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As a business owner, you face a slew of problems on a daily basis. Wix cites reports showing that most entrepreneurs struggle to find new customers, manage time effectively, or maintain a healthy work-life balance. You may try to resolve every issue with efficiency, but please don't neglect the value that collaboration can bring to your company. GET Phoenix invites you to review some strategies for boosting the spirit of teamwork in your firm.
Inspire Productive Communication
Encourage productive communication among your employees. People feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions when you make it clear that everyone's input is valued. Demonstrate this by starting each meeting by asking for everyone's thoughts on the topic at hand. You may need to use some tactful ice-breaker questions to get folks to warm up.
You can also encourage open communication by creating opportunities for employees to interact on a regular basis, such as team-building exercises or after-work social events. Be a good role model yourself by consistently behaving respectfully and professionally. Taft Communications suggests learning active listening and training others to apply them. Such behavior builds trust that puts teammates at ease. Discuss the value of trust often and remind others of its value.
Give Due Attention to Security
Another impediment to collaboration can be poor security. When employees have to jump through extra hoops to communicate sensitive information securely, they may silo themselves and avoid looking for feedback. Such separation is dangerous because the types of sensitive issues that require confidentiality are the matters that most need a wealth of wisdom that only collaboration can provide.
Work with your IT and security staff to determine which platforms can allow team members to have a productive back-and-forth securely to expedite communication about classified subjects.
Encourage Professional Growth
Help employees increase what they have to offer and feel greater engagement by enabling them to pursue their personal and professional goals with the following ideas:
Consider offering tuition reimbursement or other financial assistance for individuals who want to further their education.
Create opportunities for employees to learn new skills through rotations or job shadowing.
Encourage and support employees who wish to pursue leadership roles within the company.
By investing in the professional development of your employees, you can create a more engaged and collaborative workforce.
To further promote professional growth in your business and in the community, encourage your team members to join, network, and complete educational workshops through GET Phoenix!
Eliminate Team Pain Points
Determine where communication can be a drain on the team. Too many meetings discourage the free flow of ideas and sap everyone's energy, especially when those meetings are in front of a screen. An inefficient process for collaborating and managing workflows also plays a part in reducing the flow of ideas and feedback, so be sure you’re schooled up on what collaboration tech, tools, and platforms are available so you can use them.
Have in-person sessions in a comfortable environment and incorporate snacks and beverages whenever possible since meals put people in a great mood. Plus, studies show that eating with someone is a great way to build positive feelings toward another.
Set Collaboration KPIs
You must do more than state that collaboration is important and tell your company to do it. Set definable targets for what teamwork looks like and how to implement it in daily practice. For example, you could have morning meetings and breakout sessions for interdepartmental communication. Have a member of each group take notes and share with you one or two actionable items the participants defined in the session. Make it your goal to ask employees about the feedback they've received from others during your one-on-ones.
You can even set up a reward system for consistently meeting KPI goals. Using this digital gift card API makes it easy. Simply enter the metrics you want to use and the reward given. Then, once your team members meet their metrics, they will be sent a digital gift card as a reward!
Embrace Collaboration Culture
As with any other significant endeavor, you won't get it perfect the first time. Adopt collaborative processes and then monitor and refine them, and don’t forget to implement collaboration tech and tools to help streamline your processes. You will create repeatable strategies that continue to work as your team evolves and expands, reinforcing the power of collaboration for you and your entire team.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mindy Bartley is a former community college business instructor. Today, she is a consultant who also dabbles in e-commerce startups. She created Startup Steps to bring her business knowledge to a wider audience, build a community of entrepreneurial-minded souls, and help connect first-time entrepreneurs with experienced mentors.