10 Keys To A Collaborative Organizational Culture

you won’t have repeat yourself later.

3. Know When to Step Aside

Not every leader uses the same methods to distribute and oversee assignments. To put it another way, some leaders have a hard time letting go, stepping back, and trusting the process and their people. However, this is a quick way to stifle collaboration. Your employees will be too busy figuring out how to color inside the lines that they’ll forget they have resources of their own, like their own intuition or input from a co-worker.

4. Improve Relations Between Departments

No organization can function effectively if the departments within it aren’t working together well or don’t know how to pool their talent, data and resources. You can realize greater levels of collaboration by encouraging cross-training between departments and finding ways for teams to work together.

5. Go on a Retreat

If you think business retreats are passé, you’ve got some catching up to do. Modern get-togethers don’t have to be anything like the stuffy team-building routines you’re familiar with.

Maybe you want to recharge your team’s batteries and let them be their authentic selves around one another with a trip to an adventure challenge course. Perhaps you want to take it easy by hitting a local attraction that’s closer to the ground. Whatever it is, don’t be surprised if it inspires your team to collaborate more openly with one another.

6. Reward Initiative

What does initiative mean to you? It could mean staying after hours to help a co-worker catch up on a project. Maybe it’s spending a weekend writing a proposal for something the organization has never seen before.

Being a top-tier co-worker or taking the lead on a new initiative are as infectious as they are essential for your culture of collaboration. Reward these efforts wherever and whenever you find them.

  1. Encourage Incremental Goal-Setting

Inspiring employees to drive themselves forward and set goals is vital if leaders want their company to take on its own momentum and realize continuing success. However, encouraging workers to get organized about their personal and professional goals is great for collaboration, too.

Helping multiple teams break down major goals and projects into incremental tasks can demystify what goes on in each department. It also allows co-workers to see places where their goals and workflows line up or can benefit from one another’s expertise.

8. Own Your Mistakes

Some leaders find this to be the most challenging entry on this list. Owning one’s mistakes as well as one’s triumphs is expected of every employee. However, lots of bosses aren’t as forthcoming as they could be when something goes amiss.

Employees are more inspired by a leader who errs and learns something from the experience than one who maintains a veneer of perfectionism. This is another example they’ll carry with them, and it will inform how they deal with others throughout their professional lives.

9. Preach the Benefits of Downtime

Nothing gets the creative and collaborative juices flowing like time away from the job. Employees are prone to disengagement when they don't enjoy restorative breaks from time to time.

That means daily, but it also means building a culture that encourages the more vacation-averse among us to take a needed break occasionally. It’s a good way to restore one’s passion for their job and their appreciation for those around them.

10. Use the Right Technologies

Modern businesses are only as organized as the technologies they use to stay that way. If you get the sense that your collaborative culture isn’t what it could be, and it’s been a while since you re-evaluated the project portals and other technologies you rely on every day, it might be time to see what’s out there.

Everybody’s tastes and requirements vary, but you’re spoiled for choices. Look for the right blend of document storage and transmission features plus communication and project tracking tools.

Are you feeling inspired by now? With the right technology and a couple of new or refreshed priorities, your company can realize its collaborative potential in no time.

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The idea of culture in the workplace is a big idea that covers a lot of ground. Strong collaboration is just one piece of the larger whole, but it’s an important one. Let’s look at 10 ways business leaders can create this kind of culture.

1. Match Tasks to Interests

Good leaders delegate, but great ones delegate the right tasks to the right people. One of the most important things managers can do to foster a collaborative organizational culture is to watch for specific interests and aptitudes and challenge people with the ideal task.

2. Inspire Open Communication

When it comes to high-quality collaboration, nothing is more important than open and honest communication. The example you set here will help inform the way your employees, members or volunteers interact with one another. So exude patience, curiosity, interest and civility. Be sure to explain things in such a way that you won’t have repeat yourself later.

3. Know When to Step Aside

Not every leader uses the same methods to distribute and oversee assignments. To put it another way, some leaders have a hard time letting go, stepping back, and trusting the process and their people. However, this is a quick way to stifle collaboration. Your employees will be too busy figuring out how to color inside the lines that they’ll forget they have resources of their own, like their own intuition or input from a co-worker.

4. Improve Relations Between Departments

No organization can function effectively if the departments within it aren’t working together well or don’t know how to pool their talent, data and resources. You can realize greater levels of collaboration by encouraging cross-training between departments and finding ways for teams to work together.

5. Go on a Retreat

If you think business retreats are passé, you’ve got some catching up to do. Modern get-togethers don’t have to be anything like the stuffy team-building routines you’re familiar with.

Maybe you want to recharge your team’s batteries and let them be their authentic selves around one another with a trip to an adventure challenge course. Perhaps you want to take it easy by hitting a local attraction that’s closer to the ground. Whatever it is, don’t be surprised if it inspires your team to collaborate more openly with one another.

6. Reward Initiative

What does initiative mean to you? It could mean staying after hours to help a co-worker catch up on a project. Maybe it’s spending a weekend writing a proposal for something the organization has never seen before.

Being a top-tier co-worker or taking the lead on a new initiative are as infectious as they are essential for your culture of collaboration. Reward these efforts wherever and whenever you find them.

  1. Encourage Incremental Goal-Setting

Inspiring employees to drive themselves forward and set goals is vital if leaders want their company to take on its own momentum and realize continuing success. However, encouraging workers to get organized about their personal and professional goals is great for collaboration, too.

Helping multiple teams break down major goals and projects into incremental tasks can demystify what goes on in each department. It also allows co-workers to see places where their goals and workflows line up or can benefit from one another’s expertise.

8. Own Your Mistakes

Some leaders find this to be the most challenging entry on this list. Owning one’s mistakes as well as one’s triumphs is expected of every employee. However, lots of bosses aren’t as forthcoming as they could be when something goes amiss.

Employees are more inspired by a leader who errs and learns something from the experience than one who maintains a veneer of perfectionism. This is another example they’ll carry with them, and it will inform how they deal with others throughout their professional lives.

9. Preach the Benefits of Downtime

Nothing gets the creative and collaborative juices flowing like time away from the job. Employees are prone to disengagement when they don't enjoy restorative breaks from time to time.

That means daily, but it also means building a culture that encourages the more vacation-averse among us to take a needed break occasionally. It’s a good way to restore one’s passion for their job and their appreciation for those around them.

10. Use the Right Technologies

Modern businesses are only as organized as the technologies they use to stay that way. If you get the sense that your collaborative culture isn’t what it could be, and it’s been a while since you re-evaluated the project portals and other technologies you rely on every day, it might be time to see what’s out there.

Everybody’s tastes and requirements vary, but you’re spoiled for choices. Look for the right blend of document storage and transmission features plus communication and project tracking tools.

Are you feeling inspired by now? With the right technology and a couple of new or refreshed priorities, your company can realize its collaborative potential in no time.

I am the founder and president of WebFX. For the past 3 years straight, WebFX was named the No. 1 Best Place to Work in PA, setting a new record in the history of the aw...