Workplace Collaboration: Four Things You Need to Boost Teamwork
Businesses are stronger when people work together. For a more successful and productive company, collaboration within and across teams is vital.
Recent research from Citrix ShareFile, in collaboration with the Harvard Business Review, has shined a light onto the subject, revealing where every business can look to improve their output by encouraging working together.
4 ESSENTIAL COLLABORATION INGREDIENTS
SENIOR MANAGEMENT BUY-IN
The research, which quizzed 491 leaders representing organizations globally, indicated that having managers who genuinely believe in collaborative working was the most important factor in making it work for your business.
64% of respondents said that “senior management who participate in a collaborative workplace” was a key part of the process. 53% also said that the “support of senior management” was the next most valuable factor.
The current situation, however, leaves something to be desired in this area. Although 64% of respondents want senior management to be actively involved with collaborative working, just 48% think their workplace is effective at ensuring this happens.
A FLEXIBLE COMPANY STRUCTURE
The study also sought to identify the most significant barriers to collaboration – with structure outed as the main culprit. 67% of respondents cited the siloed structure of their business as a key barrier to collaborative working.
For those looking at increasing the level of collaboration in their workforce, look to loosen the strings on any outdated company structures. Cross-team collaboration can help apply a fresh approach, bringing new skills and ideas to bear where they might not have been utilized before.
VISION AND POSITIVE CULTURE
Other barriers worth noting link back to the importance of senior management’s role. 35% said a “risk-averse company culture” was holding them back, with 32% claiming a “lack of vision from leadership” was a real concern.
As strategy-makers and culture-setters at the majority of organizations, senior management need to communicate their vision and empower their employees to carry it out – aiding collaboration along the way.
To drive your business towards a greater level of collaboration, embrace technology to create a more connected workforce that’s able to work together.
When asked what tools they consider to be the most effective at bringing about collaboration, 90% said “email and calendaring” – with “video conferencing”, “document sharing”, “remote access tools” and “voice and telephone” all confirmed as powerful collaboration tools by over 70% of respondents.
AND 3 BENEFITS YOUR BUSINESS WILL ENJOY
The study not only focused on the steps you need to take in order to create a collaborative workforce, but also the benefits those who are working collaboratively are currently experiencing.
HAPPIER CUSTOMERS AND ENGAGED WORKERS
When asked what collaboration had helped to achieve, 39% said an “improved customer experience” and 38% found a “more engaged workforce”.
Other significant benefits were “higher productivity” (30%) and “greater efficiency” (30%).
Collaboration sets the foundation for these business-critical factors. Sharing workloads, pooling ideas and increasing support for one another (benefits that collaboration brings to the table) allow our teams to be more engaged, more efficient and ultimately produce a better service for customers and clients.
THE FLEXIBILITY TO COPE WITH MODERN BUSINESS
Advances in technology have changed the landscape of modern businesses. Customers expect faster service, often at great cost to the bottom line. But collaboration can be a solution to these problems.
More than half (54%) said that “evolving business and operating models” were a significant factor behind the desire to increase collaboration. Other significant factors were “changing customer expectations” (41%) and a “faster pace of business” (38%).
Ultimately, business leaders are recognizing that the best way to tackle the ever-evolving business climate is to increase resource of and align focus on to improving collaboration.
BETTER TEAMS AND HAPPIER EMPLOYEES
The fast pace at which customer expectations are evolving is matched by that of those within your organization. The lifestyles of your employees are rapidly changing, and that has led to a demand for more flexibility from their place of work.
Thankfully, collaborative policies allow for this. 36% said that an increase in collaborative efforts had allowed more opportunity for remote working – an employee benefit that is highly sought after by modern employees.
Elsewhere, common yardsticks for measuring teamwork will likely see a boost thanks to a greater focus on collaboration. 38% of respondents claimed that their communication channels had been broadened thanks to collaboration in the workplace.