With teams being spread around the globe, working from home or even in different time-zones, the days are gone, in which everyone just sat in a corner and worked on their own. Today companies are all about team-work and collaboration – and, we must admit, that's not only a good change, but also the way of working that mostly leads to productivity through intense exchange. However, especially the given time is a new challenge for collaboration. How do you combine different schedules, teams, departments and even companies?
When we talk about collaboration, we mean the cooperative way of working together. In other words: It's the term to describe working together among various teams and departments while following one shared goal or objective. This actually may sound easier than it is. In current times, where teams don't really sit together in one office or generally during times, in which remote work and working from home is getting more and more popular, working together with different teams and on different levels can be a challenge.
How to increase collaboration at work?
In order to improve collaboration at work, you need to make sure that your teams are connected and, above all, willing to collaborate. Make sure that an open and transparent way of working is the way to go at your enterprise as this fosters the employee engagement and, thus, will to collaborate to the maximum. A Gallup study found that 85% of the American employees are not engaged in their work. A good way to increase engagement and collaboration at work is by implementing an intranet software that works as the centre of everything: communication, sharing and saving files, project planning, meetings and collaboration.
Intranets are a great way to connect everyone – no matter where they are. In the following we'll give you eight good ways on how to use an intranet to increase collaboration at work and, above all, eight tips for collaboration in the workplace.
Whether it's a significant announcement that you are about to make, an open thank you to a group of employees for their achievements or just the next town hall meeting that is about to happen – open communication is the key to employee collaboration.
Through intranets, you can easily communicate with all your employees. Doing so, you can either use specific channels, direct messaging, event announcements that will be linked to everyone's calendar or files that can easily be shared with your entire team. Intranets are the basis of seamless communication – whether it's from a top-down or a bottom-up-approach.
The more you communicate openly, the more engaged your employees will feel and the higher the motivation to collaborate on shared projects, ideas and tough deadlines will be.
#2 Intranets foster transparency through file-sharing and open documentations.
Have you ever had the feeling to be left out at work? Or the feeling that big decisions are being made behind your back? Well, trust us, this will definitely not increase the collaboration of your employees. The more transparent you, as an entire company, a manager or a team-lead, are, the more every other person in the company will feel included and, thus, increase their desire to interact and collaborate.
By using an intranet, you can have files openly accessible for everyone such as HR policies, onboarding processes, the employee directory with all detailed information on different teams and individuals and even the latest business report with all numbers and figures. Transparency is key when it comes to improve collaboration at work – especially in times, where most of the teams are distributed all around the globe.
#3 Fewer silos, more clarity.
Have you ever worked in a company, where you feel that communication is not really spread? Well, you might have experienced a proper silo. When we talk about silos in terms of communication and information, we mean communication that happens within teams only – and not outside their bubble. Doing so, various problems can quickly occur, such as misinformation, wrong product shipments, false marketing decisions and many more.
Now, to increase collaboration – especially among different teams – communication needs to break down its silos and be accessible to everyone.
How, though? It's that easy: You just need to implement a well-working intranet that offers various communication channels and silos will be a history of your company.
#4 Intranets are like your best and super social friend.
Especially when working from home, people often get the feeling to basically be on their own. The feeling of being in an office is gone, the quick chat during lunch-break is far away and proper collaboration with co-workers is a model of the past. Well, trust us, this feeling is not a good one when it comes to employee productivity and collaboration.
An intranet can help improve collaboration at work by implementing social features. It may sound super simple to react with a thumbs up on a post in one of the channels on your communication tool, or to comment on an announcement with a funny phrase – but these tips for collaboration in the workplace do really help. People can connect, they can share their emotions, their thoughts, their remarks and give each other a heads-up, no matter where they are at the moment. Doing so, you may as well feel like being in the office, while sitting at your desk in your very own living room.
#5 Intranets help to celebrate success.
Group gatherings are impossible? Your team works from all around the world? Don't worry, there are plenty of ways to celebrate success and achievement, and it is actually super important to do so. Team members want that their work is being seen and appreciated as doing great things obviously only pay off once others notice them.
You won't have cooperative employees who are super eager to collaborate on huge projects if they know that their work is never being appreciated. How about using your intranet to announce great things that just happened in the company? You could create a channel of employee recognition, project celebrations and to share other amazing news that happen because your employees collaborated on a highly motivated and engaged level.
#6 Intranets offer training opportunities for everyone.
When was the last time that you learned a new skill? Well, we can tell you that learning something new or improving something that you already knew is always a great way to level up your self-esteem and this obviously also works for your employees and team members.
Through a well-organised intranet, you can easily offer training opportunities. Simply publish them in a channel, upload needed documents and files in your drive and give dedicated employees the right access. You'll see that most of them will be eager to learn something new and that this will result in a higher level of encouraging collaboration at work among teams.
#7 Connect your entire company with each other.
We talked about silos and open communication already, but that's only one part of implementing a well-connected and highly collaborating company. An intranet can help you to connect everyone with everyone and, thus, making it easier to improve collaboration at work on various levels.
Whether it's through a employee directory, through a training that is open to everyone, to a public event or through various channels that can individually be implemented – through intranets it's super easy to connect managers with juniors, the HR team with the marketing team and various others with each other.
… you'll just need to give them this voice. But what does this mean? Well, implementing an intranet in your company is only one step towards encouraging collaboration at work. Once you involve your employees already in the implementation of an intranet, you've created the best base for collaboration. Employees can give their advice on how to best use the intranet, put in their suggestions and will later on see that some of their views have actually been implemented. This will not only promote a better use of the intranet itself but also a higher level of collaboration.
Now, with all our tips for collaboration in the workplace and insights about how an intranet can help to increase collaboration at work, you may question yourself: How do I start? Well, the steps are easy:
Start by implementing an intranet.
Talk to your employees about the usage and benefits of an intranet.
Once the intranet has been adopted by your employees and team members, there should be no more barriers to collaborate within different teams and departments. Simply remember to stay as transparent as possible and keep your communication as open as possible to increase employee engagement and finally the collaboration at work.