When it comes to meeting business goals, collaboration is key. As employees work in sync, it becomes easier to share information, overcome challenges and avoid bottlenecks. Additionally, it helps to improve morale and create a positive work environment. But, having seamless collaboration throughout an organization requires sound planning and consistent effort. In this article, Local Marketing Center explores four tried and tested ways to help your business achieve the highest level of collaboration possible.
Lead from the Top
As the business owner, you cannot expect your team to be collaborative if you work in isolation. Rather than allowing employees to work in their silos, create a culture where employees collaboratively work on projects. Additionally, when it comes to making decisions, organize discussions with appropriate teams, receive suggestions, and move forward with mutually agreed upon goals and timelines. There will be times when you’ll need to put your foot down and instruct your team to work based on your expectations, but in the long run, a collaborative effort will help employees feel empowered and develop good critical thinking skills.
Develop a Culture of Innovation
Managers often want employees to come up with creative solutions to business problems, however, their imagination is stunted due to traditional top-down structures of communication. If employees are hesitant of presenting ideas due to the fear of being ridiculed or judged, it is bound to impair the success of your business. To overcome such situations, practice an open-door policy, i.e. encourage employees to connect with their managers or you directly with ideas or concerns. To make this system successful, it’s important to:
Be receptive to new ideas which could alter your current business practices.
Train managers across all departments to develop the same attitude as well.
This approach will help you gauge how well your business is doing in terms of collaboration. If employees seem unaware of the progress of other departments, it points towards the need for stronger communication. Similarly, if you realize you’re out of touch with updates team members are providing on projects, it’s time to start actively communicating with your employees more often.
Encourage Cross-Department Collaborations
A common problem faced by businesses is poor cross-department communication. For example, let’s say the product team launches a new service on the platform to attract more customers. But, as the marketing team was not aware of the launch, there was no promotional activity and the project eventually was considered a failure. Not only do such situations lead to wastage of precious time, money, and resources, but can also lead to a business going under if it occurred consistently.
As reported by Idealist, an effective way to overcome this problem is to create cross-departmental teams, i.e. choosing representatives from each department to work on the project. As all members will be mutually dependent on the other to achieve goals, it’ll encourage communication and lead to everyone being on the same page.
Adopt the Right Technology
Whether you have 10 employees or 100, it is not possible to keep a check on them individually. Business goals are often dynamic and employees need to be proactive in their approach and adapt quickly to ensure projects are completed on time. Additionally, relaying the required changes verbally or through mails can lead to loss of information and time.
Here’s where process mapping comes into the picture. As reported by Miro, a process map allows you to break down each project into stages which can include required deliverables and project owners. Additionally, as the map can easily be shared with everyone in the organization, it promotes cross-departmental communication by providing complete clarity of expectations and timelines.
Using the process map, managers can track the progress of tasks at any time and make necessary changes as needed. Furthermore, as the owner, it’ll provide you an overview of your business in real-time allowing you to maintain operational efficiency and ensure completion of set goals.
By implementing these strategies in your business, you’re bound to experience an increase in productivity. Additionally, you’ll create a work environment where employees feel heard and respected, making it easier to retain and attract top talent.
Written by Courtney Rosenfeld