When you talk about your employees, you hopefully often refer to them as a department, or a “team.” These terms often come with predetermined assumptions, with one of them being that the employees work together to accomplish something specific. However, it’s often not so simple. If your employees aren’t working together as a team, how can you fix this dilemma?
It’s hard to argue that a collaborative workplace isn’t more efficient than one which isn’t collaborative at all. After all, anyone who has worked on a team knows that two heads are often better than one to solve complex problems and brainstorm ideas. More viewpoints, perspectives, and thought processes allow for more solutions to an issue and can allow for more dynamic workflow.
Unfortunately, the same factors that can lead to advantageous teamwork can also work against your business. In order for these different personalities to work together, they have to actually want to work together. They need to be able to work together in a way which doesn’t make them feel uncomfortable. Although, when there are so many different people working together, chances are that there will be at least a few clashing personalities that hinder progress. This can cause problems in the long run, as well as create unnecessary tension between your staff.
It might feel like something that you can just ignore; telling your employees to grow up and get over it, as it’s part of their job. However, this won’t solve the problem, and could even escalate it under the right conditions. Therefore, your employees will continue to struggle through their daily tasks, hindered by the lack of cooperation between themselves and their coworkers. The end result is a lack of productivity and a lackluster performance.
Thankfully, there are ways to get around this problem and improve the way that your organization collaborates. To achieve this, you’ll want to create an area within your office that allows for collaboration (sort of like a common area), where employees can gather and socialize. This can help your team get to know one-another and allow them to talk about topics outside of the workplace, promoting healthy dialogue and conversation. When your employees are familiar with each other, they’ll be more likely to work together.
Another method that you can use is to hold meetings that are designed to reinforce teamwork and collaboration practices. You could hold a staff meeting in which you divide your workforce into teams of two, where they can talk and work through ideas on a certain topic. Also, try having each employee switch partners every so often. You might be surprised by the end result.
The main challenge will be getting employees to communicate well with each other. If they can’t communicate properly, collaboration will be nothing but a pipe dream. Get them to start acting like a team, and you’ll notice a significant improvement in all areas of their work.
Another way to allow for more collaboration in the workplace is through communication technology. Digital Seattle can help your organization implement solutions that foster workplace collaboration. To learn more about what we can offer, reach out to us at (206) 709-9556.