Your employees will typically follow your directions and ideas, but wouldn’t it be better if they also came up with their own ideas, and worked with other employees to bring those ideas to life? A company that has collaboration at the heart of all that it does will be in a strong position for the future, in large part because the success or failure of the organisation is no longer in one person’s hands (in this case, yours, the owner). Below, we’ll take a look at a few essential ways that you can nudge collaboration in the right direction.
Part of the Culture
It’s not possible to just reap the benefits of collaboration when you need it, and then let it stay unnurtured at other times. If you’re going to have collaboration in the workplace, then it has to be at the core of all that you do. Make it part of your culture, and it’ll happen effortlessly. It’ll be grounded in the founding principles of your organisation, rather than just being something that you use as and when it’s required. This will also help guide your hiring decisions, which will allow you to bring on board who you know can work with others.
Getting to Know One Another
It’ll be more likely that employees collaborate if they know and like one another. During regular hours, there probably won’t all that many opportunities for employees to chat about non-work related things. As such, take a look at setting up events where your staff can get to know one another in a more relaxed and fun setting. This could involve having afterwork drinks at the end of the week or taking a trip to do a fun activity. When talented people get to know one another, a vibrant breeding ground for ideas and collaboration usually follows.
The Right Set Up
Of course, it’s all good and well for employees to have the desire to work with another. But if you don’t have the right set up at your workplace, then there’ll only be so much that they can achieve. So be sure to have the infrastructure that’ll allow your team to work together. Things like document organizer software, internal social networks, and cloud storage can all facilitate collaboration. From there, you’ll just need to give your employees the time to work on their ideas during the day, and eventually, they’ll come up with something good.
Hiring Diverse Staff
Not all collaboration will be as fruitful as it could be. If you have two people who have similar skills and thought processes working together, then while they might come up with good ideas, they probably won’t be any better than what they could achieve on their own. As such, look at hiring employees from a wide range of backgrounds for your business. Collaboration is about bringing different skills together to achieve something that is greater than the sum of its parts. And that’ll only be possible with different skill sets working on projects.