Today’s business technology makes it possible to remove the barriers that previously separated departments. Now, companies can offer integrated applications that connect everyone in the organization, whether they’re in their headquarters office in Accounting, or working from their home in Customer Support. This change in the business environment makes it possible to use a secret growth weapon: working collaboratively.
The benefits of collaboration in the workplace
Many companies find that the role of their employees has shifted due to new technology. Automation, artificial intelligence and other advances eliminate time-consuming manual work that often ties up your human resources. Now your people have the opportunity to step outside of their rigidly defined roles. They get to pursue projects that align with their talents. You end up with multidisciplinary teams that are well-suited to adapt to a fast marketplace.
You never know when the next startup will pop up in your industry and begin making major changes. When you have people working together with a wide range of perspectives, you have a better chance of overcoming this challenge and innovating your products and services.
How to get the most out of a collaborative environment
Start from the top of the organization. You need a leadership structure that accommodates flexibility and unusual teams. When managers put together a roster for an upcoming project, they should look beyond their traditional department lines to find talent.
Let lower-level employees know that collaborating outside of their assigned job roles is an acceptable part of the company culture. One way to improve sharing is by opening up communication across the organization. When workers have an easy time starting a conversation with managers, or even the owner of the company, they can bounce ideas off each other quickly.
Make sure that your technology infrastructure is prepared to handle high levels of cross-collaboration in your small business. Ideally, you want to have solutions that make it easy to give access to people throughout the company. A centralized data set allows everyone involved to work with the same information, whether they’re writing product descriptions or putting together a marketing campaign.
Today’s business environment gives you many opportunities for growth with the help of collaboration. Make sure that you’re prepared to take advantage of this workplace trend, both for short-term success and long-term sustainability.