Reading Time: ~3 Mins | Written By: Mackenzie Mowat
Whether you have introduced remote working, a hybrid style, or are still working full-time in your office space, it can be challenging to encourage collaboration amongst your whole team. Encouraging collaboration within the workplace can have major benefits for your team and company overall!
Collaboration can improve productivity, encourage creativity, instill a feeling of appreciation for staff members, and bring your team together to work and communicate in a more constructive way. Here are 5 great methods that can help encourage collaboration in your workplace:
1. Plan it out
If your workplace is starting from ground zero when it comes to collaboration, it’s not going start happening organically all on it’s on. To promote and foster these kind of interactions, it’s a good idea to formally plan for group meetings where collaboration is the goal. You can use ice-breaking questions and keep the content of the meeting light while your team members are adjusting to the new concepts.
2. Encourage employees to socialize outside of work
It’s important to have a team that sees each other beyond just what their role is within the workplace. In order to want to collaborate with their team, employees need to actually want to hear other’s input and truly value their contributions. Work get togethers, happy hours, or whatever works for your team, helps to break up the monotony of everyday work and helps team members to create an authentic bond.
3. Create a safe work environment
We’ve likely all had situations with a not-so-great teacher or boss that made us feel like it was better to fly under the radar than to bring up an idea or suggestion that may not go over well. An employee that feels shut-down or that doesn’t feel their voice is valued is not going to want to contribute anything to their team members. It is important for leaders to quickly reinforce the positive qualities employees are displaying and quickly shut down any negative or destructive ones.
4. Celebrate wins
Along the same lines, celebrating small and large wins across your teams help to make employees feel supported and noticed, especially in busy or stressful times. Employees that feel empowered and recognized are more likely to voice their suggestions or thoughts to their group of peers. No matter how formal or informal this looks for your team, celebrating wins helps to build up employee’s confidence and therefore also promote a safe space for everyone to collaborate more effectively.
5. Lead by example
When it comes to workplace collaboration, you definitely want to walk the walk and talk the talk. If you’re promoting collaboration behind your closed door and a ‘do not disturb’ message on your Slack, it’s going to be hard to your team to feel truly supported in their open communication with one another. There should always the knowledge that they can come to you at any time with questions or concerns, and schedule extra 1:1 time when they need it.
With many teams looking drastically different than they did a few years ago, it’s more important now than ever to facilitate a safe and comfortable work environment where collaboration is celebrated.
By putting these practices into place, you’ll be fostering a strong group of team members that will be able to confidently collaborate and move forward even stronger than they were before.