6 Underrated Tips to Create Collaborative Work Environment in 2022

By Gaurav Belani

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Feature Image by Canva Studio from Pexels

Come 2022, and we will be witnessing a lot of big corporations banking on the collaboration for successful results. But, an effective partnership may be difficult for businesses of all sizes — whether you're a startup working out of a single location or a large business with thousands of employees worldwide. 

A lot goes into creating a cohesive workplace right from ensuring the quality of hire to setting up effective communication that is critical for meeting business objectives and expanding operations.

Why does effective workplace collaboration matter?

Workplace collaboration holds the key to developing exceptional teamwork. It does wonders when collaborative teams blend to generate new ideas, carry out aspiring projects, and accomplish their objectives.

A collaborative workplace does more tasks in cohesion at its most fundamental level, with accountable codependency. This means several team members commit to a unified business goal at all levels.

Consider the following scenarios; 

  • As a team leader, you collaborate with your coworkers to bring out the best in them. The tasks are assigned to your direct reports based on their skill sets, experience, and career aspiration. 
  • For an Individual contributor, collaboration would mean driving effective communication with coworkers and working together to achieve great goals.
  • And, some cross-functional collaborators ensure a seamless workflow for cross-functional teams. Work might slip through the gaps if your team lacks clear means to interact with each other.

Now, let us take a closer look into effective tips that help create a collaborative work environment in 2022.

Tip #1. Encourage a creative work environment

If you want people to bounce ideas — brilliant or bizarre, ensure the following:

  1. Give your team a safe space to express themselves.
  2. Create a conducive environment that breeds innovation with discussions, Q&As, and meetings in a non-judgmental manner.
  3. Motivate your team members to watch out for challenges and make them feel that they are attainable.  

Ultimately, you are driven by your organization's "can-do" mindset. Drive a culture of collectively questioning the bottlenecks to foster a creative environment by mentoring and coaching. 

The emphasis should be on character development, where you seek the best outcome not only for business but also for employees. This means allowing them to operate by their free will without negating their functional responsibilities.

Tip #2. Leverage individual strengths

The strengths and weaknesses of team members will vary in each organization. One of the best ways to run a SWOT analysis of team members is to conduct a personality test to get to know their pros and cons. This test is not a benchmark but it can certainly highlight specific areas where individual strengths can thrive.

Fostering collaboration will need striving hard to leverage each team member's abilities rather than their flaws. You may also speak to them about the test results and help them understand their strengths better. Such findings are often useful to pair them up with teammates who complement their limitations.

Tip #3. Create KPIs

Workplace collaboration is incomplete without setting up expectations. But you should evaluate individuals in a responsible, fair, and equal manner. And, this is possible when you create metrics to gauge their work rate.

Create quantifiable, data-driven key performance indicators (KPIs) like time monitoring, setting up weekly targets, weekly leads closed, etc. For this, you may employ time-tracking or other relevant tools that help you understand how much time is spent on each job. Eventually, this makes it simpler to collaborate and bring necessary changes to tasks if required.

Building a fairer evaluation system will need you to focus on how well each individual performs in isolation rather than pivoting comparisons. Such company-wide metrics can positively impact how each employee feels responsible for completing a certain task.

Tip #4. Focus on knowledge sharing

80% of employees feel that they should know how their company takes key business decisions. Once you share knowledge with your team members, they too would open up and share their insights and learning. 

Knowledge sharing and effective collaboration go hand in hand as there can be no collaboration if individuals are not ready to share their thoughts and ideas. Therefore, cultivate a sense of ownership and people would be happy to share their valuable inputs to improve results. Getting the right information when you need it will empower people in the organization, running your business in a seamless manner.

You can have departmental heads create a standard operating procedure that works as a playbook for other employees to understand interdepartmental functions better. Equip your team with documentation collaboration tools that facilitate this process coupled with communication technologies to ensure that information flows freely.

Tip #5. Use the right collaboration tools

Having the right set of collaboration tools in your repertoire is a great asset. Perhaps, it is one of the most essential ways to collaborate, especially if your organization promotes remote or hybrid working.

Begin investing in highly cross-functional communication solutions that blend different teams as it facilitates cooperation throughout departments and even across the functions. A study suggests that interactive collaboration tools and digital workspaces may boost productivity by 30%.

Businesses can boost efficiency as they tend to get increased output by adopting a new set of communication channels. This is especially true with the ease of reliable access to cloud communications. Highly organized collaboration platforms and leading cloud software products such Slack and Microsoft Teams help in-house or remote teams to chat, video and audio call, and share files. 

As long as everyone is on the same page, they may contribute from any location. This is a huge plus, particularly when we are looking to stay productive in a remote work environment.

Tip #6. Have cross-functional workgroups

Collaboration works on trust and team cohesiveness. Therefore, create small groups who work together by sharing the best of their skill set for a common objective. For instance, if one team member is creative outside of the work area and another is developing a poster for a presentation, they may collaborate well to create an excellent poster design. This applies even if the finance team collaborates with the marketing team.

This way, they will also get a sense of the other's preferences and skillsets, allowing them to learn from each other and work more effectively together on future projects. Creating cross-functional groups would give teammates a chance to pick up new aspects of business, enabling them to understand more about the business processes.

The goal should be to empower teams across all departments and let them know how their core job responsibilities contribute to other aspects of the business.

Over to you

Effective cooperation entails much more than meeting agendas and work schedules. Fostering a collaborative culture can look challenging when you begin, particularly if the previous style has been heavily weighted toward individual contributions over a long time.

However, with open leadership, collaborative opportunities, and the right set of tools, nothing stops you from creating a collaborative culture in 2022 that draws people together.

Successful businesses adopt a range of techniques and initiatives that reward collaboration, from company-wide innovation, cross-functional competitions to onboarding programs for new hires. The common part is that they all believe in the potential of working together to accomplish great things in life and not just within the confined spaces of organization.

 

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