In recent years, companies have turned to more collaborative company cultures. The days of the top-down hierarchy are long gone. With drastic shifts in human mindset due to tech advancements and globalization, businesses now understand that collaboration is key to making things work. Creating and nurturing a culture of cooperation helps people feel a part of something larger than themselves and are ready to cooperate, without anyone forcing them to try. These environments make it possible for interpersonal relationships to prosper, both inside and outside the organization.
A culture can only be cultivated, not assembled like a machine, which is why it takes time to develop and flourish. Here are a few essential ways for growing a collaborative environment.
- Encourage Innovation
The “Beginner’s Mind” concept refers to being open to new ideas. When employees are encouraged to adopt this mindset, they are more prone to take risks and explore the unknown. The whole team then grows because they can brainstorm together in a non-judgmental environment, trying to find the best solution for their tasks. Also, keep track of innovation regarding collaboration-promoting technology. Use team messengers, project management, and smart task scheduling software to allow them to give their best performance.
As a team leader, always ask them for their ideas and thoughts. When they feel connected, they’ll be more motivated to impress, perform, and exceed expectations.
- Promote Team Member Autonomy
We, humans, are always driven to be autonomous. Speaking in general, we suffer when oppressed and we’re hardwired to avoid suffering. As for the workplace environment, you need to foster one where your employees are self-managed and self-directed. Once you have self-directing employees, you need to keep reinstating collaborative values, and they will manage to get along or get over obstacles in an autonomous way.
- Encourage Employees to Socialize Outside of Work
Even corporate events can be stressful when we’re obligated to attend them. Socializing outside the office, however, opens new and different channels of communication. It can help break walls of mistrust or prejudice and create a better understanding between team members. When they find out that they share common interests or experience things together outside of work, their feeling of being part of a team becomes more real.
- Recognize and Reward Collaborative Behavior
Whether through a seminar, annual report, podcast, newsletter, or video, you should remind your team of how it all began and came together. Share your mutual story of great and productive collaboration to honor the entire collective accomplishment. Also, you can provide some performance bonuses and rewards to send the right message about the values that are driving the whole team force towards something great.
When you manage to cultivate and establish a collaborative work environment, you should know that it’s just the start of a more prosperous business journey. Collaboration must be purposeful and consistent to work. By letting your employees work as a collaborative entity, you can increase your productivity exponentially.
Focus on all people in your organization and not just on those team members who are excelling. There is nothing more growth promoting, bonding, and meaningful than a shared win. When everyone is motivated to work hard and bring new ideas to the table, you can only imagine the possibilities for productivity and performance it can bring.