Whether you own a company or are a leader in the workplace, employee collaboration is a vital part of successful teams. Without it, miscommunication and errors are more likely to occur. If you are seeking ways to improve collaboration within your company, try these five recommendations.

1. Request Feedback

Feedback is a fantastic way for employees and managers to collaborate. Not only does it build engagement but it also gives you as a leader valuable information from your employees on how to improve the company. For example, maybe your marketing team thinks the company’s branding needs updating but you may never know if you do not ask for feedback.

According to one report, 65% of staff members desired more feedback. Schedule time to meet with your staff on a regular basis. While biannual or quarterly sessions are great, try to meet more often, such as weekly or bi-monthly. Be sure to schedule an ad hoc meeting for feedback anytime a major project wraps up. 

2. Offer Cross-Team Training

Offering cross-training is a wonderful way for employees to expand their knowledge bases. Oftentimes team members get so focused on their jobs that they lose sight of how other departments impact them and how they impact other departments.

Set up a cross-training program for all departments. This can be as simple as two employees from different teams shadowing each other for a couple of hours or joining a conference call and screen sharing if they work remotely. To encourage participation, offer incentives such as monthly or quarterly drawings for gift cards or extra PTO, for those who take part.

In addition to cross-training your staff, implement tools that enable your various teams to work better together. For example, when exploring your options for marketing software, consider one that enables both your marketing and sales teams to have input on marketing campaigns. Connecting your marketing directly to your lead management process can improve conversions and boost revenue.

3. Utilize Social Media

While social media is an excellent way to engage with consumers, it is also a great way for team members to engage with each other. Feature posts on your social media platforms that encourage employee participation.

For example, post a question on Twitter asking employees to share their favorite thing about working for your company. This can include photos, stories, and gifs, all of which in turn improve camaraderie and collaboration. It gives staff members a glimpse into other teammates’ experiences, growing cross-department knowledge, and communication.

4. Hold Walking Meetings

If you want to improve employee collaboration at your business and you’re located in a pedestrian-friendly district, consider instituting walking meetings. Walking meetings have a number of benefits compared to traditional sit-down meetings. They encourage employees to get up and move around, which can help to increase energy levels and improve focus. They provide an opportunity for employees to get some fresh air and sunlight, which can help to improve mood and reduce stress levels. Also, walking side-by-side with colleagues can help to promote informal conversation and build relationships.

5. Update Your Company Values

The company’s values are the foundation of the business. It impacts how employees work on a daily basis. By adding collaboration, you show team members that it is a top priority, and everyone is working towards the same goal. Just be sure you are backing up the values with action, such as employee feedback sessions and cross-training programs. 

If you are a manager, while you probably cannot update the business’ company values, you can create distinct objectives for your team. Emphasize the importance of respect and clear communication with other departments. One of the best ways to show how much you value collaboration is leading by example. Never speak disrespectfully about other company divisions, and be readily available to communicate with other department leaders if your team members need help.

While having strong employee collaboration has numerous benefits, it takes hard work to foster this business practice. By taking proactive steps to integrate these five tips, you can take your team members’ collaboration to the next level.

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