The most significant contributors to business success are whether or not employees can work together and attain business objectives as a team. In today's world, one characterized by a slow economy and drastic change in customer behavior, it's becoming crucial to foster a collaborative workstation to improve product quality, improve the customer experience, and beat the competition.
Why is Collaboration Important?
Collaborative work environments allow teams to improve how they solve problems and work together, leading to efficient processes, enhanced communication, and more innovation.
When employees listen to and learn from each other, it will be easier to support each other to attain personal and business goals. Collaboration takes time and effort, but the benefits that come with collaboration will bring business success in the long run.
From enhanced participation and open communication to business flexibility, clearer standards, and improved employee engagement, there's no limit to the different ways you'll reap from this approach.
The Value of Collaboration for Businesses
Working collaboratively means employees – especially frontline employees – will work more quickly and efficiently than handling projects individually. It's fair to state that most current work environments strive to boost employee social and collaborative functions, and there's a good reason for this.
A collaborative study, from the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) and Rob Cross, Edward A. Madden Professor of Global Business at Babson College, states that companies that promote collaborative working environments are likely to grow their performance by up to five times. Another recent survey, by SHRM and Globoforce, notes that 89% of respondents acknowledge that ongoing check-ins and peer feedback leads to successful outcomes.
The above statistics show just how valuable collaboration can be to an organization.
Top 12 Business Benefits of Collaboration
Staff collaboration offers lots of benefits to the business. Here are the primary reasons why you should adopt the approach:
Even the most experienced professionals sometimes hit the wall and may need to consult with colleagues on what to do or where to go next. Unless the business has a collaborative team environment, it may be too hard to seek assistance. Collaboration ensures that knowledge is shared, and workers get new inspiration from each other, inspiring innovation.
Enhanced Flexibility of the Business
Improving your company's collaboration also enhances the company's ability to deal with unexpected changes. 2020 has taught all of us this lesson. Teamwork allows for easier pivoting whenever disruptive technologies enter the market or client preferences change. The ease of sharing ideas and division of tasks facilitates the flexibility necessary to navigate the uncertain times that characterize the Covid-19 new normal.
Ease of Costs
Ineffective communication, such as lack of meaningful conversation or excessive communication, may lead to lots of time wastage. However, employee collaboration leads to more robust coordination, simple project monitoring, and a streamlined feedback flow. This cuts on the number of resources, time, and cash required to complete tasks.
Enhanced Internal Marketing
When frontline employees work collaboratively, yet play no part in the development, it may be hard to present a practical marketing approach for new products. Business collaboration ensures staff across departments – including the frontline – share ideas during projects and processes, which means innovative marketing solutions can be created quickly. Remember, the frontline interacts with customers the most.
Better Customer Experience
The benefits of successful collaboration extend to clients as well. Companies with a healthy collaborative culture usually have standard practices to address and follow up on cases. Teams that work collectively can easily address customer service issues or complaints, which leads to an improved experience for future, and repeat, customers.
Another importance of collaboration is that it ensures the business can precisely measure productivity and track progress. There's no need for frequent irritating departmental briefings since all employees are in-the-know. Thanks to this transparency, there will be less duplicated work, enhanced fluidity, and no reworks.
In a traditional work environment, an employee who's unsure of how to perform a task, for instance, may end up relying on tribal knowledge and wait for their supervisor's remarks on the task. But if collaboration thrives in your setup, you'll have current, easy-to-access standards of operations for the employee to follow.
In a collaborative organization, stakeholders are usually involved in the respective processes. This setup offers the benefit of better alignment between sponsors' different responsibilities to those tasks with implementing strategies. Stakeholders are generally part of the entire process and can freely express their concerns and needs throughout the project's duration.
Trust in the Frontline
In the restaurant and retail industries, corporate cannot be everywhere at once. However, these organizations still need to make sure product quality and the customer experience are always increasing. Fortunately, through instant communication and collaboration with the frontline – even in remote locations – corporate will know that their messages are seen and procedures are being implemented.
Better Employee Engagement
According to Gallup, companies that prioritize employee engagement achieve four times more earnings-per-share growth than its competition. Enhanced employee engagement in the business leads to company-wide communication that allows you to create a tradition of high development experiences. By building collaboration into your internal operations, employees are more likely to plug in and be productive.
Lower Employee Turnover
When every employee can count on their respective team, loyalty to the team will take root. In turn, this will subsequently grow company loyalty. With a higher retention rate, you can reinvest resources to create more in-depth training and development. Employees in a collaborative workplace are happier, hence more likely to stick around. Organizations in high-turnover industries – like restaurant and retail – with more employee engagement and collaboration saw 24% less turnover.
A More Positive Work Environment
There will be a group of employees who are less confident and more reserved in their abilities in any organization. Collaboration deals with this by fostering open-mindedness and fair treatment. As such, these employees will not feel nervous when giving alternative ideas and feedback. What's more, when they take their time to contribute constructive or positive feedback, there will be a surge in staff morale.
Benefits of Collaboration Tools in the Work Environment
The value of collaboration can be better felt when you use advanced, efficient tools to simplify the task. Here are the primary benefits of using collaboration tools within your work environment:
Collaboration tools within the work environment offer an enriched environment that allows for exchanging ideas and insights in real-time. In particular, communication solutions will enable you to create channels based on projects, departments, or teams. With these channels, staff can jointly develop strategies, discuss open tasks, and get client feedback.
Increased Employee Training
Solutions like tablet-based collaboration tools allow staff to access and make contributions anywhere, anytime. One such example is taking an eLearning course. In turn, this drastically reduces the time wasted during "downtimes." It doesn't matter where the responsible individual is; they can still "weight in" even when customers are not in the store.
Collaborative tools differ from traditional approaches to deliver information where and when employees can access it. In the restaurant and retail industries, frontline employees do not have a company email address, so there is less opportunity to share critical business information. The impact of strategic alignment through clear communication is of vast importance to overall business productivity.
Start Building Your Collaborative Toolset
As frontline employees are asked to do more now than ever, business collaboration is now more essential than ever. Savvy organizations now focus their abilities to ensure the highest level of business cooperation, and the different fruits of the approach and benefits of using collaborative tools never disappoint.
That said, it would help if you took a step back to assess how collaboration happens within your business environment. Are corporate, managers, and the frontline on the same page? Organizations that collaborate have better chances of attaining greater customer satisfaction, cultural alignment, improved engagement rates, and financial success. If you feel like it needs work, then it's time you begin creating your personalized, collaborative toolset with Playerlync.
Download our guide – The State of Internal Communications for Frontline Employees – for more crucial insights that influence the best business decisions for those organizations with frontline, remote workforces.