Digital collaboration: The key to innovation, productivity and results
Digital technology might have transformed the modern workplace, but every innovation inevitably throws up its own set of obstacles to overcome.
One such challenge is siloing, where an organisation's departments aren't communicating with each other effectively. When we're glued to our computer screens or phones all day, it's all too easy to get bogged down with personal targets, workloads and priorities. This segmentation can affect productivity, staff morale and even hurt your bottom line.
Here's how you can break down those communication walls.
Collaboration is key
As gatekeepers and operators of your company’s digital infrastructure, the IT team should be central to all collaborative initiatives. They are critical to meeting the business’s evolving needs and ensuring the technological resources exist for employees to work collaboratively. An IT team that works collaboratively with other departments can help streamline work processes, ensure cybersecurity compliance and that everyone is working toward the same goal.
From the top down
True digital collaboration can only happen when this business culture is actively promoted by the leadership team. Management needs to proactively highlight the benefits of company-wide collaboration, set goals and drive a culture that celebrates teamwork. This approach should also cultivate a sense of community among staff – and a happy employee is almost always a more productive employee.
So, what does this actually look like? Perhaps the key to encouraging collaboration could be incentivising, or 'gamifying' interaction between departments. Consider awarding employees points for completing tasks and helping colleagues with their expertise and offer an incentive for the individual with the most points at the end of each month.
Tools to talk
There is no shortage of digital tools and channels to enable collaboration, including Trello, Slack, Dropbox, and Google’s suite of cloud-based tools (Docs, Sheets, Slides) – just to name a few. All are lightweight, intuitive and have features that can facilitate collaboration and drive seamless communication.
Be prepared for bumps in the road though. Some staff will need time to embrace the new technology and additional training may also be required. The key is to be open to, and encourage, feedback from your teams.
Working toward the same goal
Breaking down silos and encouraging teams to work together is imperative to effectively combine the talent, experience and human resources of all departments. This will allow innovation to flourish and ensure everyone in the business is working toward the same overall strategic goal.
What strategies or tools do you have in place to foster collaboration?