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5 steps leaders should take to create a collaborative workspace

A guest post by Clarence Wilkins

Businesses today work in fast-changing environments which put forth numerous daily challenges. Overcoming these challenges requires quick decision-making and collaborative effort. Additionally, good employee collaboration leads to higher retention, increased productivity, and better utilization of resources. Today, to help your organization reap these benefits, this post explores four effective collaboration strategies to explore.

Develop a culture of transparency

Transparency is the bedrock of good collaboration, which requires an honest and timely flow of information across the organization. This can be achieved through the following steps:

  • Sharing weekly business performance reports with employees through emails or meetings. Whether good or bad, keeping employees in the loop regarding how the business is performing compared to set goals is important.

  • Developing a system through which employees can voice questions or concerns regarding projects. This can include creating separate channels on your messaging applications, an anonymous suggestion box, and organizing ‘open floor’ meetings.

  • Celebrating employee achievements will serve as a morale boost and send a message to others that the organization is appreciative of their efforts. One of the best ways is to share appreciation posts on social media, which should include the employee’s name, designation, photo, and achievement.

Involve employees in decision making

Team Building World notes that when it comes to setting goals and finding ways to achieve them, you should ensure all members of the team collaborate in the process. For instance, when planning a paid marketing campaign, instead of the marketing manager making all decisions regarding budget, messaging, and performance, motivate all members of the team to pitch in and contribute to the goal-setting process. Once goals are set, a similar collaborative effort can be followed towards creating a plan of action for achieving set goals.

A collaborative discussion will allow all specialists to provide insights on how to achieve their part of the project while receiving feedback from the team and ultimately creating a mutually agreed process. Such discussions will improve communication among team members, leading to higher productivity and timely completion of goals.

Take initiative as a leader

As a leader, your actions should serve as an example for others to follow. Hence, it’s important for you to actively engage in collaborative activities such as organizing team meetings, post-work socializing events, and providing timely feedback to employees.

Whether it’s a new hire or a long-term employee, feedback can help improve their performance and provide the motivation to do better. Here’s how you should approach the activity of providing feedback:

  • Be observant of your team member’s performance. If you notice them struggling with a project, don’t wait until they come to you for help, take the initiative to speak to them and provide the assistance needed.

  • As reported by Value Prop, always provide feedback in a personal setting. If working remotely, set up a video call. Feedback sent by email can lead to misunderstandings, while during conversations, individuals can ask for explanations, and clarify all doubts.

  • Make feedback a two-way street. Follow an open door policy where employees can approach you with questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding projects and the workplace in general.

  • Be open to these suggestions and update them on any action taken post receiving feedback.

Consider walking meetings

If you want to encourage collaboration while combating feelings of workplace isolation, you might want to consider the unusual approach of walking meetings. Basically, as the name implies, this simply refers to a meeting that can either be done in person or over headsets with two or more people walking as they talk. Simply adding a little physical activity adds more energy and creativity to the meeting, and depending on the walking score of your workplace – that is, how close it is to other popular destinations, like parks, restaurants, and coffee shops – the meeting could be a prelude to a team-building lunch.

Invest in the right technology

No business collaboration effort can be completed without the use of cloud-based tools. These tools allow for seamless transfer of information, enabling employees to make informed decisions based on real-time data. Look for project management tools on the market that help your organization achieve a peak level of collaboration. Many software platforms allow managers to create to-do lists and assign stakeholders for each task. Ideally, your chosen product will also provide cloud storage, resulting in all your important documents being stored in one place for easy access.

Collaboration is a constant process that will depend on the creation of strong communication channels, a positive work environment, and leaders taking the initiative to drive open communication across the organization. To that end, remember to encourage transparency, involve your employees, take initiative, and utilize the latest and most appropriate technology to your advantage.


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