Techniques to Foster Collaboration

May 02, 2019

Team management is an iterative process. Strategies for effective teamwork should be reviewed regularly. Environments change. People change.

Most leaders will agree that a company’s success may depend on how well it can nurture their employees’ abilities and willingness to share their knowledge or expert judgement.

The following strategies may assist in creating a collaborative environment within your organization:

Reward collaboration. As organizations move to collaborative cultures, leaders are changing the reward system, making collaborative performance part of the employee review process and giving recognition and promotions to those who work effectively across organizational boundaries.

Transparent communication. The way information is handled determines whether it becomes an obstacle or an enabler of collaboration. Company wide transparent communication is a vital tool in disrupting internal segregation. Share information and communicate with other internal departments.

Encourage networks. Employees with multiple networks throughout an organization bring added value. Leaders accelerate the flow of knowledge and information across boundaries by encouraging workplace relationships and making sure that all offsite retreats or workplace events include opportunities for socializing.

Map goals. The foundation of a successful organization is an entire team focused on common goals. No one should wonder what the goals and milestones are. How can a company work towards progress if everyone is not made aware of the objectives?

Diversity. Creativity thrives on collective diversity. The combination of ideas from people across the organization with different backgrounds, thinking styles, and expertise enhances creativity. When an organization focuses on collaborative innovation, leaders create cross-functional teams to capture diverse perspectives. Organizations may become stagnant without diversity.

Focus on the customer. Whether your industry is high-tech or healthcare, manufacturing or management consulting or whether your company is a for-profit business enterprise, a government entity, or a non-profit association, customers want a seamless, personalized experience. A seamless, customer service takes internal and external collaboration.

Build trust. Collaborative relationships thrive in an environment of personal trust. Trust is the belief or confidence that one party has in the reliability, integrity and honesty of another party. It is the expectation that the faith one places in someone else will be honored. It is also the glue that holds together any group. Trust is the foundation of true collaboration.

Redefine leadership. Commanding leadership has its place and time. Solving today’s global business challenges requires collaborative leadership to drive success. Use positive influence rather than position. A blend of personal and interpersonal skills forms a leader’s ability to impact and inspire others.

Foster collaboration for more than the success of your company. Collaborate for the benefit of employees. Employees will feel valued and motivated.

Do not let complacency or impatience get in your way of success. Stay on top of new collaboration techniques and document your lessons learned- positive results will follow.