Did you ever play the telephone game when you were a kid? You know … when you line up in a row and someone whispers a word or phrase to the first person in line? And then giggles commence as the message is shared, one-by-one, until something funny and always inaccurate is blurted out from the other end?
Creating a collaborative culture in the workplace is kind of the opposite of that. If your team has the right measures and tools in place for a successful outcome, then the collaborative process can be great! But if the message isn’t clear, or the line of communication isn’t effective, well then … watch out. You might as well be on the playground whispering gibberish to your friends.
So how do you go about fostering a productive work environment that promotes effective communication and teamwork? Here are some tips for creating a collaborative culture … the right way.
Update Your Process
In many organizations, productivity is hampered by inefficient collaboration and outdated processes. Through real teamwork, companies can enhance innovation, efficiency, and its overall chance of success.
Based on Redbooth’s experience in working with businesses from all over the world, we have identified ten steps that help create a collaborative culture, which can lead to improved company communication and teamwork. These steps are outlined in a free guide available online, and include the following tips:
- Encourage information sharing and group creativity
- Create efficient workflows to boost productivity
- Establish a system of accountability and benchmarks for success
Get a Game Plan
Sometimes newly formed teams jump in and tackle big projects without proper preparation. And before you know it, the proverbial left hand doesn’t know what the right one is doing. The solution is to start with the small things, like organization and technology.
For example, did you know that better collaboration technology can lead to an additional $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in annual revenue for the top four major sectors? Or that collaboration platforms can decrease the time employees spend chasing information by 25 percent? Or that 90 percent of companies reported improved productivity when a collaboration system was implemented?
Building a game plan for unifying your team’s efforts can be simple if you follow a few critical steps. Take emails, for example. Did you know that over 100 billion emails are sent and received every day? That’s a lot of wasted hours on searching for important information or tasks within those emails. If you abandon your cluttered email inbox and give important tasks a better home, it will instantly elevate your productivity.
Listen to the Experts
One of the best ways to learn how to create a collaborative culture is to listen to the experts – those who have lead companies and developed ideal environments that foster effective partnerships and multiple team approaches. Here are some solid lessons from Cisco executives:
- Avoid the obstacles that get in the way of change, including: murky goals; unclear decision-making processes; and managers who ignore those processes.
- Be aware that ambiguity generates distrust, resistance and fiefdom fighting.
- The more fully you can engage people’s hearts and minds in an enterprise and its success, the more likely you are to be able to create a powerfully successful organization.
- Give managers rules, tools, rewards and freedom to spur rather than stifle employee initiative.
- Agree on a common vocabulary for the company culture.
- Create a crystal clear and collaborative process for making changes.
- Prove you trust your employees’ judgment.
- Collaboration technology has maximum impact when it addresses your top business priorities.
- Collaboration can’t be deployed; it must be embraced.
For more tips from Cisco executives, visit here.
Start Building a Collaborative Culture
Do you currently work in a collaborative culture? What are the elements that make it that way, and are there areas of improvement? If not, what are the changes you would like to see put in place? We want to know about your experiences. Please leave your comments below.