The modern business should be prioritizing its collaborative capabilities. After all, the benefits of collaboration include increased quality in products and services and customer service alike, all the while cutting costs. Of course, you may have already attempted to incorporate collaborative practices, but for some reason, they didn’t take. Let’s consider a few reasons that might have been the case.
It isn’t enough to just say that your business is collaborative, and that your team is to conduct themselves as such. You need to have the means of collaboration in place for your team to use in their processes, which will require the strategic use of specific technology resources. This includes many that you should already have, like your Internet access, email solution, and phone systems. The part that many businesses lack is the strategy behind their use to embrace the full functionality that these resources offer.
Investing the time, capital, and energy into properly devising such a strategy and appropriately equipping your team to fully embrace collaborative processes will prove to be well worth it. One effective solution to consider is a company intranet. Having such an intranet gives your team a convenient place to share ideas, review everyone’s contributions, store files, and generally solve business problems by working together. In addition, your team members can use this intranet to better get to know one another, an invaluable component to any cooperative efforts. However, this brings up an additional challenge that many businesses face:
Unsurprisingly, it can be challenging for people to work cooperatively if they aren’t fond of one another. Now, the hard truth is that not everyone you hire is going to be the best of friends, but any animosity or ill will could actually impact your business financially. Not only could these feelings sap productivity, encourage redundancy, and lead to inefficiency, any productive conversation about improving your business’ processes is simply unlikely.
No, your employees don’t have to be close to work closely with one another. All it takes is a shared understanding of their common goal, and the knowledge that if they can’t handle interpersonal issues, they will be handled for them.
Finally, we come to perhaps the most common problem many businesses experience when attempting to be collaborative. While you have likely assigned people to be responsible for different elements of a process, this information may not be known to the rest of your team. As a result, nobody knows who to assign next or who to turn to for help with a problem. This kind of environment breeds inefficiency and redundancy—something you probably don’t want in your business.
While it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to have full knowledge and awareness of everyone else’s responsibilities, some grasp on each department’s duties will be helpful. You might consider cross training your team members so that it will be easier for them to identify the best resources to help solve their problems later.
While establishing a collaborative workplace is going to be an ongoing process, it will ultimately deliver some significant benefits to your business, as well as the team members you’ve employed. To learn more about the tools and strategies that can help you encourage collaborative behaviors amongst your team, give Clearmind Technology a call at (323) 489-3250.