3 Benefits Of Creating a Collaborative Workplace Culture
By Jori Hamilton
Image Source: Unsplash
November 22 2022 - Collaboration is crucial to the success of all businesses. A collaborative approach can improve your company culture and ensure that your departments work in synergy.
Collaboration can also spark innovation and growth. Businesses that cherish collaboration are often at the forefront of breakthroughs and can respond to challenges and threats much more quickly than their rivals.
But creating the right collaborative workplace culture can be tricky. Itís easy to get collaboration paralysis, and a constant need for democratic thinking may even slow your workplace down.
As an HR professional, you can help instill a culture of collaboration by understanding the benefits of teamwork and instilling best practices.
A collaborative approach means that you have your best minds working on your most pertinent problems. This can be particularly important if you face a threat due to uncertain supply chains, global issues impacting consumer behavior, or are simply trying to outperform a rival.
These insights are echoed by data collected by McKinsey. The McKinsey institute found that the most agile businesses today are "reimagining the entire organization as a network of high-performing teams." This collaborative approach to organization yields operations efficiencies and improves the customer experience.
The McKinsey report found that businesses that use collaboration to improve agility benefited from a 30% increase in operational performance and speed. Those businesses were also ranked as more innovative than their less collaborative rivals and received higher employee engagement.
As an HR professional, these insights should be music to your ears. By embracing collaboration, you can create a culture that is more efficient, engaging, and less prone to error.
Human error is inevitable in all businesses. However, some errors can be avoided by embracing a collaborative workplace culture.
A collaborative culture embraces conversations and ensures that all employees feel heard. This can help you identify potential causes of human error and reduce the risk of things going wrong in your workplace.
For example, if you work in an industry like construction, you can reduce the risk of human error by hosting opportunities for communication. Creating a forum that encourages communication can help employees come forward with their concerns without fear of retaliation. In the long run, these opportunities for collaboration will improve your operational efficiency and reduce the risk of future human error.
A collaborative culture can also reduce errors being made at the operational level. Business leaders make mistakes when they donít have the insights of everyone involved. By encouraging collaboration, you can ensure that leaders donít roll out an ineffective policy or make operational changes that damage efficiency.
Employees are more likely to buy into your business when they feel heard and respected. A collaborative culture can improve employee buy-in by giving every member of staff a chance to voice their opinion and work on cross-departmental projects.
Itís worth noting that some collaborative projects are more important for employee buy-in than they are for your bottom line. Simple collaborative projects, like redesigning your office space together or creating an internal newsletter donít necessarily increase your profits, but they will make for a happier workplace.
You can even use cross-departmental collaboration to improve your own work. For example, before training a new batch of employees, consider reaching out to existing employees and learning from them. Learning from your current employees is a great way to improve your training protocols and will help existing staff feel important and valued.
The idea of creating a collaborative workplace culture is alluring. However, actually creating an environment that fosters collaboration can be difficult. As an HR professional, itís your job to create the right conditions for collaboration to occur.
Ensure that all remote employees are given equal opportunity to collaborate with their peers. Making time for communication can improve the morale of remote employees who may usually feel isolated or lonely. Hosting a 10-minute virtual "coffee and conversation" meeting can make a huge difference in employee motivation and help hybrid workers feel part of the larger team.
Additionally, increased communication and collaboration between your employees, especially remote employees, can help combat the negative effects of burnout. Sharing the scope of a project and even socialization can keep your employeesí heads in the game without tearing them down.
Of course, simply instructing employees to "be more collaborative" is ineffective. Instead, try to create specific opportunities for collaboration and communication. For example, if youíre working on a project that involves finance and marketing, consider creating collaborative opportunities like planning team-building exercises or training packets for new hires. Even if these tasks arenít in their job description, you may find that they come forward with plenty of helpful suggestions.
Gaining insights from all employees is important, but you should limit the number of people who work on collaborative projects. Itís easy to end up with "too many cooks in the kitchen" when working together. So, rather than inviting every employee to drop in on projects, put together interdepartmental task teams who have clear goals, roles, and timelines.
Collaborative culture can help you achieve a more agile, error-free workplace. As an HR professional, youíre in a great position to get the ball rolling with cross-departmental work. Put the call out for collaborative projects and choose a few interested folks from each department. Remember to involve remote employees, too, as they may be feeling a little isolated.
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Jori Hamilton is a freelance writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of subjects but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity, recruitment, HR, and marketing strategies. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter and Contently.
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