Businesses of all sizes exist to generate profit. Successful achievement of hefty company goals takes dedication, discipline, and persistence. Success is hard to attain in an organization where individuals are disengaged, unmotivated and have no interest in working together as a team. And, with payroll representing the largest expense for the majority of US-based companies, executives have to make sure that productivity and retention rates remain at a decent level.
Achieving high organizational efficiency isn't going to be hard when everyone is on the same page, working in an environment fostered by collaboration and a strong sense of purpose. Take a look at today's most successful companies. What do Google and Zappos have in common? One thing remains constant -- these organizations were able to built highly collaborative teams with a strong sense of direction.
Here are 6 essential elements for achieving high level of collaboration in your company:
1. Embrace Differences
In a culture where individual members contribute diverse backgrounds, skills, and experience, problem-solving comes with a wide variety of different viewpoints. Multi-cultural teams are motivated to pursue professional and personal goals by thinking outside the box and applying a well-rounded, agile approach to finding the right solutions. So don't be shy to hire people with diverse cultural backgrounds.
2. Build Trust
Trust is the main building block for an effective collaboration. Creating an environment of trust means that you are forced to open up channels of communication where everyone can freely express their viewpoints, ideas, and concerns. Exposing your team to the concept of trust comes with a certain degree of vulnerability, which may feel uncomfortable to your team at first, but in the long run, vulnerability becomes an essential vehicle that brings people together.
Open communication is essential for achieving high levels of collaboration in any organization. As a leader, it's up to you to explain to your following why effective communication is important for building a culture of mutual trust and support. Providing learning tools, such as leadership courses for effective collaboration is also helpful in teaching your employees how to communicate effectively.
4. Cultivate Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence, or EI, is a crucial factor in achieving success as it strongly relies on self-awareness, persistence, and an ability to get along with others well. People with high EI are able to adjust to their surroundings quickly and can effectively carry on their duties under any circumstance. Emotionally intelligent people avoid backstabbing and power struggle and therefore, are able to collaborate and always remain loyal.
5. Lead by Example
Every good leader must lead by example. Walk the walk, and others will follow. Don't promise more than you can deliver and always stay transparent and true to yourself and to your company values. Your people will always appreciate honesty and will trust you more when you say what you mean and do what's right. And don't forget to arm other managers on your team with necessary support to cultivate skills that are necessary for open communication.
6. Stop Micromanaging
Finally, if you have trouble letting go, stop and take a deep breath. If you truly trust your employees to do the best they can then following up on every little detail of their daily work life becomes annoying and obsolete as it only builds unnecessary tension. Giving your people the freedom to apply their skills and best judgment to make the right decision will quickly earn their trust and support.
At the end of the day, a truly collaborative environment involves every person and every functional role within your organization. Coming from a place of mutual trust and support, you'll be able to successfully build an effective and lean company culture AND retain the best talent.
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