There are two scenarios unfolding in the modern workplace. In the first, it is individual competitiveness and the pursuit of exclusively individual goals that drive someone’s work performance. That every-man-for-himself mentality may help a worker be singularly focused on their ambitions, proficient with technology, and effective at racking up a profit. And though these individuals may do great things for their company on their own, oftentimes the buck stops there. Companies that employ a lot of brilliant people like this may wonder how much farther they could go—if only their culture was more collaborative.
In the second scenario, collaboration matters just as much as individual prowess. Teammates have a keen sense that what they do complements the good work of others. They also know that collaborating on goals makes everyone more productive. And because the entire team is attuned with the institution’s mission and vision, the company sees many happy years ahead. Most businesses want for the second scenario to be part of their success story—and perhaps you do, too.
If you want to nurture a collaborative environment in your own company, the best thing you could do is use technology to your advantage. Here are five simple tips that you can apply in order to cultivate teamwork, cooperation, and a collective sense of purpose among your employees.
Remind Your Team of Your Mutual Vision, Mission, and Goals Using Your Company’s Technologies
The first thing you should do is ask yourself: what’s the bigger-picture goal that you and your employees are striving to do together? Does your purpose lie in making quality products for a certain market? Or do you want your company’s service to make life easier for customers with specific needs?
Whatever these are, there should be reminders of them in the various technologies your company uses. Try to set these reminders through a weekly news bulletin, on the company website, or through presentation materials. This is a fairly simple thing to do, but it will make a world of difference to your employees. It will remind them to keep the company’s mission, vision, and goals in perspective as they do their day-to-day work. During times that they get exhausted and wonder what they’re working for, they can go back to the bigger picture. And then, they’ll remember how many people there are who are working hard alongside them.
Upgrade Your Office’s Suite of Collaboration Tools and Platforms
If you haven’t upgraded your toolset to do business in the digital era, now is a good time to do so. Consider investing in enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to centralize key functions of your business, like accounting, inventory, and customer relationship management.
Platforms like SAP Business One are just right for this application. The all-in-one software suite can keep multiple employees on the same page about these concerns. Even when some employees are in the office and others are offsite, SAP Business One can help everyone stay organized and up-to-date. From wherever they are, teammates can manage data, make informed and accurate decisions together, and keep track of each other’s work. As seen from SAP Business One, ERP software can do a lot to keep employees productive—both on their own and in a team.
Audit the Quality of Your Systems and Protocols
Another initiative that you should keep up with is to audit your company’s systems and protocols to see if they foster collaboration. You may not know it, but a certain program or protocol may be creating a bottleneck in your team’s workflow. Not only does that hamper productivity and put everyone behind in fulfilling their mutual goals, but it may also breed frustration, shorten tempers, and lessen the level of cooperation your employees should have with each other.
In order to fix this, set aside time during a monthly or quarterly meeting to audit the systems you have in place. Encourage employees to be honest about what could be slowing them down and interrupting the delivery of their work. If your use of technology actually delays efficiency and gets in the way of the group, it may be time to scrap it. Instead, opt for tools and methods that can streamline the workflow for everyone.
Encourage Sharing of Best Practices Among Teammates
Conversely, you should also encourage your employees to share what tools and methods work for them. Perhaps they’ve learned a way to automate certain tasks or find information in a way that quickens their workflow. If this is the case, applaud them for it—and then let them speak up to share their experiences with their teammates.
Sharing best practices is an excellent way to bolster your collective performance. The great things that your employees have learned about technology can serve the group as a whole. It’s never too late for teammates to learn new things from each other, especially if it will contribute to the goals they share.
Use Technology to Foster Warmth, Trust, Communication, and Cooperation
Lastly, don’t forget the human element of working in a company. Simple things can help deepen teammates’ working relationships with each other, boost collective morale, and foster camaraderie.
You can use social media or email to greet teammates on their birthdays and congratulate them on major milestones in their lives. Whenever you finish a project together, you can use a video conferencing platform to celebrate with each other. Initiatives like these will cultivate a pleasant and inspiring work atmosphere that your employees will be happy to inhabit with each other.
Workplaces are evolving at an even faster rate than before, and it is oftentimes easy for coworkers to feel isolated from each other. But don’t forget the role that technology can play in amplifying the great work you can do together. Step up to the challenge, and do what you can to create a collaborative work environment for your employees.