The 12 habits of collaborative organizations

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Yesterday I read that Virginio Gallardo said on Facebook that “the Enterprise Social Network awakens sleeping talent in organizations”. Enterprise Social Networks open a direct and permanent communication channel and facilitate collaboration among your employees, making it easy to share knowledge, tips, doubts and ideas, and waking up personnel in your company.

Eva Collado Durán replied to Virginio’s thread, pointing out that “they also awaken authentic opinion leaders who are far from higher hierarchical positions .” It’s true. Horizontal communication provided by Enterprise Social Networks places all employees in the same situation and gives them the same opportunities to share their valuable knowledge with colleagues.

If you don’t share what you know for fear of losing your position, you’ll end up completely isolated. In a scenario where almost everyone is convinced that you work better and achieve goals faster and more easily by working in a team and sharing knowledge, whoever continues to jealously guard their knowledge will end up lagging behind.

Companies that understand this new situation have become social companies, have implemented collaborative habits in their daily operation. But what are those habits? We’ll give you some of them here according to an interesting article posted by Jacob Morgan (@jacobm).

1. Individual benefit is just as important as the overall corporate benefit (if not more important)

Don’t focus on the overall corporate benefits when communicating collaboration with your employees. They also care about how collaboration will impact them on an individual basis. How will it make their jobs and lives easier?

2. Strategy before technology

Before rushing off to implement that new collaboration platform, focus on developing a strategy which will help you to understand the “why” before the “how” . Having a strategy is crucial for the success of any collaboration initiative. You don’t want to be in a position without understanding “why”.

3. Listen to your employees

We talk a lot about the importance of listening to customers but what about listening to your employees? If you are going to talk about collaboration, it is important you involve your employees from the outset. Listen to their ideas, needs, suggestions and incorporate their feedback in your strategy.

4. Learn to get out of the way

Learn to support and empower your employees and get out of their way. If you try to supervise everything, you’ll stifle collaboration in your organization. Give some guidelines and best practices, but let your employees do what they need to do.

5. Lead by example

If the leaders in your organization don’t use collaborative tools, why should employees? Leaders are a very powerful instrument for facilitating change and encouraging desired behaviors.

6. Integrate collaboration in the work flow

Collaboration should never be perceived as a task or an additional requirement for employees. Instead, it should be integrated naturally into their workflow.

7. Reward teamwork

If your organization focuses on rewarding employees for individual contributions as the driver of success, it will be quite hard to encourage employees to share and communicate with each other. There is nothing wrong with rewarding your employees for personal results, but it is equally important to recognize and reward collaboration and teamwork .

8. Measure what matters

There are a lot of things that an organization can measure, but that doesn’t mean that everything should be measured. Focus on the metrics that matter in your organization and analyze how you do there. Some focus on metrics like comments sent or groups created; others prefer to focus on the commitment and passion of their employees with the company and the task they perform.

9. Persistence

Converting your organization into a collaborative environment will take time and effort, but it is important to be convinced that that is the right direction and to go for it. No giving up, no going back.

10. Adapt and evolve

The need for collaboration in organizations is here to stay. This means that your organization must be able to adapt and evolve as tools and strategies demand. Being aware of what is happening in your industry and in your organization. This will also enable you to innovate and anticipate changes successfully.

11. Employee collaboration also benefits the customer

Your employees’ collaboration has a tremendous value for your customers. Your employees will be able to give the best support experience if they have the information, resources and experience of internal experts . A employee may not always have the reply the customer needs, but they will have access to the knowledge of the entire organization to resolve the problem .

12. Collaboration can make the world a better place

Perhaps the most important principle of collaboration is that it can make the world a better place. Sure, collaboration can make your employees more productive and also benefit your customers. It makes your employees to feel more connected with their co-workers, reduces stress, makes their job easier, gives them more freedom, and in general, makes them happier people, not just at work but at home too.

And in your organization, what collaboration strategies have you put into action? What are your habits for becoming collaborative organizations? Tells us about it! :-)