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4 Things You Need to Know to Perfect Your Internal Collaboration

Jan Schauenberg
12 February 2018

Are your workplace teams and departments internally collaborating? Are they sharing information and ideas faster and with ease?

Did you know that the productivity of a collaborated team is always greater? Many enterprises have increased collaboration in recent years and this is highlighted by a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review whereby collaboration activities specifically between employees and their managers has increased by 50% or more in the last two decades. Internal collaboration brings about industry disruptive ideas through think tanks - the aftermath is strong work relationships that results in aggressive work hustle that gives you a competitive edge. Collaboration sets aside the winning teams from the mediocre companies.

Here is a look at some of the things that you need to know to perfect your internal collaboration:

1. Build a plan for internal collaboration

There is no denying that the modern workplace is changing at a rapid rate and this calls for a plan when you are trying to perfect internal collaboration in your organization. Planning starts with:

  1. Defining why you are building internal collaboration – this could also be termed as the mission. The reason for internal collaboration is critical to the survival of the internal collaboration plan especially when the going gets tough.

  2. Go ahead to discover what you hope to achieve with internal collaboration – the vision. Even when it gets tough, the vision for internal collaboration as well as the benefits that await those who successfully attain internal collaboration will be a great inspiration to keep moving. According to Capterra, collaboration is when each member of the team can have the ‘I have got your back’-feeling. They feel they are a part of something bigger and they have a strong sense of belonging.

  3. Consider how you want to go about attaining internal collaboration – the strategy. The strategy outlines how to improve collaboration on all relevant organizational levels right from the top leadership down to the last worker.

2. Seek to understand the uniqueness of each team

There are aspects of various teams that could be distinctively different. But there are also points of intersections where there are particular similarities. Individuals working at these points of intersections could be instrumental in enabling the other members in their teams to see the importance and need of collaboration as well as how to do it.

So how should you go about getting the perfect collaboration structure down? Here are three things you should do:

  1. Align the activities of different teams with the collaboration goals and objectives of the whole organization.

  2. Let all teams share in the formulation and execution of the internal collaboration strategy.

  3. Get your customers onboard: customer input is significant in collaboration because all teams find their value in customer satisfaction. CRM, POS and all other customer interfaces should be leveraged for this cause.

3. Set up a proper communication management system for teams

Communication is critical for the survival of any teamwork. Likewise, internal collaboration will be perfect as long as team communication is effective and working. Informal and formal communication sessions are very important for building internal collaboration. Share information openly so as to build more trust across teams. Workflows for formal communication should be defined and understood by various teams. Discipline with regards to these workflows helps teams to work in a systematic and organized manner, even in the face of heat.

For example, PricewaterhouseCoopers in its efforts to foster collaboration, offers training modules that address teamwork, emotional intelligence, networking, holding difficult conversations, coaching, corporate social responsibility, and communicating the firm’s strategy and shared values. PwC also teaches employees how to build healthy partnerships.

4. Leverage technology

A study by McKinsey Global Institute highlights the importance of technology when it comes to internal collaboration. It states that productivity levels rose by as much as 20-25% among workers who use  social collaboration tools to collaborate. So if you want to improve your internal collaboration, you should consider the use of collaboration tools. For more information on suitable collaboration tools, please check out our blog post on The Future of Work: How to Choose your Online Collaboration Tools.

Bottom Line

How good is it for organizational teams to work together in peace and harmony! It boosts organizational longevity and reduces staff turnover as there is no better place than where we feel we belong. And according to a report titled “State of the American Workplace” by Gallup a majority of workers believe that their organization’s project performance would improve if their teams worked more collaboratively.

Adopting the five steps mentioned above will help you in improving internal collaboration and ensure that you and your company move right where you want to be in this demanding digital business world.

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