Collaboration seems like an easy concept right? You get a few people talking, and boom, ideas start flowing, and suddenly your company is more productive.
If only it were that easy.
It’s no wonder we are all in a rush to develop a collaborative organization. Especially when we hear stats like, “86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.” The problem with collaboration, however, is that it is something we all think we are already doing. No one actually wants to admit that employees don’t interact with each other or do not know what each other is working on. Inevitably, this is leaving a lot of companies failing at collaboration.
Here are four reasons why your employees aren’t collaborating:
You Aren’t Invested In It
You can’t just call yourself collaborative and expect it to magically happen. Collaboration isn’t a sign you put up on the wall, and it won’t happen overnight. You need a strategy, and you need to stay committed to it. Collaboration, like other elements of your business, requires a dedicated strategy. It needs to be part of your culture and your communication philosophy. And most importantly, it must start at the top. If your management isn’t invested in collaboration, can you really expect your employees to be committed?
No One Knows What Anyone Else Does
Without role clarity, you cannot expect effective collaboration. Undefined roles can lead to employees taking on tasks that aren’t aligned to their expertise. Not to mention the time that gets wasted trying to determine who does what. Employees who understand their roles are much more likely to be engaged with their work and their company, which will ultimately lead to stronger collaboration and productivity.
Your Employees Don’t Like Each Other
It’s a nice fantasy to think that employees all enjoy each other’s company. Unfortunately it’s never that easy. Interesting though, the most damaging problems don’t usually occur when a conflict arises, but rather when it’s ignored. Employees don’t need to be friends, but workplace conflict is not an excuse to avoid collaboration. When resolving conflicts, the best advice is to resolve it as soon as possible, before it gets worse. Always remind your employees that you are together working to achieve a common goal. The better they understand that, and the more they are committed to it, the less likely there is to be friction among coworkers.
You Don’t Have The Technology
Finally, to truly reap the benefits of collaboration, you need to have the right platform to enable collaboration. The most efficient way to achieve company-wide collaboration is through a social collaboration technology, like an intranet. An intranet can unite your company because it provides a place for employees to share ideas, projects, and documents, as well as stay connected to company news and updates. It’s also the perfect platform to help employees get know their colleagues.
Communication and collaboration are the primary functions of intranets. So if you really want to be collaborative, you need to invest in the technology that facilitates it.