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Tip of the Week: How to Encourage Collaboration

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Collaboration is a crucial business process in many ways, which means you need to be sure that your entire team is on board and prepared to participate. Remote or in office, there are ways to encourage collaboration to get your employees involved. This week, we’re offering some tips to help you accomplish and encourage collaboration in six simple steps.

Establish and Reinforce Roles

When establishing collaborative habits, it helps to know who is in charge of certain aspects of a project. This will give the employees purpose and more involvement. Without these roles assigned and fully explained, some things are apt to go undone while other things may be done twice. Team meetings are a good time to practice establishing roles, as someone needs to run the meeting, and someone should be taking note of what is discussed.

Responsibilities, Too

You need to make sure that, as roles are assigned, the responsibilities that go with them are fully explained. Each task needs to be assigned to a specific person, with a specific timeframe that it needs to be accomplished within. This will make sure that actual progress is made toward the final objective.

…And Goals as Well

Your business should already have goals in place at all times for business operations to excel. When you encourage collaboration too, goals can be a great motivator, especially when failing to meet them not only affects the group, but the organization as a whole. Keep your goals simple and straightforward from the beginning, as overcomplicating them means that there is more room for interpretation, which opens you up to the wrong milestones being met. Don’t be afraid to touch back on your goals throughout the collaborative process as new considerations come into play – this will help you to stay focused on the group’s objective.

Don’t Shy Away from Conflict

Conflict usually gets a bad reputation, but if leveraged correctly, it can actually be of great benefit to any collaborative effort. The right amount of conflict among a group can help to expose critical issues with a project or identify where some team members need to step up a little. Working through conflict is usually more useful on the other end than if you ignored it. While it may be unpleasant in the moment, constructive conflict can create a better, more cohesive team experience and a better end result.

Establish (and Use) Collaboration Tools

Identifying and deploying the solutions your team needs to work collaboratively – things like cloud storage, mobile computing, and cooperative virtual workspaces – will allow your team to work together, even when they’re physically apart. Of course, once you have these tools implemented, you need to make sure that everyone uses them. Leading by example and using these tools yourself is a good way to get your staff to follow suit; and, once they see how much easier it is to work together using these solutions, it may just become their preference.

Be Open to Ideas, and Give Credit for Good Ones

There are plenty of reasons that you should listen to your staff. After all, they are the ones who are working with the solutions you’ve provided, with the up-close-and-personal perspective that hands-on experience provides. They may think up a solution that you simply don’t have the perspective to consider, or they might just have a better idea. It benefits you and your business to embrace these ideas and leverage them to your advantage. Make sure to always give credit to those who put out on solid ideas that benefit your operations. Transparency in the process will keep your team engaged, motivated to perform to the best of their ability.

At Symmetric IT Group, we are well aware of the benefits that collaborative practices can bring. That’s why we offer the solutions that encourage this kind of work. To learn more about what we can offer your business to improve your collaboration and teamwork, reach out to us at (813) 749-0895. If you want help establishing some collaborative efforts, as well as implementing collaboration via your technology, check out our managed it services page.

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