Collaboration is key to operating a successful and efficient company. There are many moving parts and individual departments that must work closely with one another to ensure that operations are as streamlined as possible. In large companies, however, close-knit collaboration is often easier said than done. Employees in such companies often feel that they are small fish in a big pond and find it difficult to see how their contributions affect the company as a whole. Therefore, collaboration not only ensures the business operates at maximum capacity but also ensures that employees feel valued in their work. This guide explores three different ways to create a collaborative work environment and how doing so can improve various aspects of your business.
Set company-wide goals
When seeking to create a collaborative company culture, it’s important to remind your employees that at the end of the day, everyone is working toward the same common goal. Establishing departmental mission statements and company-wide goals is a great way to do just that. Start by reviewing your company’s overarching goals, values, and mission statement. Utilize these larger missions to help you develop smaller goals for your specific department. Work with your team to create achievable goals within your department. Working together to create and achieve these goals will help your team feel that they are part of something larger and that the work they do on a daily basis can make a big difference in the overall success of the company.
Communication is perhaps the most important element a business should master. Without effective communication, business operations can become disjointed and things can get lost in the shuffle between various departments. Maintaining an open and clear line of communication, therefore, is one of the best ways to create a collaborative work environment. Start by prioritizing communication within departments. Encourage members of the same team to work closely with one another and seek help from their peers when needed. This helps foster a collaborative culture, rather than a competitive one. Assure employees that they will never be alone and provide them with clear advice for whom to speak with when times get tough. As communication and collaboration improves within departments, you will soon begin to see an improvement in interdepartmental relations and collaboration as well.
Make the most of your office space
It may not seem like much, but your office space can have a much larger impact on company collaboration than you may realize. Office spaces that feature an abundance of cubicles and closed doors are not exactly conducive to a collaborative culture. On the contrary, this office setup furthers the idea that every employee is on their own. Opening up your office space and creating designated meeting rooms that can be used for collaborative efforts will help dispel this individualistic culture. Another option that is becoming more popular, especially among businesses that operate on a mainly digital sphere, is the use of flex office space. This type of office space allows employees who may frequently work from home and only communicate digitally to meet in person and collaborate in a face-to-face environment. This is particularly beneficial when brainstorming ideas or kickstarting a new project, as it allows individuals to easily bounce ideas off one another without sending an excessive amount of emails and instant messages.
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