In today’s business literature we find a lot of articles about the benefits of collaboration, which we always feature in our weekly news digests. If you’re working on an internal communications strategy, internal collaboration will play a big part in it, so the obstacles or better say inhibitors that might stand in your way it’s something you should be aware of. I called them enemies of collaboration.
1. Strict Hierarchy
Popular in the Industrial Age, hierarchy was one of the foundations of management. Unfortunately, today it is no longer compatible with the arising digital workplace. If your organization is inflexible about cutting down boundaries between employees and management, collaboration won’t attain good outcome. Senior managers need to make themselves available to their employees by sharing knowledge, know-how and all types of best practices with them.
2. Confusing Processes
Internal policies are absolutely necessary in order to have a healthy workflow. But if they’re bulky and unclear or too red-taped, it will interfere with collaboration activities. Make sure these already adopted internal processes are adaptable to the new internal communications strategy. You could consider a survey in collaboration with the Quality Manager, with respondents among both employees and managers, to see what works for them and what needs to be changed.
3. Lack of Tools
It’s not an easy job to conceive a collaboration strategy that involves all departments and all responsibility levels. That’s actually almost a mission impossible if you’re building it from scratch. So you’ll need help. That’s where technology steps in. Talk to your developers team, your design team, your sales team separately. Learn about their everyday struggles, their routine, their needs to improve productivity. If they need an easier access to knowledge, you might consider a knowledge-sharing platform, like Quandora. If instead you want to focus on an every day social interactions, an ESN should do the trick. If you need both, see which solutions offer integrations with each other or if they offer a REST API.
4. Closed Culture
Company culture is the most debated element when it comes to employee engagement and cooperation actions. You’ll need open doors and open minds and if the culture is not appropriate, your efforts won’t pay off. If for example internal competition is encouraged and rewarded within the company, employees will have a hard time appreciating the benefits of collaborating with their fellow workers. Other ill-fitted culture signs include micromanagement, closed communication channels between senior managers or employees and lack of bilateral support.
If you want to improve collaboration in your company and you want to make it work, you’ll need to include all of the above as they’re all connected. A good company culture includes a flexible hierarchy. If you got that covered, all it takes is to bring on board the right processes and tools. Your organization doesn’t have to be just a place where people come to work in order to get they’re paycheck, but a community!
Happy Knowledge Sharing!