How to foster collaboration in the workplace
1) Sharing is caring
Whether it’s knowledge, resources or ideas, encouraging a culture of sharing is the best way to increase collaboration in your business. If someone has a problem, encourage those with more experience and knowledge to help them out. Set up meetings where everyone is able to put forward their ideas and showcase their creativity without judgement.
It helps to nurture an atmosphere of mentoring and coaching into your everyday operations. There’s both formal and informal mentoring. Formal mentoring has clear roles and responsibilities – for example, senior staff members might spend 20 minutes each week talking things through with your junior employees. More informal processes could involve integrating mentoring into the normal working day, whether that involves showing other staff members how best to tackle a particular task, or setting aside a few minutes of each day to let your other team members ask you questions.
Creating partnerships across departments is also a good way to encourage teamwork. Different departments will have different ways of looking at things, and when you collaborate you’ll come up with much better solutions and ideas.
2) Set an example from the top
Often, the success of a team relies on the person leading it – if you make a concerted effort to work closely with your team, this will slowly filter down to the rest of your staff. So, make sure you’re always offering help where you can give it (without being too pushy). This could involve sending round a weekly email with some tips and tricks to help your employees with their work, or sharing great resources that you’ve used before.
3) Shift the focus to the group
One of the simplest (and most memorable) ways to encourage collaboration is through setting up group events. These could be an after work sports team or a company day out – getting your employees to socialise together outside of the office means they’ll work much better on the job.
It’s also important to ensure the focus isn’t all on the individual. For instance, consider setting team targets. Once you’ve decided on these, you can then work out individual aims much more easily, and each team member will be able to see exactly how his or her performance is contributing to the success of the group as a whole.
It’s important that your rewards system isn’t exclusively based on the achievements of the individual. While you should definitely still be rewarding the progress of single team members, it also helps to have a reward in place that celebrates the success of the team. Again, if these are still tied to individual achievement as well, your staff will be able to see exactly how their role fits in with the wider group’s.
Sharing knowledge and experience as well as creating a collaborative atmosphere that people are happy to work in are all things that are relatively easy to implement, but will make a huge difference to your team and your business – both in terms of employee engagement and productivity.
If you’re looking to recruit a new team, the experts at Talent can help. Contact us today for more information.