Collaboration is such a buzzword in enterprise and entrepreneurial worlds; but when it comes to organisations effectively promoting and leveraging collaboration for the betterment of their bottomline, just how serious is this buzzword taken?
In a recent survey conducted by Deloitte for Google, it was concluded that:
- Companies that prioritise collaboration in the workplace are “five times more likely to experience a considerable increase in employment, twice as likely to be profitable and twice as likely to outgrow competitors”.
- Collaboration is estimated to be worth about $46 billion a year to the Australian economy.
- The Australian economy will lose $9.3 billion worth of value if it doesn’t leverage collaboration in the workplace. This dollar value was derived from analysing profitability, employee satisfaction, improved quality and innovation, and productivity.
So when it comes to these same metrics in your organisation, are you harnessing collaboration to fuel growth, nurture employee satisfaction and increase your bottom line; or are you subconsciously sabotaging collaboration without knowing it?
Here are three business collaboration tips which unveil some common mistakes, and ways in which you can remedy them to ensure company collaboration success.
Mistake #1: Not collaborating at the top-level
Fostering a culture of collaboration within a company can be hard work if the executives at the top of the food chain fail to collaborate themselves. This is especially obvious in organisations where there’s an emphasis on teamwork, yet failure to fully collaborate across the whole company.
In this instance, you still get small groups of teams working independently of each other, but with departments that fail to ‘speak’ to each other in a true silo mentality. This can be emphasised when leaders and executives across departments fail to work together for the greater vision of the whole company.
How to fix it:
The surefire way to resolve this issue is by resourcing a collaborative department or hiring a leader who can drive a collaborative culture as a full-time job within the company.
This collaborative leader should work with the executive level first, focusing on body language and a forum in which employees can have their say in an environment in which they feel non-threatened and comfortable.
Mistake #2: Not sharing the bigger vision
Working together for the greater good of the company is what every CEO wants, however in large organisations the ‘wins’ and ‘losses’ are generally only reserved for the Board or execs, with majority of staff left out in the cold when it comes to the company’s grand plans.
This secretive approach can often stifle innovation and collaboration as fragmented departments fail to work towards a common goal.
How to fix it:
Share the visions, wins and losses with all staff, regardless of paypacket or status. A more transparent organisation that openly communicates across sectors and delivers the same consistent messages is a company in better stead to foster collaboration.
It breaks down barriers between employees and nurtures a culture that is built on openness. Making collaboration a part of the company mission and writing it into the company’s official policies and goal-setting is also integral in bringing it all together.
Mistake #3: Not resourcing for a collaborative environment
There’s no point barking on about company collaboration if the organisation doesn’t provide a workplace with adequate equipment and resources to support it.
Boxed-in cubicle type office designs that segment teams don’t work as well as large open spaces with communal facilities and an integrated design that works for all departments.
How to fix it:
Equipping staff with the resources, tools and tech solutions they need to work together is key to getting results:
- Break down geographical restraints by implementing video conferencing tools like Zoom or GoToMeeting to ensure meetings and brainstorming goes far beyond the boardroom;
- Provide teams with the devices they need to better communicate and experiment;
- Look to sound tech solutions such as shared drives and files like Dropbox and great document handling solutions; and,
- When it comes to getting the day-to-day stuff done well, provide them with essential office equipment like multi-function printers.
Investing in these resources will help your staff work in an environment where they feel they are fully supported and respected.
Collaboration is just the first step towards better productivity. For more ideas on how you can get more out of your team and organisation, download our free Office Productivity eBook. Or if you feel that it might be business silos holding you back from maximum agility, download our guide to breaking down silos in your business.