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Building A Collaborative Platform Within Your Business

Building A Collaborative Platform Within Your Business

Collaboration is often an overlooked element of a business success. However, without it, no company can grow. Collaboration is a complex process during which employees from the same or different teams can come together to share knowledge, exchange skills, and contribute to common objectives. It should exist at every level of business interaction. 

Yet, collaboration is the product of its environment. You can’t expect your team to work together productively if the business fails to build the right environment. Indeed, collaboration requires a common structure where employees can combine their skills and knowledge to move a project further. You also need to establish a mindset that encourages cooperative behaviors and common interests. More often than not, teams that fail to work together never received the support they needed from the business. So, here are some helpful ideas and best practices to create a collaboration-enhancing platform. 

Collaborating around the clock in the cloud

Cloud solutions have grown in popularity since the pandemic. Many businesses moved to cloud computing to keep their teams connected when everyone was working from home. You may be back in the office, but cloud solutions remain an indispensable part of the day. Indeed, cloud structures enable employees to collaborate smoothly and hassle-free on a variety of projects. If you work with contractors, they can store their work in the cloud, for instance, regardless of where they are. For ad hoc collaboration, it’s a great way of inviting the best talent on board for a project regardless of location. The same principle applies to new recruitment strategies, as using cloud computing means you don’t have to look for local talent. As such, growing your cloud solutions can encourage better collaboration. If you are looking to integrate your existing network into the cloud, it’s worth considering the benefits of SD-WAN technology for integration and cybersecurity. This can keep your cloud collaboration safe, low-cost, and effective for all. 

Say goodbye to traditional office layouts

The typical individual office with a door is old-fashioned. Walls, partitions, and doors keep employees apart. That is why more and more offices are embracing open-layout designs. Bringing the walls down physically encourages interactions, allowing teams to gather in group workshops when and wherever needed. Furniture arrangements need to consider also internal obstacles to the creative and productive process. For instance, replacing rectangular tables with cozy sitting areas immediately eliminates the hierarchy. When nobody sits at the head, there is no leader who can make the process more rigid. 

Fostering collaborative hotspots in the office is also a great way of building multiple working environments. Project cooperation requires discussions, exchanges, catch-ups, and monitoring. On the other hand, not every task in the office needs to be collaborative. By building designated areas for teamwork, you also protect independent workers from disruptions.  

Mentor your new employees

How does the new employee fit into the team? It can take several months for newcomers to integrate and feel at home in their new teams. More often than not, new members find it hard to adjust and navigate in the new environment. This can lead to losing valuable opportunities for collaboration and exchange. New employees are often introduced to the team during a quick round where they get to hear everybody’s names — and forget it immediately. Can you remember 10, 20, 50 unknown people’s names, roles, and strengths? Nobody can. The lack of mentoring for new members of the team can slow down the collaborative process, leading to a drop in productivity, creativity, and motivation. It can be beneficial to assign a mentor to every new employee. The mentor will act as the first point of contact for every team-related query and a guide to the routines and processes of the business. 

Social events are desirable but never mandatory

Business social events are described as a necessary evil for team bonding. However, they often have the opposite effect. Many social events feel forced and uncomfortable, which doesn’t create a positive environment for collaboration. As team bonding goes, being familiar with all co-workers and getting on friendly terms with them can significantly improve collaboration. However, social events also require an employee to give up their personal time for the business. 

Many employees resent being called to a work event during their spare time. Additionally, when people feel forced to attend, they are unlikely to benefit from the event. Encouraging people to meet up and get to know each other can be hugely helpful. However, imposing social activities outside of working hours can be met with negativity, resentment, and a loss of motivation. 

Photo by Surface on Unsplash

Is there such a thing as ONE perfect employee?

Managers often consider public praises as a fantastic strategy to motivate the team and bring people together. However, rewards and compliments need to be shared equally between the team. When the management only recognizes the hard work of a handful of individuals, employees can become resentful. There is never only one hard-working person in a team. Positive results are the fruit of different people helping, mentoring, and supporting each other. But failure to recognize teamwork and smooth collaboration can be damaging for the business. If you only praise a few people for your success, you lose the loyalty and motivation of those who have also contributed to the positive results. 

Get to know your employees

Collaboration requires a common objective. Employees might have more than one goal, such as landing a promotion or becoming an expert in their field. However, they share one objective, which is to contribute to the business success. But what happens when employees don’t have a common target? In companies where traditional hierarchy structures isolate the team from the management, many professionals feel undervalued by the leadership. The message is clear: As long as the business fails to take an interest in the employees, there is no collaborative path. Therefore, managers and leaders who break the boundaries and know their teams are more likely to nurture collaborative potential. 

Human beings are naturally social creatures. Consequently, businesses often expect collaboration to happen naturally in the office. But, you need to build an environment that contributes to working together, sharing a common goal, and nurturing collaborative motivation. 

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