Collaboration in the Workplace
Thank you everyone who was able to make it to our Culture, Conversations and Cocktails event. Great Place to Work was delighted to see old friends, as well as make new connections with like-minded folks. The origami fortune tellers were a huge success and we were excited to see so many guests discussing the topics we value most; culture, trust and leadership.
Earlier this week we discussed the importance of Communication in the Workplace and yesterday we posted a blog that featured Small Business Success Stories. In challenging times, these businesses did not reduce staff or cut costs and sacrifice product quality. Rather, they decided to forge ahead with the collaboration of stakeholders. They communicated with their employees, invited their feedback and subsequently came away with valuable input. They were then able to make wise, and ultimately successful, business decisions that lead to further growth.
Any company can become a success story. By fostering a culture of trust where upper management communicates with others and openly invites feedback, collaboration and innovation will inevitably follow. Last night’s Culture, Conversations and Cocktails event was just one example of how networking and communication can lead to better workplaces and better business strategy overall.
Here are just a few ideas on how to increase communication and collaboration in your workplace:
- Provide Multiple Vehicles for Employee Suggestions. Everyone has their own unique style. If you want to successfully extract the brilliant ideas that we just know are bouncing around your employees’ heads, you will need to cater to them. Set up surveys, email addresses, one-on-one sessions, group brainstorming sessions- you name it, to make sure everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves in their own individual way.
- Increase Communication between Different Departments. Often times the right hand is too busy to check in with the left hand, and simple improvements to processes can be overlooked. Why not propose the challenges of one department to another and see how they would handle the situation? Some interesting ideas just might come out of it.
- Offer Incentives to Customers for their Feedback. Customers are writing reviews of your company right now; do you know what they are saying? Ask for feedback and even offer incentives if need be, but make sure you know what your clients are thinking. Searching for common themes is always a good idea, but also keep an eye out for the isolated suggestion that might be a turning point for a particular product or service.
- Never Stop Networking. Last night’s event was a hit because so many different perspectives gathered together to work towards a common goal; better workplaces. Don’t limit yourself to your department, geographic location or even your industry. You never know what will inspire you next!
For more tips on how to effectively communicate in the workplace, check out Systems Thinking: A Method for Communication. Your workplace is a dynamic, complex system comprised of various systems of people, departments and technologies, and these are your best resources for growing your business. Any organization can increase collaboration by shifting from a fragmented point of view (i.e. “you are responsible for this”) to a more inclusive point of view (i.e. “we are responsible for this”).
Tiffany Barber is the Associate Manager of Marketing and Communications and an avid blogger for Great Place to Work®.