American minister and educator Halford E. Luccock said it best about teamwork: “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.”
Still, making collaboration happen in the workplace is not as easy as it seems. If getting the members of your organization to work as a team is a challenge, you can try the following methods:
#1. Encourage feedback
One common misconception is that collaboration is meant to occur only among employees. But managers are as much a part of the team as employees are, and both have to work with each other to attain the organization’s goals. Encourage your workers to share their thoughts and insights regarding your company, the process, and their colleagues.
Breaking down company silos and actually implementing useful proposals will make your employees feel that they are a valued part of the team. These steps will also improve their morale and make them more open to your suggestions.
#2. Use collaboration software
Team collaboration software makes it easy for the members of a team to keep track of each others’ tasks, ask for assistance should they encounter any difficulty, and share resources that will benefit the team. Popular apps in the market, such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Allworx, offer a robust set of features that include call conferencing and custom channels, as well as support for text, images, links, videos, and other types of files.
#3. Play games
Playing a game gives you insights into other people’s personalities that you won’t easily obtain from just conversations. For this reason, it’s a fun and effective way for your employees to get to know each other better. You can organize team sports, such as basketball and football, or problem-solving activities that teach them how to collaborate and cooperate with their co-workers.
#4. Encourage people to socialize
Combining pleasure with work or business isn’t always a good idea, but when done properly, it can pave the way for smoother interactions and collaborations among your employees. Encourage your staff to socialize with each other outside work. This way, they’ll get to know each other better outside the context of their roles in the office. They may even end up becoming friends after a while.
#5. Enhance communication
Collaboration can never be possible without communication. Encourage the members of your team to share their feedback or to suggest proposals when needed. Make sure these inputs are acknowledged and, when possible, implemented so your staff knows that their recommendations are not ignored.
The benefits of using collaboration software in relation to communication cannot be overstated. Tools like Yammer and Slack support instant messaging, allowing you and the members of your team to exchange ideas as if you are face to face with each other, even when some are in different locations. What’s more, these applications have a mobile version that makes them even more convenient to use.
#6. Improve engagement
Getting your team members' feedback is a great way to keep them engaged. When discussing concepts with them, do not rely too much on PowerPoint presentations and scripted spiels. Every so often, ask them questions that will spark their interest and encourage them to share their opinions.
Happy employees tend to become more collaborative. Besides showing them that you appreciate their efforts, show that you trust them enough by offering the option to work from home. This will allow them to perform their tasks in a place where they are comfortable. Contrary to what some managers think, working from home actually improves productivity, so it might end up helping your company, too.
Keep in mind that your employees’ willingness to collaborate with each other depends on several factors, including how they feel about themselves and their co-workers, motivation, trust, and communication. As a business leader, you can create an environment or culture that supports collaboration and cooperation by using the right tools and technologies.
Zenops provides collaborative solutions that make it easy for your team to reliably and securely communicate and exchange ideas with each other. Contact us today to get started!