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Five Actionable ways to enhance collaboration in the workplace

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Jessica Robinson
April 22, 2021

If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together.” - Ratan Tata

The words mentioned above by Ratan Tata highlight the importance of collaboration for a company’s success. When every member of the company works together to fulfil the organization’s goals and visions, you're bound to succeed

In the presence of teamwork, a project tends be completed, more quickly, efficiently, and in a less stressful manner. When the employees are bubbling with team spirit, there is there is a significant decline in workplace conflicts.

As a result, a calm, friendly and positive work environment gets established. These teamwork merits set up the foundation for a company’s growth and flourishment.

Having a culture of collaboration will help you increase your workers' knowledge and capabilities. Ideas and information flow much more easily when workers have ongoing conversations among themselves and interact with different departments.

Being a part of a great team at work is phenomenal. You know that feeling when your team is "in the zone"? It's a sweet cocktail of emotions - excitement, safe, challenged, etc. And if you have been a part of such a team, you know it first hand.
But what do you think is the reason for such high enthusiasm? The answer is a single word: Communication.

If you have strong communication within your team, collaboration and effective teamwork in the workplace will rise automatically without effort.

A study by the Institute of Corporate Productivity found out that organizations with a collaborative culture and effective communication are 5.5 times more efficient than the ones without it.

The key is to give your team the right conditions in which they can grow.

Think about a situation where you are trying to grow a flower garden. You wouldn't just throw some seeds and expect them to grow overnight. You would give them proper nourishment, sunlight, water, and time to grow in an environment right?

The same logic is with teamwork. You need to give your team the right conditions to collaborate and grow.

1. The Role of Business Leaders

Lead by example. If good and successful collaboration is not present at the top-level management, your workers will not follow what you don't.

You are the one that your employees look up to for guidance. Therefore teamwork as a norm should be present within you and your business processes.

2. Clear and Regular Communicate

The heart of teamwork is good communication. When members in a team communicate, the talents of each individual comes into the picture leading to effective brainstorming. Encouraging informal meetings and information sharing can be an effective step towards collaboration among teams.

Also, confusion in communication arises when employees do not have a common understanding regarding the terminologies used. Not only will this lead to frustration and reduce employee productivity but also be an obstacle in project management.

3. Exercise Together

When the word exercise is mentioned it does not mean completing 2-3 sets of jumping jacks at the next team meeting. It simply means introducing your team members to Team Building Exercises. They do not have to be groan-inducing tasks but just some sweet and short exercises that are less than 10-15 minutes.

The frequency of your team exercises should be consistent. You cannot expect to climb Mt.Everest if you train 2-3 times a year right? Similarly, if you want to achieve your common goal, make these exercises a part of your meetings.

These exercises help to boost the overall team performance. They should be set, keeping in mind the goals of your entire organization. Think about the growth and bring innovative ideas to the table that your employees will enjoy.

4. Establishing Rules

Rules do not sound fun at all right? But when we say rules it doesn't mean a dampener but a way to keep your workers in order. These rules will safeguard the success and productivity of the company.

Some rules that you can enforce within your entire team:

  • No uses of electronic devices during the team meetings.
  • Be open about the frustrations that happen.
  • Listen with intent and wait for your turn to talk.

5. Recognize and Reward

According to a recent survey, satisfied employees are the most productive. Recognition of employees is key if you want a high-performing team.

Some ways you can opt for recognition are:

  • Company or team-wide emails recognizing the good work of a particular team.
  • Promotions and Bonuses.
  • Extra Vacation days.

Benefits of Collaboration in the Workplace

It's not easy to bring together a team with different backgrounds and ask them to be a successful team. Well-rounded teams can be a boon for organizations if properly handled.

1. Increase in Innovation

These days companies are bringing together well-rounded teams that bring creative and new ideas for their company.  These initiatives not only help the companies in talent diversity but it's proven that such teams help in bringing creative ideas, solve mistakes faster and find better solutions.

2. Increase in knowledge and skills among employees

When workers collaborate, they have the opportunity to learn new things by either strengths-based conversations or through honest feedback.

Collaborations also challenge people and increase self-awareness to find out their individual strengths and weaknesses and improve them.

3. Better Customer Experience

You are aware of assembly lines and even though it sometimes gets a bad rap, it has given us various instances proving that a group of people doing a job together can get the work done much faster than a single person doing that same job.

While this has many benefits internally, it can also create a huge impact on your customer base and help you in creating a rich customer experience.

4. More attractive to Top Talent

If collaboration is already baked into your company, you have the foundation of attracting top talent-especially young individual talents.

According to research conducted by PwC, "Milllenials relish the opportunity to engage, attract and learn from senior management."

Highly motivated job prospects want to work under people they know they can learn from and respect.

5. Higher Retention Rates

Why do most organizations have low retention rates? It is because the employees are not fulfilled and motivated enough to continue with their jobs.

So what's the great thing about better employee engagement? Happier and motivated workforce. Why would your workers leave the company if their work is recognized and they are learning and growing every day?

Collaboration does not automatically lead to all these factors. But it does create a strong foundation, giving you the opportunity to build your company around it.

From the benefits mentioned above about teamwork, we can comprehend that for every company aspiring to climb the ladder of success, the establishment of a collaborative environment is a must. Further, enhancing collaboration in a company lies with HR managers and leaders like you.

Five actionable ways to improve cooperation in your workplace:

1. Increasing employee engagement:

Employee engagement is defined as the extent of emotional connection employees feel towards their workplace. When the employees are highly engaged, they feel a strong sense of connection with their company.

As a result, they are more likely to exhibit loving conduct towards the company’s members, making them excellent team players. One of the simplest ways to enhance collaboration in your company is to increase employee engagement.

Now, given below are some employee engagement strategies to help you cultivate a highly engaged workforce in your company:

  • Appreciate and recognize your employees:

Appreciation and recognition are two of the primary keys to enhance employee engagement. They also begin to feel content that their efforts to give their best at work don’t go unnoticed.

As a result, they work with even more enthusiasm and dedication, which is ultimately the product of them becoming engaged. So, to cultivate an engaged workforce, you should try to extend regular appreciation and recognition to your workforce.

  • If possible, offer flexible working opportunities to your workforce:

Healthy work-life balance is an essential factor that impacts employee engagement. If your employees can maintain a delicate balance between their personal and professional life, they are likely to be content with your company, which will ultimately lead them towards higher engagement.

2. Bringing a reduction in employee stress:

How do you feel when you are stressed? Agitated, irritated, furious, isn’t it? You are more likely to have angry outbursts on others, right?

Similarly, stressed employees have great chances of behaving in a not so pleasing manner with others. This makes them less likely to perform well in a team.

This means that employee stress negatively impacts workplace collaboration. So, to enhance the cooperation in your company, you should try to bring a reduction in employee stress. For this, you can try the different strategies mentioned below:

  • Conducting stress management programs in the company:

Stress management programs can equip your employees with some effective stress management techniques.

Meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises, etc., are some of them. You can try to conduct stress management programs in your company at regular intervals of time.

  • Encourage your employees to utilize the Pomodoro technique while working:

Continuous working for long hours makes the brain feel exhausted and drained. As a result, we start feeling stressed out, which is not suitable for our team spirit.  

To help your employees give their brains the necessary peace, you should try to encourage them to utilize the Pomodoro technique while working.

It involves working for 25 minutes and then taking a short break for 5 minutes. Believe me, if your employees start using this technique, you’ll see a significant improvement in their performance, behavior towards each other, and collaboration.

3. Cultivating good employee relationships:

Employee collaboration is directly related to the kind of relationships between your employees. If your employees have positive relationships, they are likely to perform well as a team.

But, if they have soar relationships with each other, they are unlikely to perform well together. Now, here is how you can help your employees establish good relationships with each other:

  • Conduct fun activities in the workplace:

The easiest way to help people connect is to make them have fun together. As they laugh and enjoy themselves together, they are likely to become friends. So, this gives a simple yet very effective idea to cultivate good employee relationships in your company, and it is to conduct fun activities in the workplace.

You can spend some time either daily or on alternate days to play fun games with your employees. Pictionary, Charades, and Bingo are some simple and fun games you can play with your employees. Further, you can find many more such games on the internet.

  • Schedule an expected lunchtime for your employees at a common lunch space:

Lunchtime is that time of the day when your employees are completely relaxed. If you can bring them together during this relaxed time, they’ll likely engage in conversations and develop friendships with each other.

So, you can try to schedule a standard lunchtime for your employees at a common lunch space. You can also try to have lunch with your employees and encourage conversations between them.

4. Encouraging the employees to extend human treatment to each other:

As human beings, we all have some basic behavioural requirements from others. We wish to be treated cordially, in a respectful manner and feel like we belong.

We are naturally more inclined towards fulfilling all these requirements and provide us with the same human treatment they would themselves wish to receive. This implies that you can bring your employees together by encouraging them to extend human therapy to each other.

For this, you can make it a norm in your company that every person has to treat others how he treats his family members. Further, you can become an example for your employees and show them how you wish them to treat each other by treating them in an extremely cordial, gentle, affectionate, and respectful manner irrespective of their job role and position in the company.

5. Extending rewards to the most helpful and well-behaving employees:

Rewards are motivation boosters. Whenever you have to motivate someone to do something, just announce that they’ll receive a reward if they do it, and the moment you do so, you’ll see them working hard to complete the respective task and get the reward.

We discuss the power of rewards here because one of the most effective ways to enhance collaboration in your company is to extend rewards to the most helpful and well-behaving employees.

You can observe your employees’ conduct with each other daily and then, at the end of the month, reward the ones whom you find to be the most cooperative.

Further, by extending rewards, you’ll motivate the receiver to become even more cooperative and ignite others a wish to get a reward. As a result, your workforce will become more harmonious and collaborative.

For an organization to flourish and prosper, teamwork is a must. If all company members together direct their efforts to fulfil its visions, it is bound to get realized. As HR managers and leaders, you should try to enhance collaboration in your company. The above-mentioned actionable ways will help you with the same.

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Written by
Jessica Robinson
Jessica Robinson finds her peace in penning down intriguing and captivating blogs for her readers. So, she has been creating the finest pieces of content for over a decade while working at ‘The Speaking Polymath.  
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