Your company culture changes everything: harness the power of your workplace potential with collaboration culture.
Collaboration culture is at the heart of every successful company. Statics agree that workplace collaboration is a key element in increased innovation, as studies show that teamwork results in a 15% increase in workplace innovation.
With an increased focus on communication and collaboration, companies enjoy bigger and better ideas.
Learn how collaboration shapes your organizational culture as we discuss the following:
- What is a Collaborative Culture?
- What Workplace Collaboration Looks Like
- Creating Collaboration Culture
What is a Collaborative Culture?
A collaborative culture is a work environment that champions collaboration by maximizing each team member’s unique skills. Organizations and companies with successful cultures create opportunities that allow for everyone to achieve common goals through consistent collaboration.
Collaboration culture focuses on the power of working collectively to produce the highest quality work possible.
When teams collaborate efficiently, they are more productive, communicative, and creative. With the power of collaboration, teams can develop the most innovative solutions through collective efforts. A key step that we have found in working collectively and developing out organizational culture is implementing the Employee User Manual worksheet. This is not only a way to get to know new team members but diving into how we communicate, what we like and dislike, and how we want to be rewarded provides a roadmap to each individual and can be utilized before every meaningful conversation.
It is also critical that we gain true insight into effective shifts that move our teams towards a more collaborative culture. Combining survey data with network analysis can provide a map to the inner workings of team collaboration.
“Surveying employees about their values has its limits. You’ll gain more insight into organizational culture — and find targeted ways to change it — by also analyzing patterns of collaboration.”
PETER GRAY, ROB CROSS, AND MICHAEL ARENA
Ultimately, collaboration culture is an essential component in a company’s success. In addition to taking an organization to new heights, building a collaborative culture over time helps team members develop long-lasting relationships rooted in vulnerability, trust, and adaptability that will only improve engagement in the long term.
What Workplace Collaboration Looks Like
While most companies aim to create a more engaging environment, it isn’t easy to cultivate a collaborative culture. If there is more truth in the hallways then in our meetings then we have a problem. Discovering ways to encourage transparency and invite truth is crucial. Understanding what a collaborative environment looks like is the first step in helping your team members lean in and create together.
To kickstart collaboration in your company, be sure to prioritize the following elements of collaborative culture:
Engagement is a highly sought after product of collaborative culture. Collaboration requires active participation, allowing team members to feel excited and energized when sharing their ideas and projects. Moreover, employees reportedly feel more valued, invested and respected in environments that instill a sense of collaboration, leading to an overall increase in engagement.
2. Strategic tools
Organizations that prioritize collaboration are strategic in the tools and methods they use with their teams. Workplaces with a collaborative culture use tools they know will harness each employee’s strong suits. This way, each member feels as though they are valued for what they bring to the table.
Likewise, in a collaborative environment, team members are instructed on the benefit of each tool and how to use each one the most effective. This helps to even the playing field, ensuring that differences in experience or expertise won’t negatively affect a team’s collaborative efforts.
3. Intentional collaborative spaces
Another element of collaboration culture is intentionality. By designating intentional spaces for teamwork, companies can encourage discourse. The most collaborative environments utilize comfortable furniture, tech, and hands-on tools like whiteboards to encourage teamwork.
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Communication is at the heart of collaborative culture. From employees to managers, to clients, excellent communications skills are essential. Encouraging your employees to strengthen these skills is a key part of achieving a more connected company culture.
Trust and company culture are also interconnected. A certain level of trust is necessary for team members to feel comfortable enough to successfully work alongside their team members. Once team members feel safe with each other and management, they’ll be better equipped to contribute to the workflow and help their team members achieve their goals.
6. Dissemination of knowledge
Another important feature of cultures that champion collaboration is the method in which they disseminate knowledge. Companies that prioritize collaboration culture share knowledge in a way that fosters competency and best practices throughout the company. While this is not an easy feat, sharing techniques, practices, and knowledge from the top down will ensure that all team members are equipped with the same tools and knowledge that will help the team succeed.
The most collaborative cultures encourage transparency in their organization. Teams should operate from a platform of transparency as they share information, discuss best practices, and work alongside each other to reach common goals. Furthermore, these companies prioritize transparency in their leadership as well.
Members of the C-suite, management and the like should be open to discussing the challenges they are facing, potential problems, as well as successes. Being honest with the rest of the team will help to strengthen trust with employees.
Creating Collaboration Culture
While collaboration is key to healthy company culture, cultivating and maintaining a collaborative environment can be challenging. 86% of executives and employees note a lack of effective collaboration as the root of their workplace failures.
Minimize your workplace failings by making a culture shift. Transitioning to a more collaboration-oriented system starts with analyzing the systems that are currently in place. Everything from the way you run meetings to how you encourage your employees affects the collaborative nature of your company.
Consider the following steps to transform your company’s culture:
1. Define the Vision
Transforming your company culture starts with defining your vision for collaboration. Determining your ideal collaborative environment will help you figure out the best steps to get there. Your vision should detail what this collaboration looks like, how it improves your workflow, and your strategies to help improve employees’ collaborative capabilities.
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2. Choose Collaborative Leaders
Leadership is key when implementing new collaborative initiatives. Choose leaders to guide your team through your cultural transformation or consider hiring external leaders that are experienced in facilitating collaborative cultures. Keep in mind that your leadership team must continue to maintain the new culture once it’s implemented.
3. Revamp Current Processes
Your current processes are contributing to your company culture. To see a shift in your team’s collaborative efforts, you’ll need to assess and revamp these processes. During this assessment, pinpoint processes that are hindering collaboration in our team. By analyzing your workflow’s setbacks, you’ll have a clear idea of how to move forward.
4. Run Better Meetings
Meeting culture is intrinsically tied to your company culture. Successful meetings offer a space where teams can work together and share ideas. By transforming your meeting culture to one that validates participants’ opinions, encourages engagement, and provides an outlet for collaboration, you’ll be able to shift your company culture as well.
Consider hiring an external facilitator to help shape your company’s meeting culture. At Voltage Control, our facilitators are equipped with the tools to champion collaboration and bring your team together.
5. Create Opportunities for Collaboration
Building opportunities for collaboration is an essential way to enable teams to work together. Do this by designing your organizational workflow around projects that require collaborative efforts. This way, team members have the opportunity to strengthen their collective skills as they learn how to work better together. Asynchronous work time is essential as well. When your team requires flexibility, like many remote teams do, working together with tools such as MURAL and Loom allows the creative process to happen in parallel generating meaningful ideas. This give us the opportunity to spend the time in our meetings more efficiently.
6. Practice Team Building
A strong team is at the core of any truly collaborative environment. Make an effort to practice team building as a way to grow trust throughout the company. Host activities and events that encourage bonding and help develop relationships to strengthen your team and increase trust.
7. Understand and Embrace Differences
The beauty of collaboration culture lies in everyone’s unique abilities. By understanding and embracing each team member’s differences, you’ll be better equipped to build a collaborative culture. As differences can lead to disagreements, embracing and celebrating these skills and traits is essential to shifting your company culture.
8. Design Feedback Systems
Feedback systems help companies maintain an organizational shift to a more collaborative culture. These systems monitor employees’ ability to work together efficiently. When problems arise, these systems help to identify gaps in the collaborative process.
Your organizational structure sets the tone for creating collaboration culture. Make the shift today by transforming how your team works together. With the help of a professional facilitator, you can learn the best tools and systems to cultivate a culture that champions collaboration.
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Voltage Control facilitates remote design thinking workshops, innovation sessions, and Design Sprints. Please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation.