In the fast paced world we live in today, we cannot rely on one or two people to produce all the innovative ideas and most creative campaigns for your organization. It will simply take too long, and furthermore, it is unrealistic to expect a single person to come up with brilliant ideas all the time. Therefore, the focus is now shifting to team efforts. The collective input of the team to develop one big and creative idea is the new strategy, and this calls for a culture that encourages collaboration between individuals as a team for better and faster results.
There are many amazing benefits we can reap from a collaborative workplace, from greater employee satisfaction to increased idea generation. It has an overall positive effect on the organization’s innovation output, and a cohesive environment is key.
Here are a few steps that will ensure your organization successfully adopts a collaborative work culture.
Openness and Transparency
To have a collaborative workplace, it is necessary for an organization to have a transparent and open system. This does not mean that every tiny confidential detail about the organization is pinned to the noticeboard for all to see, but it is necessary for collaboration for everyone to know about the challenges faced by the company as well as the direction the company is heading in.
Being open with employees about the issues and challenges of your company allows room for employees to relate to the organization and work together to suggest ideas about how best to tackle these difficult situations and help push the company to move forward.
Establish a Judgement-Free Idea-Sharing Culture
Most employees are afraid to actively participate and put forward suggestions and ideas. It is because of their fear of judgment or rejection of their ideas. Organizations with top to down hierarchical systems have environments that demotivates employees to more fully participate and offer their ideas and suggestions.
We can overcome this barrier by encouraging a creative workplace culture that is judgement free and constantly welcoming ideas and suggestions. No matter how vague the ideas may be, it is necessary that everyone participates actively. Refrain from setting a lot of guidelines – too many instructions stifle creativity. Creativity and free expression of ideas should be positively reinforced, allowing a collaborative environment to flourish.
Encourage Partnerships Across Departments
Promoting collaboration between departments is another way we can promote a collaborative workplace environment. Design projects in a way that requires individuals from each department to work together as a team. This enhances interdepartmental communication and allows departments to have a clear exchange of ideas. Furthermore, it allows employees to learn how to collaborate with people with different perspectives and skill sets to work together for mutual achievements.
Use an Employee Engagement Platform
There are many tools that an office can provide their employees as a platform to collaborate freely, but among the most innovative ideas is writable walls. Writable walls are becoming increasingly popular as a tool for the collaborative workplace. These walls are great for brainstorming sessions, idea generation, strategy making and other important tasks that may require collective input. These walls are aesthetically pleasant and work like whiteboards, making writing and erasing ideas and collaborative plans very easy. It is a great way to allow people to demonstrate collective progress and achievements.
Lead From the Top Down
Modern day collaborative workplaces require leaders to lead by example. Therefore, the conventional practice of dictating employees from an office all day is nearly obsolete. Working collaboratively requires active participation of the leadership as well; we must be active during brainstorming sessions, making sure that the employees maintain sight of the goals to be achieved, encouraging the process of exploring new ideas without fear of judgement and appreciating employees.
To successfully achieve a collaborative work culture, visibility is essential. The employees must see the managers and directors collaborating effectively and should feel inspired and motivated by the idea of doing the same.