Employee collaboration is an often-overlooked aspect of running a successful business. While many CEOs pay a lot of attention to implementing new solutions and finding innovative ways to reduce operating costs, few business owners devote a sufficient amount of time to improving the communication between different staff members or departments.
With that said, workplace collaboration is vital for achieving a company’s goals and avoiding making costly mistakes. It constitutes the backbone of an efficient remote work model by allowing employees to learn from each other and develop a big-picture outlook.
Creating a supportive work environment, investing in an online collaboration platform, and organizing brainstorm sessions are among the best ways to improve employee collaboration. Let’s take a closer look at these and some other methods to increase employee engagement and facilitate collaboration.
Use Online Collaboration Tools
Before the invention of online collaboration tools, many organizations relied on phones and mail to share information, which was possible but not very effective. Any guide to PSTN will show that such a system still has a few uses, but online alternatives can help you achieve better employee engagement and improve your remote work model. These tools can help you facilitate group discussions, organize brainstorming sessions, and communicate with your staff on a regular basis.
The Internet offers numerous collaboration tools that can help you improve employee collaboration and boost productivity: email newsletters, social media networks, team messaging apps, and cloud-based file storage services are just some examples of what’s available nowadays.
For example, Slack is a popular communication tool that allows teams to collaborate more efficiently by facilitating group conversations and sharing files. The platform is designed for companies with distributed offices and allows them to exchange ideas, discuss important topics, report on the status of projects, and share documents with each other.
If your business employs freelancers or works with vendors, you’ll also benefit from using a project management app, such as Asana. This type of software allows you to monitor the progress of ongoing projects and assign tasks to different people. It also has a built-in chat feature that allows you to communicate with your team members on a regular basis.
Create a Supportive Work Environment
A remote work model is only as effective as the employees who are implementing it. A negative attitude towards remote work is likely to spread among team members and hinder collaboration. Therefore, you need to ensure that your employees are comfortable working from home or from an offsite location, and you should also strive to include them in company-wide events.
Although remote work has its benefits, many people sometimes feel lonely or isolated when working remotely. To avoid this issue, you can organize regular events for team members to get together and talk face-to-face. Some companies have set up chat rooms and forums where their remote workers can communicate with each other on a daily basis. This solution brings several benefits.
Remote workers can ask questions about specific company policies or discuss concerns they have with other team members. They can also use the chat room to get the support they need when they’re having trouble completing an assignment. In addition, they can use the forum to network with other professionals and share information about their personal interests.
Organize Brainstorm Sessions
Brainstorming is a popular method of improving employee collaboration. This type of session allows you to generate new ideas and gather feedback from people who may not usually participate in creative activities. It also helps you identify innovative solutions to current problems or find ways to improve existing products.
To make brainstorming sessions more effective, you should always follow these two rules: 1) select the right people for the session, and 2) create an environment where everyone feels comfortable contributing their ideas. Here are some additional guidelines for organizing brainstorming sessions:
Always Include a Variety of Participants
You may want to invite individuals from different departments or people with diverse backgrounds and expertise. For example, you can ask your sales team to brainstorm ideas for new products or offer your IT specialists the chance to suggest ways to improve office efficiency.
Make Sure That Everyone Feels Comfortable Contributing Their Ideas
Different people have different ways of communicating their thoughts. It’s important that you provide these individuals with the opportunity to share their ideas in the way that best suits them. For example, some people prefer writing down their thoughts on a notepad, while others would rather talk about them out loud.
Select the Right Time and Place for the Session
Brainstorming sessions tend to be more effective when they’re held at an unusual location, such as an off-site venue, or during an unusual time period, such as during lunch or over the weekend.
Don’t Interrupt Anyone During the Session
If someone has started sharing an idea but hasn’t finished yet, wait for them to finish talking before you comment on it (or ask someone else a question). This will help everyone stay focused on generating ideas instead of discussing existing ones.
Organize Office Meetups
Office meetups are another great way to increase employee engagement and improve collaboration among different departments. These events allow you to bring everyone together in person and discuss important issues affecting the company as a whole.
In addition, office meetups make it possible for you to discuss specific business objectives with different staff members. For example, if you want to develop new products or introduce a new sales strategy for the next few months, hold an office meetup where you can discuss these goals with your employees and ask them for their feedback.
Improving employee collaboration is an essential part of running a successful business. If you want your team members to have a better understanding of each other and be more engaged with their jobs, you need to take the time to organize group discussions and brainstorm sessions.
Fortunately, improving employee collaboration doesn’t require a lot of time or money. All you need to do is implement some simple strategies, such as creating a supportive work environment or holding regular office meetups to discuss your organization’s goals with different staff members.
You can also use online collaboration tools for better employee engagement. These apps make it possible for employees to share files and discuss their ideas with each other on a regular basis, regardless of where they are located.