Building and Maintaining a Collaboration Culture
What Makes a Collaborative Culture?
A collaborative culture is where a number of individuals come together and work toward a common goal, as well as work
effectively as a team to achieve a shared objective. The key characteristics of a collaborative culture include embracing the shared vision or objective and building a level of trust to create a thriving place where ideas and knowledge are shared.
Communication is a vital component in a collaborative culture. Only by being open, honest and flexible will a collaborative culture really embed and become an effective way of working for an organization.
Compared to a competitive culture, a collaborative culture is about winning as a whole — working together to exchange ideas in a transparent way to encourage creativity, and promote a positive working environment, rather than one individual taking credit and working in a silo.
How to Foster a Collaborative Work Culture.
Different strategies can help foster a collaborative culture and below we’ve highlighted eight considerations that you can use to help build a collaboration culture that encourages teamwork, innovation and creativity within your organization.
- Goal setting – set clear goals and objectives at the start and align them with the vision of the organization and ensure everyone agrees with the goals.
- Communication – it is critical to promote open and honest communication. Communication is the key to success when building a collaborative work culture. Team members need to feel comfortable contributing their opinions and ideas to the group in an inclusive environment.
- Trust – this is the highest form of human motivation and helps develop strong relationships. By showing team members are trusted and their contributions are valued you can support their growth and development.
- Teamwork (makes the dream work!) – effective teamwork helps achieve more than an individual can. By encouraging collaboration you can create opportunities to share ideas and knowledge.
- Recognition – everyone likes to be recognized for their contribution. A key way to foster a collaborative culture is to celebrate the success and effort of the team and its members and give regular encouragement and feedback.
- Diversity and inclusion – creating a team with diverse backgrounds, skills and perspectives can ensure everyone in the team feels valued, have an equal voice and is appreciated.
- Role model – a collaborative culture can be embedded with a stakeholder leading by example and promoting collaborative working. Their behaviors, such as listening and contribution, can then be emulated and help demonstrate a collaborative culture in action.
- Training & tools – providing the right training, resources and tools to support collaborative working — such as project management tools, skills training and investing in technology that promotes collaboration — are vital to the success of building a collaborative culture.
What Can Challenge a Collaborative Culture?
Creating a collaborative culture comes with its challenges. How an organization deals with them is crucial to its success and can impact the overall efficiency of a team or project. Being aware of the following challenges and having strategies in place to overcome these challenges will be instrumental in driving a team’s productivity.
- Lack of trust – a reluctance to share ideas and information can create silos in a team, causing a detrimental effect on progress and achieving a determined goal.
- Poor communication – miscommunication or poor channels of communication can impact how a team works together to share ideas and information.
- Limited resources – all resources, whether it’s time, budget or people, need to be prioritized and allocated efficiently to maintain momentum and drive toward the end goal.
- Resistant to change – some individuals will not be open to new ideas or a new way of working which can make it impossible to forge ahead and achieve success.
- Lack of support – lack of support and deprioritized collaboration can make working together difficult.
- Distance and remote working – collaborating remotely or across different locations or countries can impact the pace of change and collaboration and prove difficult to communicate and build trust.
To overcome these challenges you must frequently review your approach and make sure you don’t fall into the pitfalls highlighted above, as well as ensure you are fulfilling your role and meeting the needs of your team, and organization.
Key Aspects of A Positive Collaboration Culture
To create high performing teams you need to provide the right tools, and there are important aspects or steps to create and foster a positive collaborative culture among your team, whether they are in the office, remote or hybrid.
1. Trust – the first step to success is developing trust and demonstrating the commitment to the success of a project or goal to help make team members feel valued.
2. Communication – the end goal should be communicated clearly, and there should be clear channels of communication determined at the beginning. It is also imperative to promote a positive environment for individuals to share ideas
and provide opportunities for feedback.
3. Flexibility – as with any new undertaking or process, there will be things that change along the way. A willingness to adapt is crucial. By working together to find a solution or overcoming a barrier together helps to evolve the
processes and also build trust.
4. Empathy – being empathetic and understanding emotions and an individual’s perspective will help build better relationships within the team.
5. Inclusivity – positive collaboration values diversity and inclusion and the recognition of different backgrounds and perspectives. This can help bring innovative ideas and shape processes, vital to success and can bring competitive
6. Recognition – feedback and appreciation of the contribution made by team members helps to demonstrate how much they are valued, and by engaging and recognizing good work or contribution will keep them engaged and committed to the project and end goal.
7. Distance and remote working – using effective collaboration solutions helps to bring team members together and create a sense of community irrelevant of where they may be based. They can also provide a flexible space for sharing
ideas, collaborating and increasing productivity.
Collaboration Rooms from X2O
At X2O Media we offer a unique collaboration solution called X2O OneRoom that brings individuals together in a flexible space whether they are in-person or remote providing an interactive and dynamic space to connect and collaborate in real-time regardless of their location.
OneRoom offers an equal experience for all individuals and an immersive space with integrated collaboration tools including interactive whiteboards, polls/voting features and breakout rooms.
OneRoom is used by clients globally to support their learning, training and collaboration challenges. Reach out to find
out more about how OneRoom could support your collaboration journey.