Michal Sobotkiewicz
Michal SobotkiewiczKANBO PRODUCT OWNER
He leads the KanBo Technology & Innovation strategy team to map, build and inspire a future we want to work in.

Collaboration is a pillar of the current generation of workplace culture.

For many employees, the need to be connected to others on a regular basis is part of a daily schedule. Large companies are recognizing that there is a tremendous value in the human experience that can only be achieved through collaboration, and are thus encouraging collaboration at every level of the organization.

In this article, we explain the different features of a collaborative environment and the subtle nuances that companies can implement today to encourage collaboration across all levels of the organization.

Effective collaboration is crucial for any company to succeed. Collaborative environments are effective because they allow employees to share ideas and insights, collaborate on decisions, and work together to move the organization forward. By doing so, you can foster innovation, growth, and agility in your business and help reduce costs while achieving higher quality and productivity.

Questions and Answers

How do you demonstrate collaboration in the workplace?

Collaboration in the workplace can take many forms. Regardless of which methods you choose to collaborate, some basic principles can help you establish a culture of collaboration. You can demonstrate collaboration in the workplace through:

  1. An open and positive mindset that encourages the team to do better each time.
  2. A trusting environment that makes employees comfortable.
  3. Empathy exercises and consideration that can help colleagues bond and form meaningful relations.
  4. Efficient meetings that are more convenient and less time consuming for employees.
  5. Clarity when it comes to roles, agendas, and responsibilities to ensure everyone is on the same page when working on a project.
  6. Establishing accountability to show employees how their contributions affect the bigger picture.

What is collaboration in the workplace?

At its very core, collaboration is defined as two or more people working together towards a common goal by combining their skills and expertise. A collaborative culture in the workplace has several distinct features including an environment that makes employees feel understood. Collaboration also manifests itself in the communication processes in the workplace, making everyday work more efficient and meaningful. A successful collaborative workplace also requires leadership that understands the importance of collaboration and its impact on customers and organizational growth.

Why is collaboration at work important?

Drives Innovation

Collaboration enriches work and opens up new opportunities for knowledge sharing. It is known that groups innovate faster and can find better solutions. By fostering collaboration across multiple teams in the organization, companies can assimilate a pool of innovative ideas to benefit the business.

Strengthens Teams

Effective collaboration is known to bring employees together to foster teamwork that leads to stronger, more efficient teams. Working collaboratively takes the burden off certain individuals so team members can benefit from each others’ strengths and function as an organism.

Promotes Knowledge Sharing

Collaboration promotes knowledge sharing between individuals that promotes personal and professional development in the workplace.

Improves Customer Experience

Beyond internal benefits, collaboration can have external benefits for the organization including an improved customer experience and retention rate.

What are examples of collaboration?

There are many examples of collaboration in the workplace that most modern businesses are practicing. Some of these include:

Interactive Displays

A common example of collaboration is in the form of interactive displays that are ideal for brainstorming and creating diagrams that the whole team can view and contribute to.

Collaborative Technology Tools

Technology has made collaboration in the workplace a lot easier and tools like KanBo are changing the game. Through technology, companies can increase work visibility, transparency, and accountability – all important ingredients for collaboration.

Team Building Activities

Team building activities like work trips and functions can help develop good chemistry between team members, leading to better collaboration.

Informal Meeting Spaces

Instead of going to the big conference room for every meeting, many companies are creating huddle rooms or informal meeting spaces that are ideal for quick meetings that foster collaboration.

Collaborative Initiatives

Many companies launch different initiatives such as hot-desking which allows employees to meet different people and form a more diverse network within the organization. Other collaborative initiatives can bring teams from different departments together for brainstorming sessions or more.

How do you build collaboration?

You can build collaboration by:

Uniting Team Members Under a Cause

Give team members clear goals and objectives that they can rally around with a  clear vision and purpose.

Fostering Transparency

Foster transparency when it comes to the company’s goals and the way work is performed in the company. This will help employees feel more comfortable and accountable for the work they’re doing.

Empowering Team Members

Leverage the strengths of your team members to empower them for better collaboration.

Building Cohesion

Build cohesion between team members that makes everyone feel included and heard.

Encouraging Innovation

Instill a can-do attitude within the team the drives innovation and creativity as team members are allowed to think out of the box, challenge norms, and question the status quo.

Rewarding Collaborative Practices

Recognize and reward your team’s collaborative behavior and honor their achievements through bonuses, performance rewards, and other initiatives.

How do you show collaboration skills?

An organization can show collaboration in a multitude of ways. These include:

  • Strong teams where employees have good rapport and meaningful relations.
  • Multiple channels of communication.
  • Freedom to think out of the box and innovate.
  • Encouragement to collaborate and share knowledge and strengths.
  • Increased work visibility and transparency that drives growth.

How do you implement collaboration in the workplace using KanBo?

KanBo makes work more engaging by unlocking new potential for collaboration in the workplace. Here are some ways in which you can utilize KanBo to boost collaboration:

Work Visibility & Context Management

KanBo encapsulates work contexts into KanBo cards which are clearly defined, contained, and updated in real-time. This provides the transparency and visibility your team needs to maintain synchronicity and work out loud.

Document Management

Working on documents as a team can get quite hectic. KanBo simplifies document management by giving you full control over how you view, organize, and personalize document structures. You have the option to organize documents in groups, adapt groups to your workflow, and collapse or expand them according to what you want to focus on.

Effective communication & traceability

KanBo maintains a card activity stream that gives you a bird’s eye view of your card’s activity, laying out the big picture in front of you. This allows team members to make sense of how work contexts are connected and how they flow through the pipeline through a chronological stream of events. KanBo’s activity stream provides full traceability and helps answer questions such as, how you got to the endpoint, what you did to get there and who played a part in it.

Work Communication with a Context

KanBo makes your communications more meaningful by letting you mention the relevant people to invite them for a discussion within work contexts. The predefined contexts present in the card helps you get right to the point without beating around the bush. It also ensures that all communication is documented within the context it relates to and is present when you need it, eliminating the need to dig through emails.

To-Do Lists

KanBo follows Kanban’s core philosophy of dividing large tasks into small jobs and the to-do list is the most effective tool for that purpose. KanBo’s intuitive to-do lists help you break down tasks into smaller chunks, update the list as you complete them, notify others of your progress, and assign to-dos to other team members for effective collaboration and coordination.

Conclusion

In the modern workplace, collaboration is a prerequisite for success. More and more companies are realizing the potential of collaboration and going the extra mile to make it happen on a large scale. Join the race to success by leveraging the collective strengths of your workforce through collaboration and enjoy the shared success it brings.