Collaboration has always been the backbone of workplace performance. One of the biggest factors influencing a business’s success is the ability for its employees to perform as a team, by working together, sharing their ideas and skills to achieve a common goal.
The optimal functioning of teams will allow businesses to achieve more in less time, simultaneously boosting engagement. The arrival of a new generation to the workforce, the continuous digital changes and technological advances of this era have changed the nature itself of collaboration. Companies must now adapt and keep up with these changes, by developing new strategies and tools to form more collaborative teams.
An era of change for collaboration: the new ways of working
There are many approaches to improve collaboration in teams that companies may adopt.
- Transparency. For example, is a very effective tool for collaboration. Honesty and communication show employees that every bit of energy they invest counts and that none of it will be wasted. The trust within teams originating from transparency encourages good behavior, dedication and innovation, and thus effective collaboration.According to research, 86% of executives say ineffective communication or bad collaboration is to blame for failures in the workplace. Leaders must spread the desired behavior around the company, engaging in genuine collaboration with their workers: an unpleasant manager will not inspire any kind of sincere motivation. Why should workers care if it seems like their leaders don’t?
- Freedom. Collaboration enters a new era as the new generation steps into the workforce, with different demands and expectations. This new generation seeks some sort of freedom within their workplace or the chance to work remotely.Working in an open space with other people where they can talk instead of being isolated in a closed office or cubicle. Having a break room where they can relax. Or be given the opportunity to work from anywhere thanks to the benefits of implementing a virtual office. In short, being comfortable in their workplace is essential to them.For example, the BYOD/T (bring your own device/technology) initiative officially entered the dictionary in 2013 and is already implemented in most businesses. This trend translates a desire for workers to be mobile, able to move freely and work anywhere, on the device they feel most comfortable with. Studies have shown that 42% of employees report increased efficiency when they bring their own device to work.
The era of technology and collaboration:
- Technology. Another way to exploit collaboration is to embrace new technological advancements. For example, using cloud-based programs enables teams to synchronize their progress and improve their communication, whether they are physically together, at home, or on the other side of the world. Indeed, the adoption of data-driven approaches shifts the nature of daily tasks, thus creating new ways for teams to collaborate.
Collaboration has always been and will most likely remain the cornerstone of employee motivation, innovation and business growth. This concept, however, cannot be exploited unless it is continuously improved.