Have you ever had a boss who just loved to throw everything at you at once or got mad if you did the smallest thing incorrectly? Maybe they didn’t have any sort of understanding or empathy towards their employees? I’m sure many of us have experienced that in some form or another: the feeling that you are alone with all the pressure to get the work done solely on you, even when working with other colleagues. It can leave you feeling drained, exhausted and overwhelmed. This is why a collaborative environment is important. It prevents overwhelm and leads to more connectivity, which yields productivity.
A company by definition is a team. They hire employees and expect high quality work and cooperation from those employees – and there is nothing wrong with that. However, when the employees are not receiving any appreciation in return, it can be very discouraging. It’s as simple as this: if you want respect from your employees, give respect back. For example, if something comes up and you have to ask your employee to come in on their day off, give them a day off in the future that they were supposed to work. Little things like this make all the difference.
A huge part of giving that respect back is creating a collaborative work environment. It is important to encourage employees to work with each other. Having them team up on projects, help out with simple tasks, ask each other questions, bounce ideas off each other – this all leads to a healthier environment. When employees feel they can comfortably ask questions and come to other colleagues and management without judgment, they will produce better work. If they feel they are being constantly criticized or cannot seek out help, they will not be as motivated to do their best work.
Zippia reported that “86% of employees in leadership positions blame lack of collaboration as the top reason for workplace failures.” They also reported that when collaboration is encouraged, employee turnover rates decrease by 50%, and “data suggests that the highest performing employees working for top U.S. companies spend an equal amount of time engaging in individual and collaborative work.”
The saying, “two minds are greater than one” can be applied to the workforce. Maybe an employee is really stuck on a project and can’t figure out how to make it better. If that employee is working in a non-collaborative environment, they might just decide to leave it as is, or try to fix it in an overly complicated way. This causes more work for the employee and the employer, as the employer may have to correct the mistakes. However, if the employee is working in a collaborative environment, they can go to a colleague and ask for help. What seemed so difficult to one may seem really easy to another. It is beneficial to work off each other’s strengths and weaknesses to create the best productivity and outcome.
Even with many companies shifting towards remote work, collaboration is extremely necessary – maybe even more so now than it was when working in-office. It can be easy to feel disconnected while working through a computer screen without that face-to-face connection. But it is very possible to work collaboratively even from home, bringing the connectivity that yields positive results.
Some ways to do this include setting up team meetings every week, checking in with each other, having the opportunity to ask questions and brainstorm or go over ideas which can all happen over Zoom. Additionally, using communication platforms like Slack, which allows for direct messages and group messages without clogging up text messages with your personal number is a great option for collaborative communication. It is one of the most popular remote communication business tools.
GoRemotely reported that “70% of employees said digital technology improved their collaboration” and “online collaboration tools and digital workplaces facilitate increased productivity by up to 30%.” So, don’t be discouraged about a potential lack of collaboration if your company is now remote – the tools are still there to help you.
A collaborative environment leads to less stress, less employee turnover rates, higher quality work and more success overall for the company. Collaboration is the key to a comfortable work environment for everyone.