A Business Leader’s Guide to Improved Collaboration

Collaboration is no longer a “nice to have” in the business world. According to the World Economic Forum, collaboration will define the future of business, serving as a cornerstone for long-term success. As companies become larger and more complex and increasingly embrace remote work or hybrid work models, this will become even more true.

If you’re a business owner or manager, you can get ahead of the pack by implementing a more collaborative approach to your everyday business life now. This guide provides actionable tips for creating a collaboration-friendly environment at work.

Serve as a collaboration role model

 Collaboration starts from the top. Model a collaborative approach for your employees, and they’re more likely to follow suit. You might consider starting a weekly stand-up meeting as an opportunity to share new ideas. Make sure to share some of your own and encourage commentary, criticism, and brainstorming. The point is to show your team that their ideas don’t have to be perfect. The important thing is to share new concepts and thoughts!

 Encourage different teams to work together

 Collaboration between teams is often a big hurdle. After all, if a team doesn’t work together organically, their ability to liaise effectively will be stunted. To overcome this challenge, find regular projects for teams to work on together. You can also make sure that teams keep one another abreast of their work, so everybody is up to date on the “big picture” goings-on in your company. The stand-up meeting mentioned above is a great time for team sharing.

 Invest in the right tech to support collaboration

 Technology is a worthy investment for any business hoping to stay ahead of the pack. Research from Deloitte reveals that collaboration technology has already come a long way, offering many opportunities for business success. Useful tools include chat apps, project management software, and video conferencing. Advances in such tech tools were compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, so more people than ever are using them.

 Emphasize a culture of open communication

 Positivity goes hand-in-hand with open communication. By being optimistic and providing encouraging feedback, you are giving your team the confidence they need to communicate directly. You want your staff to stay positive and believe that success is possible, so while it’s okay to be demanding, you should never be demeaning. The last thing you want is for workers to be afraid to come to you or other superiors with thoughts and ideas.

 Provide positive reinforcement for collaborative efforts

 As a leader, one of the best things you can do to encourage your teams to be proactive, innovative, and collaborative is simple — be positive! ZenBusiness reveals that negativity costs some $250 to 300 billion in economic productivity per year, hurting morale and performance. When you see individuals and teams collaborating, laud their efforts. Even if the outcome of a group project isn’t ideal, applaud the fact that they worked together.

 Make team bonding a top priority

 When people are more comfortable with one another, they’re more likely to be open with their thoughts and efforts. You want to ensure that the various individuals in your teams and the different teams in your company have a strong rapport. Team bonding is the answer. Encourage meetings beyond the office. For example, you can organize events like training for a company run for charity, a post-work book club, or (if your team is remote) Zoom drinks.

As a business owner or manager, you want to do all you can to support your company’s success. Encouraging collaboration is one step you can take. As the above guide makes clear, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Small steps can make a big difference.

For more content on building strong and thriving businesses, visit the Aepiphanni blog.

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