The Importance of Enterprise Collaboration

14 September 2015
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It’s no surprise by now to hear that collaboration in the workplace is an important ingredient to a company’s success. But what’s most relevant, is why it’s important and how you can make improvements to support collaboration in your workplace.

Essentially, collaboration in this context refers to how well an organization communicates, for the purpose of discussing work, delivering feedback and sharing ideas.

The benefits of collaborating internally as a team are invaluable and can no longer be ignored by the handful of organizations who choose to look the other way. Collaboration (done effectively) results in increased productivity. Why? Because it opens up the lines of communication, shortens decision-making cycles and allows for skills to be pooled. If your organization has multi-national offices, it facilitates communication between the individuals in these workspaces, not to mention, with remote workers all-together. Collaboration and the tools we use to achieve it, are life-savers for the modern workplace.

Collaboration opens the eyes of employees to the larger role they play within their organization and enables them to make meaningful contributions. When the lines of communication are open, it’s easier to get a global view as to the direction of the company and its efforts. It allows for information to be shared and easily found (of course access restrictions can be made with the use of an intelligent collaboration tool) and it makes receiving feedback a whole lot simpler.

There are many ways to collaborate internally via social tools, videoconferencing and document sharing. But technology cannot bring about change on its own. A shift in the culture of the organization needs to occur simultaneously to make a genuine change for inviting collaboration into the work environment. Even something as simple as document sharing can become a habit that builds the processes for wider collaboration between teams. The change won’t happen overnight; it needs to be something that the company continues to enforce through procedures and policies.

These changes require initiation from the top down. For example, leaders can start communicating with their staff trough collaboration tools as opposed to mass mailings. This will inspire employees to use these tools for their own projects and communications.

Other more physical ways of increasing collaboration are through regular creative brainstorming sessions and open workspaces. There needs to be a balance between individual working spaces where employees can focus and work solo, and open collaborative spaces that are conducive to sharing and creative sessions.

The reality is that the rise of social media has forced companies to speak directly to their customers and to both gather & respond to their feedback; and this shift has (thankfully) made its way inside of the businesses as well. Collaboration not only creates a happy and healthy workforce, it also creates an educated one. Employees can more readily view and share information, and ultimately, learn from each other and their bosses.

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