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November 4, 2015

5 tips for fostering better workplace collaboration

Collaboration is an important part of a successful business.

How well are your employees able to communicate with one another?

How well are your employees able to communicate with one another?

A recent study conducted by Mars Drinks, a workplace solutions company, found that 90 percent of employees believe the success of their workplace is dependent on four main factors: engagement, well-being, productivity and collaboration.
Collaboration remains a constant issue in many workplaces across the U.S. As more people work from home, and with the rise of the internet and increased numbers of remote workers, how can businesses continue to engage in collaboration for better productivity and employee satisfaction?
Thirty-nine percent of respondents indicated that people within their organizations failed to collaborate effectively, or at times, at all. Eighty-six percent of executives and employees indicated that a lack of collaboration has created ineffective communication practices, resulting in overall workplace failures.
Collaboration fosters a sense of togetherness, creating a community that becomes the driver of efficiency and effectiveness in business practices. It depends on numerous factors including employee confidence, abilities and openness of workplace channels.
How can your business increase its overall collaboration abilities? Change often begins with employees. Keep the following five tips in mind for better collaboration:

  • Align a shared vision of success: By creating a shared vision of future success, employees can understand and agree upon where the business is and where it will eventually end up. When workers understand why their role is important, they are more likely to perform well, adding to the overall purpose of their expectations and deliver consistent results.
  • Create consensus: It can be difficult, especially in larger organizations, to achieve a full agreement on ideas, changes or expectations. Instead of attempting to please everyone and failing, create an open discussion based on consensus. This allows every employee to be heard, and feel as if their opinion is valued, without stalling and wasting time trying to find one key response.
  • Empower shared learning experiences: Knowledge should never be kept in just one department. Organizational silos are often the number one hindrance of complete shared communication, especially in larger businesses. In terms of size and scope, information spread should always be simple and within reach. Take time each month, or more often, to ensure departments are in communication with one another and foster team development with after-work activities.
  • Foster friendship: Often, employees will be more likely to want to communicate with one another when they are friends. This doesn’t mean that everyone must be best friends, as this is not realistic, but rather, businesses can help strengthen relationships by setting aside time for bonding. A recent study found that 27 percent more employees are likely to feel that their opinions are valued when friendships are apparent.
  • Stimulate innovation: By creating a team of employees to work together on different issues, employers stress the importance of group problem solving and a diversity of critical thinking.

A workforce is often only as successful as the collaboration they are able to form together. Be sure your business is open to the latest forms of collaboration and communication within its walls.

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