Collaboration—one of the more popular workplace buzzwords you hear nowadays, it serves a very important function for any successful business. Therefore, establishing healthy collaborative processes should be considered a priority in any establishment’s operations.
Let’s review what true collaboration is, and how you can lead your company towards more collaborative behaviors in your day-to-day undertakings.
Teamwork and Collaboration Aren’t the Same Thing
First, it is important that we define the difference between these two seemingly synonymous terms. While it is possible to work as a team without collaborating, collaboration requires some element of teamwork to be present.
Consider it this way: by definition, teamwork is the combined action of a group of people. While this could mean that each member of the team is contributing to each step along with their teammates, signifying collaboration, it might instead signify that the task and its requisite responsibilities have been divided up amongst the group.
Teamwork, yes. Collaboration? No.
Other differences between these apparent synonyms:
- There is a tendency for a team to have a set leader to set the course of whatever project is being worked on, while collaboration thrives in an egalitarian group setting.
- Teamwork can be effective in completing a business’ short-term goals, while long-term goals are better served by collaborative behaviors.
- As we hinted at, teamwork requires someone to be in control of the group. Collaboration requires the group’s members to trust one another.
Collaboration Can Benefit Your Business and Your Team
Embracing the cooperative elements of a collaborative work environment can have universal benefits to those involved. For instance:
As the saying goes, two heads are better than one. However, if you have a whole team’s worth of heads, why not make the most of them to help advance your business? With collaboration instilled in your workplace culture, you will find it easier to come up with solutions to your operational challenges. Furthermore, your employees will be more engaged in their work, which itself brings considerable benefits, including increased revenue growth, diminished turnover, fewer accidents, and heightened productivity.
When it comes to the people you’ve hired to work for your business, collaboration can improve their experience as well. In addition to the shared knowledge that can benefit everyone’s quality of work, collaboration can improve the relationships between your employees. This is particularly important, as a study has shown that office friendships are the most important facet of work satisfaction for 70 percent of employees. Fittingly, collaboration leads to increased morale, which positively influences productivity and employee retention alike.
So, with so much riding on your office collaboration, it is important that you endorse it in any way you can and actively encourage it amongst your workforce. But how does one do that?
There are a few strategies that you should adopt to accomplish improved collaborative habits.
Unite the Team with a Mission and Establish Expectations
It is important that your team understands how crucial they each are to your company’s success, as this can give meaning to their responsibilities in the context of your company’s shared overarching goal.
This goal is essentially your company’s mission. Once your mission is clarified, it becomes easier to set benchmarks that need to be met and what each team member’s individual role will be in accomplishing it.
Reward Collaboration and Innovation
Naturally, a positive response to collaborative efforts is going to provide no small motivation for your team to adopt them. A similar attitude toward new approaches in the office should also be in place. Risks can often lead to rewards, which means that an employee who is willing to try something new might discover a better method to fuel productivity. At the very least, they’ll confirm that you’re on the right path if your current methodology proves more effective.
Foster your team’s creativity and embrace input.
Support Your Team with Collaborative Tools
Here’s the hard truth: your employees are bound to have varying skill sets. Brian may be a brilliant writer, while Beth may have an affinity for customer service. Allowing your employees to work at those tasks they excel at will only benefit your outcomes. These outcomes can be augmented further using collaboration tools. With more people than ever before working remotely, these tools are more crucial than they have ever been. Make sure that your team is equipped with the technology solutions to collaborate even while distant from one another.
NuTech Services is here to help your business collaborate as effectively as possible, with the tools and resources your team will need at the ready. Learn more about how we can help sustain your effective operations through our managed services by giving us a call at 810.230.9455.