We’ve all been in one of these organizations where work is siloed, and where trust is low. How long did you want to stay at the job? Workplaces like that unfortunately abound. Frankly, it’s toxic. It’s also nearly impossible to accomplish anything solo these days. That’s why we talk about building a great team so often. If you want to succeed, it’s time to foster real collaboration in your small business.
Your business is doing well. But what’s next? ProStrategix knows how to help. Read some of our other articles below, or feel free to connect with us and get a complimentary thirty-minute consulting session.
What Research Tells Us
There have been several studies that suggest that a collaborative culture is up to five times more likely to be high-performing. This isn’t just a nice-to-have. It’s a competitive advantage. So here are our three biggest tips to promote small business collaboration for your in-office talent.
3 Simple Steps to Improve Small Business Collaboration
These steps may seem like common sense. But they all take time, which is always in scarce supply.
1. Hang out with your employees
Building trust means spending time together outside normal business hours. This can be tough for non-co-located teams, but it can be done. People often think of the Google workspaces as indulgent, but they’re not. They create spaces for people to hang-out. We often forget that it’s the bonds we create between co-workers that is the social glue that makes the team function better. These are best when organic, but structured, “mandatory” events can work. However, I would argue the social return is less.
2. Make it a cultural norm
Ok, yes, that’s a bit of corporate speak. In plain English, this means that you make it clear that you expect everyone to collaborate, starting with yourself. Peer pressure is a powerful motivating force. But so is leading by example. Rewarding the behavior that you want to see has a powerful effect. People will take notice. Holding yourself accountable to the same norms is possibly even more important.
Secondly, make sure that any new employee is aware of the rules. It is helpful to include collaboration in the job description and onboarding plan when expanding your business. You may want to create a ‘buddy’ system for new hires, delegating responsibilities to the more social members of your team. That might seem very 3rd grade, but studies have should that social acceptance is key to long-term success. A buddy is a way to reduce the social stress of entering a group.
3. Use the technology of today to keep in touch
With everything at our fingertips today, there’s no excuse not to communicate. There are a plethora of platforms to use. It may seem that there a new 5 every month. Slack is the tool we use. Others have recommended Loomio, or the Google Suite of product, and more. Find one or two that work for you and your team. It’s been our experience that it doesn’t really matter which platform you use, just that you are using one. If you are afraid of the cost, it’s important to note that:
Seventy percent of small business owners agree that their collaborative communication tools benefit productivity.
This doesn’t mean that you should spend money without a goal in mind. But, trying out one or two to find a right fit probably makes sense.
Collaboration Isn’t New, But It Could Revitalize Your Small Business
Like we said at the beginning, a lot of this will seem like common sense. The shocking thing is how little of it is done in practice. Change like this starts at the top. If you aren’t living it, your team won’t follow. If you are pushing it, it will likely never get done.
At ProStrategix, we know you have concerns. We’re designed to help give you the business support you need so you can focus on doing what you love. If you would like to learn about how we might be able to help you, please contact us.