Collaboration is important for a company because it helps nurture innovation and growth. The problem some companies may face is finding effective ways to encourage collaboration. It is pretty hard to get every employee to feel comfortable enough to share his or her thoughts on a particular issue or project. The following are a few ideas that may help you with this endeavor.
The way you plan team meetings can help improve collaboration in a number of ways. For one, encouraging employees to stand rather than sit helps them feel more prepared to participate. All you have to do is make sure there are no chairs for employees to use while you are at a meeting. The second thing you need to worry about is preventing employees from hiding. You can do this by employing the circled meeting trick. Make it so that the entire team forms a circle without allowing anyone to stand outside the circle, which makes it easy to see every face. Try to do your best to let everyone talk when it is time for employee input. This may be slow in the beginning, but it should get better given enough time.
The next thing you may want to do is create a culture of encouragement within your company. The idea here is to make sure that your employees encourage each other or support each other from time to time. Granted, this may not be natural at first, especially if it is not a policy that you’ve used before, but it will become natural with patience. You can use an online forum, poster board, or a message mystery box to get your employees to support each other. The mystery box is an effective concept because it allows employees to offer support by writing positive notes to each other and they remain anonymous.
Sometimes, face to face collaboration may be a little difficult depending on the type of work that is being done, but that does not mean team collaboration is impossible. You can use software to help facilitate collaboration in a few ways. Employees and employers can share small biographies so that your entire workforce can begin to get to know each other. Collaboration software also helps connect employees to message board where the latest project can be discussed and ideas can be fleshed out. The program is going to resemble social media pages, which makes it accessible for most online users.
Another important step to take to ensure that employees are able to work together and collaborate well is to reestablish roles and responsibilities. Sometimes employees have trouble engaging with others because they are not entirely aware of what some team members are responsible for. Being unclear about responsibilities makes it hard to communicate and can lead to disputes. You want to make sure that every role is clear so that collaboration can be possible. Employees should have an easier time suggesting duties if they know who the specific task belongs to.
Hopefully, some of these suggestions make it easier for you to foster team work. Be sure to talk to your team members at this time because they may have additional tips that may help make this process faster. Remember, to rely not only on your own wits but your managers who know their employees well and may make a difference.