More than teamwork, which is essential for optimal functioning of any professional project, effective collaboration among employees involves more radical changes in organizations and management methods. It also involves pushing the lines of the company and redefining engagement and responsibilities of each individual.
But what exactly lies behind an effective collaboration among employees? And how do companies take advantage of it to increase their productivity in the face of growing competitive pressure?
To fully understand all the issues surrounding a collaborative environment among employees, let's redefine collaboration, its benefits and how it is different from teamwork.
What is Collaboration among employees?
Collaboration among employees is basically a collective collaboration of ideas, points of view and experiences brought into action, in order to achieve a goal.
In order to achieve effective collaboration among employees, the team must be aligned and open to fully welcome and adapt to each member's skills and knowledge for better decision making.
Difference between Teamwork and collaboration
Both teamwork and collaboration bring employees together to achieve the same goal. The main difference is how they achieve the goal.
- In teamwork, employees usually have a leader and tasks are handled individually according to each member, strengths, skills and knowledge.
- Collaboration allows teams to work as equals, every team member has the opportunity to share their point of view and work efficiently by sharing the workload equally and offering an overall broadening of knowledge.
6 Benefits of Collaboration Among Employees
Members work as equals
The basis of collaboration work is that employees work as equals. Seeing as most companies offer a hierarchical system, collaboration breaks through it and allows members to feel more valued by sharing the workload.
More Qualitative Work
Alone, we go faster. Together, we go further.
As members work collectively, every person has the opportunity to share their knowledge, enabling teams to make a more precise decision to reach their common goal.
Because the workload is shared equally based on each person's strength and skills, tasks are passed through faster, saving time and money, enabling a more efficient workflow.
Efficient Problem Solving
When a problem arises, members feel more open to collectively find the solution, allowing them to make a well-informed decision in less time.
Because teams collectively come up with ideas, every member has an open and welcoming space to pitch theirs, allowing teams to brainstorm and build on each other’s ideas, for more creative and effective output.
More Engaged Employees
60% of employees believe that collaboration work has a particularly positive impact on their motivation at work.
According to an Ipsos and Openmind Kfé survey
As employees start expanding their knowledge and feel more welcome at work, they start to understand that their opinions are valuable.
Allowing members to feel a sense of belonging and overall positive career path development keeps employees motivated and engaged at work, thus reducing employee turnover.
Risks of poor collaborative work
Even though a collaborative environment brings many benefits to a company, inefficient or mishandling of this type of work ethic can be critical to a teams development; some of these errors include:
- Bad communication among employees
- Loss of autonomy
- Lack of clarity in responsibilities
- Bad team cohesion
5 steps to improve collaboration among employees and minimize risks
Communicate regularly with your teams
Communication is key for an effective collaborative work environment, this allows members to interact and feed off each other’s knowledge, make the best decision and stimulates employee work engagement, while avoiding the dangers of duplicative work.
Follow each employees’ progression
Tracking employees progression:
- allows members to identify the development of an employees involvement and task management,
- enables teams to understand if the member has any problems with the workload
- guarantees team the correct progression of tasks.
Use team-building activities
Team building activities encourage employees to interact and associate with each other, in order for a better team engagement; this offers members a space to develop stronger communications, which in the end will lead to more efficient collaboration.
Provide a collaborative work environment
It is not enough for teams to work together to achieve effective collaborative work; the environment or workplace has to be adapted in order for employees to be fully engaged, some of these premises adaptations involve:
- More open spaces
- Break down or minimize hierarchical barriers
- Shifts companies from a vertical structure to a horizontal, decompartmentalized structure
- Install employee talking stations
Use dedicated tools
Collaborative tools can help your team members become more aligned with each other, offering spaces for better brainstorming, task tracking, goal settings, and overall collective work editing; that will enable a more efficient workload processing, that will simplify the way members work together.
One of our recommended collaborative tools is Lastpass; because employees use different platforms every day, they have to manage different passwords for each one, which involves creating unique passwords for each employee, managing different users etc.
This tool helps members to memorize and merge their passwords (with SSO and MFA functionalities), in a very easy and secure way, while guaranteeing employee efficiency.
Encouraging teams towards collaboration work
In the end, achieving an efficient collaborative environment allows team members to be more engaged, expand their knowledge and offers an overall optimized workflow, where all the members work for the same goal in a collective and equal manner.
However, it is important to be cautious about the risks of poor implementation of collaborative work, which can be avoided with the correct communication and the right tools.