Updated: Apr 9, 2022
Workplace collaboration drives innovation, especially when conducted between companies.
The most forward-thinking businesses are taking note — according to surveys, cross-level collaboration has increased by 27%. Of course, two or more departments working toward a common goal takes hard work, thoughtful planning, and strong leadership. If you want successful results, you need to lay the groundwork with effective policies and tools — these strategies presented by Project-Assistant.com can help.
Utilize Social Media
Social media's greatest strength is its ability to connect people worldwide, making it the perfect space for employees to collaborate. You can create a private group or forum on various platforms, ensuring there are no unwanted visitors.
Additionally, you should provide support so everyone can enjoy access, no matter their technological literacy. For example, if you encourage teams to use Instagram, provide a link to a free online image resizer along with instructions. That way, users can meet the upload requirements without a fuss.
Communication is the backbone of collaboration, and criticism may be the most important form. The only way to fix a problem is to acknowledge it, so you must create a way for employees to raise their concerns:
When you create a feedback forum, you invite appreciative feedback that improves operations without resentment.
Create Cross-Team Opportunities
The best way to encourage collaboration is to create opportunities for teams to instigate it. One way to do so is centralizing communication, so any team member can reach out to coworkers, including those in a different location or working from home. Additionally, you can provide project leaders with the necessary skills to mediate creative differences and unite the effort with agreed-upon goals.
Celebrate Team Efforts
Teams that successfully collaborate on projects should be lauded for their efforts. Recognition is one of your most powerful tools, as it shows others what's possible. However, it's also essential to provide bonuses and other monetary rewards, as well as career-building opportunities such as promotions and professional development events.
Incorporate Idea Sharing Into Company Culture
Before your company can embrace collaboration, everyone must agree that it's a good thing. That means making idea sharing a pillar of your corporate culture.
Clearly state that diverse ideas are welcome in every aspect of your business. Then, act accordingly. This effort only works if you create avenues for innovation and actively support change within your organization.
Invest in Communication Technology
Today's technology makes it easy to keep everyone in the know in real-time. If you want to foster collaboration, you need the following types of software:
Messaging and chat
Make It Personal
Trust is the foundation for collaboration, and trust only grows when people know each other. Employees won't always be friends or connect outside of work, but they should respect their team members and know their strengths. You can facilitate team bonding with a few strategies:
Congratulate individuals on jobs well-done
Create a "team chat" channel where people can talk about non-work topics
Invite team members to participate in visioning sessions to decide team goals
Design Projects With Collaboration in Mind
Teams work best when they have a framework that works in their favor, not against it. If you want your employees to collaborate with another business's workforce, you need to ensure everyone's roles are clear to prevent any confusion.
Collaborating with another company may not be easy, but it can offer rewards for all parties. If you make diversity and innovation company values, you can foster a thriving collaborative environment.