"Collaboration" has become a pretty big buzzword in the modern business world. Every company hopes that cloud technologies and content sharing platforms will enable its staff to efficiently work together, no matter where they are. But unless leaders are truly committed to creating a culture of collaboration, their employees will never reap the full benefits of these tools.
"A collaborative culture should be something that employees feel, rather than something that the executive team talks about," said Kevin Lynch, CEO of cloud content collaboration service Volerro. "[When this happens], it inspires a sense of community within an organization, while driving productivity, insight and innovation."
To truly make cloud collaboration technologies work for your business, you first need to show your team how to work well together. Lynch shared six simple ways to encourage an open, cooperative workplace: [8 Best Apps for Business Collaboration]
Set team goals. Use timelines, plans and structured content that clearly define current and future goals for the team. This way, all team members can share a distinct point of view.
Foster a creative environment. Allow team members to brainstorm in an open, non-judgmental framework that embraces the team's diversity.
Build cohesion. Create a means of communicating that allows for easy workflow, establishes a distinct set of priorities and makes all colleagues feel included. Keeping everyone on the same playbook enables team members to focus and flourish.
Visualize ideas. Provide team members the opportunity to use visuals to clarify and share their ideas at the simplest level. You can do this with anything from rough sketches to full-scale presentations.
Break down barriers. Using multiple channels of communication such as email, phone and text messaging can ultimately create barriers to successful collaboration. Agree upon and enlist just one channel that allows the team to communicate efficiently and effectively.
- Execute. With all of the focus on idea creation, don't forget the most important step: acting on the good ones. Nothing will kill employees' desire to create new ideas faster than a failure to implement existing proposals.
Originally published on Business News Daily.