5 ways to encourage a culture of collaboration in your organisation

Whether you are a multinational company with 50,000 workers or a start-up with 5 employees, good communication and teamwork are essential to achieving business goals and overall success.

We are now in an era where teams are no longer in the same office, but instead are hours apart, or even continents apart. Fortunately, modern technology solutions are making it possible for employees to communicate and collaborate no matter where they are working. Since employees no longer talk and connect as they would in the office, it is essential for management to look to these new tools, to ensure that employees can work together and form connections wherever they are.

According to research, 33% of millennials want more collaborative workspaces. As millennials currently make up a third of the workforce, a percentage that is expected to rise in the coming years (they are estimated to account for 75 percent of employees by 2025) it is more important than ever in the modern workplace to ensure that the culture of collaboration is not lost.

With all of this in mind, here are five ways to help encourage a culture of collaboration in the workplace:

Create personal connections

Personal employee connections are incredibly important not only for employee performance but also for wellbeing. Human beings desire contact and connections with others. Unfortunately, things can get lonely (and thus unproductive!) very fast with the rise of remote working. Bonding with colleagues throughout the business regardless of where they are located means that employees should feel more connected and therefore comfortable when reaching out for help or project input.

Employers should consider encouraging workers to participate in general discussions through instant chat with each other. These could be about productivity, time management and more personal chats. Management in some firms choose to make company policy to use video chat only. Therefore, even if you need to ask a simple question, employees have to use Teams video call or FaceTime to do so.

Microsoft Teams is a hub for cloud-based team collaboration and is part of the Microsoft 365 suite. It offers workers a great place to communicate with each other, whether it’s by private conversation, for group situations or via video call. It was designed with the modern workforce in mind by creating a new experience that brings together people, conversation and content with the relevant tool teams needed to collaborate easily.

Employers who help employees create personal connections with each other will help build a successful workforce, one with a positive collaborative culture.

Interested in finding out more about Microsoft 365?

Download our Microsoft 365 White Paper

Build trust

Trust is the basic building block of any organisation and can bring many benefits once achieved. It may vary by degree, ranging from leadership to staff, staff to supervisors, department to department, and c-oworker to co-worker.

Collaboration relies on the ability of the workers to come together and work on goals in a constructive way. Therefore, if you want to help promote and develop a collaborative culture within your workplace, the building of trust is paramount.

The thing many people find with trust is that it doesn’t happen overnight. To build it in the workplace, try out these tips:

  • Set clear expectations and be consistent
  • Emulate characteristics of a team player
  • Treat every mistake as a learning opportunity
  • Trust others!

Make the right tools available

While collaborative platforms are on the rise, successful businesses have long-since had spaces where people can connect for years. Modern technology solutions have just made it easier for businesses to work collaboratively and productively by allowing people who are geographically and organisationally dispersed to come together.

According to an Alfresco survey of more than 753 business professionals, it was found that nearly eighty-three percent of professionals depend on technology to collaborate. Eighty-two percent of the participants also felt that if this collaborative technology was lost they would feel impacted.

Such figures show just how much individuals in the modern workforce do rely on technology to collaborate. It is clear from this also that for a business, picking the right tools is not only a challenging but crucial process.

Unfortunately, it’s not the case of one size fitting all. When you’re searching for the right tools, remember to always ask yourself these questions:

  1. What problems are you trying to solve?
  2. Is there support available for any issues?
  3. Are there relevant security features and backup?
  4. Is it compatible with other software systems your business uses?
  5. Is it cloud-hosted?

Here at Serval IT Systems, we recommend Microsoft 365 as it incorporates all the relevant tools needed for your employees to work together. For example, they can easily share files, co-author in real time and be productive from anywhere.

Create opportunities

If employees are not in the right situation, collaboration simply won’t happen. Therefore, opportunities must be created for those employees that do not get the chance to collaborate in their day to day jobs. For example, through joint team projects, focus groups, and team building exercises.

Every employee is different and has different areas of excellence. Not everyone is going to be comfortable with teamwork at first, so it is the responsibility of a manager to understand this and provide training that equips them with the knowledge and confidence they need to excel in these situations.

Recognise, reward and support collaboration

Building a culture of collaboration comes from everybody’s consistent effort at the company. Whether it’s shared by video, newsletter, report or seminar, sharing collaborative stories from employees will create a sense of achievement.

SharePoint is a tool within the popular Microsoft 365 suite which is used by companies internally for Intranets, content management and team sites. It is perfect for management to share company-wide announcements to enable all those in the company to stay informed and involved with everything going on.

Encouraging and developing a culture of workplace collaboration requires more than simply providing the necessary tools to the employees. Collaboration is the product of multiple people working together as one, including management. By implementing the above ideas, the community you build would be just the start of a more productive company.

Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about how you can implement Microsoft 365 in your organisation.