Register for this Wednesday, December 13, 2017 webinar to learn more about working smarter!
Collaboration really is a unique business function. Can you think of any other activity that everyone in your company engages in every day?! Whether you’re a CEO or new hire, an accountant or a construction worker, everyone in the organization needs to share and manage information, ideas, resources, and connections to get their jobs done—and accomplish the goals that your business needs to be successful.
Collaboration = Culture, People, Processes and Tools
Of course, there are several moving and inter-related gears—culture, people, process and tools–that affect how well or poorly people collaborate in your company. First is culture. Basically, you get out what you put in. When companies are more inclined to encourage and reward collaboration, people are motivated to develop processes that help them work together more effectively. Conversely, when businesses weight incentives more heavily towards individual achievements, people are motivated to develop processes that may work fine on an individual level, but don’t always take teamwork into account.
The path businesses take really does make a difference. Research by McKinsey shows that companies with better collaborative capabilities perform better financially than companies that are lacking in the collaboration department. And academic research has shown that the ability to collaborate in networks is more important than raw individual talent to spark innovation in business, and that working in a collaborative culture boosts employees’ overall performance and loyalty.
Trends Changing How We Collaborate
Four big trends are converging to change how we collaborate, including:
- Demographic shifts are reshaping the makeup of the workforce–and of our customers. Baby boomers are retiring, and younger workers—including millennials—are coming into their prime working years and making business decisions. Companies are also using more contractors and freelancers to get work done, and more people are working remotely instead of in the office.
- Attitudes about the role of technology in the business, and how to use it to collaborate more effectively, are changing. Easy-to-use consumer apps and mobile devices have raised the bar for what business users expect from the collaboration tools they use at work.
- Vendors are weaving more mobile, social, cloud, analytics, IoT and other technologies into fabric of traditional collaboration solutions—and these technologies are also fueling the development of new collaboration tools.
- As we do more work in a digital environment, we are storing more digitized information in more places.
Time to Rethink Collaboration
The good new is that SMB Group research shows that 61% of small and medium businesses (SMBs) say that their company culture values and rewards collaboration. In addition, a new and improved generation of collaboration solutions—including audio and video conferencing, cloud-based file sharing and stream based messaging—promise to make it easier for people to communicate and get their jobs done than ever before
But the bad news is that, according to a recent Gallup study, only one in 8 workers was fully committed psychologically to their job. Employees don’t really care much about new collaboration tools if they aren’t engaged. They won’t make the most of those digital tools, no matter how powerful or effective.
Furthermore, many SMBs still rely on a patchwork of meetings, phone calls, email, calendars, sticky notes and a few other basics to collaborate. While these solutions may have worked fine in the past, they are not likely to be the best bet for our increasingly digital future, which mandates business agility.
As shifting demographics, new expectations about work, and new technologies change how we get work done, now is the time to reevaluate your company’s collaboration dynamics, strategies and tools.
Want to Learn More?
Does your business need to rethink collaboration? Do you need to do a better job of communicating and collaborating to improve both employee and customer satisfaction? If you’d like to get started, register for this webinar, where I’ll discuss this topic in more detail.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 2 p.m. ET
- Key trends redefining workplace collaboration
- How employee and customer expectations are changing collaboration requirements
- Tips to start improving collaboration
This post is sponsored by Verizon.