You might have the latest in whizz-bang technology and digital expertise. But if your employees aren’t happy and engaged, your business will never reach the dizzy heights you aim for.
So what can be done to foster a supportive workplace, and break down the barriers to genuine staff collaboration?
Give regular feedback
Praise and constructive criticism can help your staff feel empowered and connected. Everyone needs to be patted on the back when they’ve done a great job, and constructively briefed when they haven’t. If things aren’t up to scratch, be proactive. Give positive guidance and information that will show the employee a better way to do the job next time.
Know your employees and play to their respective strengths
Where possible, assign tasks which suit your employees’ personalities. This will ensure that the job is done well, and also that the staff member enjoys doing it.
Foster creative communication
Encourage the participation and opinions of your staff in the running of the business. Ask them lots of questions and really listen to the answers. Have weekly or monthly team meetings where each staff member or department gets to share their progress. Information exchange opens the door to all sorts of creative possibilities. Who knows what new and exciting ideas might emerge if only you give people a chance to voice them?
Work on team building
Set clear, manageable goals for your staff members to strive for, perhaps weekly, monthly or quarterly. Create interesting and challenging goals which can involve every member of the team.
Reward the team
Don’t forget to reward your team for their achievements. Even if they sometimes fall short, try and work in some positive gain to keep morale high. Make sure your staff members have opportunities to meet up outside work in a range of social events or outings. Play is just as potent as work when it comes to employee collaboration.
Make use of social media
Why not create an online platform where employees can communicate and share with each other?
Yammer, an enterprise social network, is a form of Facebook for business. Networks like Google Docs and SharePoint offer features like status updates and news feed – contemporary ways for staff to connect.
Cut through the email junk heap
Most employees these days have inboxes piled high with unread emails. Get used to adding bold calls for attention in your subject line to grab staff notice. Make yourself seen and heard!
Pick up the phone
Don’t just rely on email for important items. Pick up the phone and talk to the person in question. One real-time conversation might eliminate the need for an email string of ten or twenty.
Span the globe with technology
See the person you’re talking to through use of video conferencing or Skype. Why not make sure your staff can send large files via email and high-resolution images to colleagues on the other side of the world? Check out a comprehensive online faxing system like eFax. And bring staff together to work collaboratively on projects with cloud software.
True collaboration brings out the best in both bosses and staff. There are plenty of different approaches, so tailor a plan that suits your individual business needs. It could pay off in surprising ways.