When it comes to running an efficient business where everyone is on the same page, collaboration is an absolute must. However, it’s not on the radar of most businesses, so leaders assume they’re doing fine in this area.
Unfortunately, the reality is often starkly different and poor collaboration can harm the brand.
So what is the cost of poor collaboration?
Read on for insights and tips on how to identify and eradicate poor collaboration within your teams and business.
How to Identify Poor Collaboration
The first sign working relationships are not as they should be is a drop in productivity.
Lack of Productivity
When there’s poor communication, employees spend valuable time figuring out what’s expected of them or when something is supposed to get done, rather than actually doing it. Over time, this wastes thousands of hours per year and hamstrings your company.
If you’re honest with yourself, poor execution can almost always be directly linked to poor communication. If your team doesn’t have clear instructions, they can’t possibly follow through.
Negative impact on morale. Think about a time when you found yourself in the middle of a scenario where there was poor collaboration, confusion, and lack of clarity around expectations and “next steps.” How did it make you feel? Poor collaboration harms morale and prevents your team from feeling and performing at its best.
Lack of Profitability
Eventually, a lack of productivity, poor execution, and low morale hit your company where it hurts most: revenue and profitability. And when it gets to this point, things can quickly unravel.
The signs of poor collaboration are all around you. Hence, the first step is to acknowledge that they exist and develop a plan for proactively addressing them before they erode your business from the inside out.
How to Address Poor Collaboration
Every business leader is going to have a unique approach to handling collaboration, but here are a few suggestions you can leverage to move the needle in a more positive direction:
Lead By Example
It all starts with you. If you want people to communicate healthily and transparently, you need to do the same. Your team will embody your personality, emotions, and leadership. Be intentional about your own actions knowing that they will mirror you.
Want people to update the team on progress every few hours? Make sure you’re updating them on your progress.
Want the team to communicate via Slack rather than email? Then, make sure most of your communication is happening via Slack.
Want people to be specific when presenting in meetings? Give real numbers and facts when you lead meetings.
It might take some time, but your team will eventually follow your path. Lead by example and trust that others embrace this new way of doing things.
Use the Right Tools
Feeling overwhelmed by the need to improve internal collaboration? Well, the good news is that you don’t have to do it all on your own. There are numerous tools you can use to streamline heavy lifting.
A Google intranet solution like Happeo or MyHub is a great place to start. Their platform is designed to foster better employee engagement and boost team collaboration. Plus, with G Suite integration, These tools make it easier for employees to work together on documents and files.
There are plenty of other collaboration tools on the market, including chat applications that prevent over-reliance on email. Pick ones that will reduce the amount of noise in your organization and make it easier to get work done.
Find the time-wasters in your business and weed them out. Common culprits include:
Long back-and-forth email threads
No formal file organization system (makes it difficult to find what you need)
Unclear chain of command
It’ll look different in every business. So find the friction points and address them sooner rather than later. Even the smallest tweak can make a huge difference in terms of improving efficiency and morale.
Hire the Right People
At the end of the day, the right processes and systems are useless without the right people. So if you want a business where smooth collaboration and effortless communication are built into your DNA, it starts hiring the right people. Consider revisiting your hiring practices to ensure you’re prioritizing the right characteristics during the search recruitment process.
Give your business a strong foundation.
Healthy collaboration is one of the foundational pillars of any successful organization.
By addressing teams and groups both within and externally now, you can pave the way for a bigger and better business in the years to come. It won’t always be easy or comfortable, but it’s necessary to work through communication breakdowns to get all your staff working to achieve your goals.