Teamwork is the cornerstone of any successful organization. Working together with colleagues and sharing ideas not only fosters a stronger sense of community, but it can drive innovation, improve efficiency, and lead to increased productivity. Knowing how to motivate your team to collaborate is an important skill for increasing trust, engaging employees, and improving performance. Here are a few strategies to give you a head-start toward implementing effective collaboration in your workplace.
1. Promote a community environment.
A sense of community is crucial for a collaborative work environment. In fact, more than half of employees state that a strong sense of community led them to stay at a company longer. When team members feel a sense of belonging, they are more likely to want to work together with their colleagues. You can do this in a variety of ways such as starting each day with a morning huddle. Set aside a specific time each day to meet with your team and discuss the goals and tasks for the day. You may also want to host weekly pot luck lunches or coffee breaks to help foster the sense of community. These environments help employees feel like they are more of a team than a group of individuals.
2. Foster open and honest communication.
Effective collaboration relies on open and truthful communication. The more people feel like they can contribute, the more ideas they will share and the more the productive the team will become. Therefore, work to create a safe environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions and are free from judgment. The more comfortable employees feel about openly and honestly sharing, the more collaborative the space will be.
3. Encourage creative thinking.
Collaboration leads to innovation, so it is important to create a space where creativity is encouraged. Brainstorming sessions can be a great way to invite creative ideas. When employees feel free to share new and challenging ideas, they will feel like they have more of a stake in the company’s mission. Therefore, empower employees to share any knowledge or ideas they have, no matter how “outside the box” they seem to be.
4. Invest in collaboration tools.
Creating a digital workplace is one of the best ways to ensure long-term collaboration. Nearly 80% of businesses use social collaboration tools to enhance their collaboration capabilities. There are countless collaborative tools available that can help team members connect from anywhere. Some of the most popular tools include Slack, Flock, Google Drive, Asana, Zoom, Teamwork, and Dropbox. From instant messaging and video conferencing to sharing documents and managing projects, there is a collaborative tool to help with just about every aspect of your business.
5. Celebrate successful teamwork.
If you want to encourage continuous collaboration, you need to reward successful teamwork when you see it. Make it clear that you see and appreciate your employees’ team efforts and include team collaboration in your appraisal metrics. By rewarding effective teamwork, you are communicating how much you value collaboration in the workplace.