How do you refer to your group of employees? If you’re like most businesses, you call your employees your ‘team.’ This only makes sense, as a team is meant to work together toward a common goal. But what if your team isn’t acting very much like one?
There’s no question that a collaborative workplace is the most successful kind of workplace. There is truth to the saying that two heads are better than one. When you add up the different viewpoints, perspectives, and thought processes that will be present in the average workforce, you’ll find yourself with a potent source of ideas and strategies.
However, this isn’t automatically the case in all workplaces. In order for these ideas and strategies to mix, your employees will have to be willing to work amongst and alongside one another. To accomplish this, your employees will have to be comfortable interacting with one another, which isn’t always an easy thing to accomplish due to differences in personality and assorted other factors. These circumstances will more than likely lead to miscommunications and inefficiencies in the workflow, as well as tension between employees.
While the natural-seeming response to these problematic relationships may be to shrug them off and tell your employees to get over it, this approach won’t solve the problem. Therefore, your workplace will still have coworkers failing to work cooperatively, influencing everything that you do–slowing productivity and decreasing the quality of your output.
However, there are a few methods you can use to improve the workplace environment. First, it is recommended that there is an area of your office that is set aside as accessible common areas where your employees may congregate and socialize during breaks in a non-work-related fashion. An employee who has a handle on who their coworkers are will be much more willing to reach out to them than they would to a relative stranger.
A little more direct method is to simply hold a few meetings and practice teamwork and collaboration. Try holding a staff meeting and, instead of listening to the same few employees talk, have your staff pair off and discuss their ideas for handling an issue. Once you have everyone switch partners a few times and share, not only will brand new ideas have formed, but your workplace will be unified to the cause of putting them into practice.
The real key to getting your employees to collaborate is getting them to communicate with each other. They just have to know that they are all on the same team to get them to start acting like it, and collaborating.