their personality. Also, it's important to spend some time outside of work together as a team."
There are numerous options when it comes to choosing team bonding activities. The options are endless, from a simple yet classic cocktail to a round of golf. You can even get more creative with options like a murder mystery party or a game of laser tag.
10. Tell your team that you are looking for collaboration
It sounds obvious, but if you don't tell your team that you're looking for them to collaborate and brainstorm, you're missing out. Clearly stating your goals and expectations will let employees know what you hope to achieve and they will be more likely to achieve it.
Jae Pak, founder ofJae Pak MD MedicinaThey put it well when they said, “The most important thing you, as a leader, can do to foster collaboration is to communicate to your team exactly what you expect. You don't have to present the ideas, that's what the collaboration process is for, but make sure they know what you hope to achieve.”
Clear communication from all parties is essential for effective collaboration. Lead by example, and you'll be well on your way to creating a collaborative work environment.
some final thoughts
teamwork andcollaborationThey are essential in any workplace, company or organization. Developing a culture that promotes and encourages collaboration among employees and team members will help your organization achieve more and earn more by attracting and retaining high-quality talent.
Lee Enterprises writing and publishing was not involved in the creation of this content.
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