Collaboration is something that eludes many companies. This can be especially true with larger organizations, which sometimes struggle to create a personal environment among employees. There are few organizations that can afford to forego encouraging collaboration. In fact, essentially all businesses need to consider it unless they are run by a single person.
Since collaboration is inherent to just about all large groups, it’s critical that this is something evaluated on a deep level. These are some strategies for boosting collaboration within your large organization.
Be Open to Suggestions from All Players
You want people to work together and share ideas. But it always seems like people are hesitant to engage on an honest, meaningful level. Don’t assume this is because your employees don’t care about your company. Their jobs are a huge part of their lives. If you want people to collaborate, they need to feel like they’re actually playing a role. You never know who will have the idea that changes everything for your company. Entertaining suggestions from everyone will spur greater collaboration.
Encourage and Reward Novel Thinking
Do you think your employees will want to collaborate if they’re bored? Probably not. Working together is best when people are pushing boundaries. You shouldn’t just expect people to always strive unless they’re receiving recognition. It’s important to balance rewards into your daily workflows in order to keep employees on their game.
Technology can be a huge help when trying to boost collaboration within your large organization. This is evident when workers are spread out over multiple campuses and need ways to seamlessly stay on the same page. Embedded analytics is one highly effective way to utilize technology for collaborative purposes. This allows you to integrate business intelligence visualizations across a wide array of interfaces. It’s also important, however, to not go overboard with technology. Don’t force new things onto your employees, especially if you aren’t entirely sure of the net benefits. This can breed resentment and inefficiencies.
Emphasize Individual Benefit
Collaboration is all about working as a team. But at the end of the day, a lot of talented workers want to know how they’re going to personally benefit from things. You can’t blame them for looking out for their own best interests. Make sure that collaborative efforts are positive for individuals as well as your whole organization. Doing so will get more people on board with your team-building efforts.
Don’t Be Overbearing
You want to see certain results from your team. Micromanagement and too much oversight are surefire ways to discourage collaboration from employees. It doesn’t matter if you have good intentions. You’re inhibiting innovation and dissolving trust by being overbearing on workers. Collaboration implies a certain level of equality. If you want to foster this environment, it’s key to lead by example.
Get the Right Management in Place
Leadership is really where it all begins on the collaborative front. This includes executives, and managerial employees on all levels. Poor management leads to disorganization, which isn’t a healthy biome for collaboration. Smart managers know how to toe the line between being leaders and facilitators. Hire people who will set an example of collaboration for the rest of your employees.
Your employees aren’t fools. And if they are, you shouldn’t have hired them. They’re going to quickly realize when their ideas are being appropriated or pushed by the wayside. Of course, you can’t turn every suggestion into something actionable. However, it’s essential that you don’t treat employee input as a formality to be ignored. Doing this will totally stunt collaboration on your team. Having a policy of openness will encourage workers to give their opinions and work together in order to create a better product.
There are many ways organizational leaders can act to improve collaboration. It’s a good idea to take a holistic approach to this process. These small steps can build on each other to create a truly wonderful work environment.