Bring Collaborative Culture to Your Business
A smooth, efficient collaboration process offers a wide range of benefits for businesses. Ideally, employees should share thoughts and skills to achieve goals and help businesses grow. Effective collaboration doesn't just happen, however. Business owners have to create an environment and culture that encourages communication and teamwork.
If you're interested in learning more, and in meeting other business leaders, consider joining your local chamber of commerce.
Although collaboration and teamwork seem similar, they're actually two concepts that work together. Teamwork tends to involve employees in specific roles working toward a defined goal. Collaboration is a flexible, ongoing process that becomes part of daily operations and lets employees exchange thoughts and combine skills.
Support and Trust
Intrapersonal relationships and trust are prerequisites for collaboration. Make sure all employees know they can share their thoughts and concerns freely without judgment or repercussions. If some employees feel uncomfortable voicing their thoughts to a group, you can also set up a system for anonymous submissions. Good communication encourages brainstorming and innovation. A positive, friendly approach to feedback also encourages collaboration and helps employees grow and improve performance.
Employee engagement is a key factor in successful collaborative teams. People are more likely to share ideas and try new things if they feel appreciated. It's also important to distribute tasks evenly and make sure all team members support each other. Find opportunities to encourage collaboration between different teams or departments. Teams with mixed skills and expertise are more likely to view projects from different angles and learn from each other.
Technology and Tools
Take advantage of technology, software, and tools to optimize collaboration. Project management software lets employees communicate and share information from almost any location. Remote workers and teams working from home can stay connected to the main office and establish good working relationships with each other.
An intranet is a useful tool that functions as a small, contained internet that's only available for your business. A well-organized intranet is a foundation for collaboration. You can share news and updates with all employees simultaneously, and team members can share materials, search for information, and access resources quickly.
Email is not appropriate for real-time collaboration. Your business needs chat software to enable instant communication between teams and individual employees. Chat software designed for businesses may have additional features such as rapid group creation, searchable groups and conversations, and external communication with clients.
Cloud storage is a good way to make files available at all times. Employees can access and edit files as needed and save the changes. PDF files are notoriously difficult to edit. It's a time-consuming process with limited options. Fortunately, there is a quick solution to this problem: Online tools let you convert PDF to Word that are much easier to work with, and then you can convert documents back into PDF files when edits are finished.
Reaping the Benefits
Successful collaboration facilitates cooperation and helps employees contribute unique skill sets to group dynamics. Empowered team members with appropriate tools can meet challenges with confidence and innovation. Combined expertise and appropriate collaborative tools also improve efficiency and minimize wasted time.
This Hot Deal is promoted by Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.