Fostering a Collaborative Workplace Environment [6 Ideas]

Several people working at a laptop together, showing a collaborative workplace environment

In today’s fast-paced, modern workplace, it’s easy to adopt an “I’ll do it myself” mentality. After all, if we’re relying on ourselves to get the job done, we know it will be done correctly, right?

The problem with this is that we’re actively excluding others’ thoughts, perspectives, and ideas. If we aren’t working together, then we aren’t innovating. That’s a problem for an office’s cultural health, as well as the business’s bottom line.

Today, let’s focus on what steps we can take to be more open to a collaborative workplace. I’ll give you some ideas for creating more cooperative opportunities in your office, as well as talk more specifically about the importance of collaboration in healthcare.

Why is Workplace Collaboration Important?

When working, you may have several tasks that you need to get done throughout the day. It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of each day, but, ultimately, you and your coworkers share a common goal. 

That could be as simple as making sure the business succeeds or ensuring that you’re providing quality care for your customers. 

Whatever the case may be, it’s important to make this clear to all people within an organization. Whether you and they realize it or not, you all have a common interest in working for a particular organization. Collaboration can help make everyone’s job easier plus create a healthier work environment.

According to McKinsey, around 97% of employees and executives believe that failing to collaborate has an impact on the end-product of a task. On the flip side, Gallup reported that teams who do collaborate increase profitability by 21%.

Clearly, everyone stands to benefit from a collaborative work environment. But how do you go about achieving this? Here are a few ideas:

1. Make Values Clear

The values of your workplace should be communicated clearly to all employees. It should even go so far as to be made clear when people apply to work at your office. If they don’t embody the values that your organization strives for, they may not be a good fit for your workplace.

These values should be posted in a place where everyone can go back and see them. They should be reminded continuously about how their work impacts these values.

2. Create a Community

Individuals should feel safe and comfortable coming into work each day, and friendliness and camaraderie should be encouraged. Clear responsibilities need to be set, and people need to be held accountable for what they do (and don’t do).

Above all, each person should be treated with respect. Collaboration flourishes when each person feels safe and like they’re valued. Having a strong sense of community is a great way to help achieve this.

3. Practice Open Communication

Communication is one of the most important skills individuals need when in the workplace. Passive-aggressive tendencies should not be tolerated, and individuals should feel comfortable reaching out for help when they need it.

Honesty and open-mindedness are key foundations when having open communication. Make sure you’re treating your fellow employees with the same courtesy you want them to have for you.

4. Think in the Long-Term

As I mentioned before, it’s all too easy to get bogged down by your daily schedule. Small tasks and assignments can seem pointless if you’re not thinking about the grand scheme of your office.

That’s why it’s important to have continuous discussions about a team’s goals. Have an open dialogue about how each person contributes to the long-term successes of the organization. In turn, it can be helpful to set up individual goals for each team member.

5. Create Safety

Again, people want to feel safe coming to work every day. To have this safety affect collaboration, there are a few characteristics that an organization should adopt.

First, make it known that it’s okay to make mistakes and that the responsible thing to do is to own up to a mistake. The quicker this is accomplished, the quicker any wrongs can be righted while minimizing finger-pointing and any hard feelings moving forward.

Create a culture in which each person has their own voice and their contributions matter. It’s much easier to disengage from a workplace when someone isn’t valued than one in which they’re continuously asked to dig deep and challenge themselves.

Finally, help create trust among employees. Don’t tolerate office gossip and stand by people who are going through rough patches. Hold everyone accountable for what they say they’re going to do.

6. Know Your Strengths

Every person has a strength or unique characteristic that they can bring to the table. Teammates should get to know one another to discern what these characteristics are and create action plans for emphasizing them in projects.

Not only will this create a better end-product, but people will also feel more engaged with the contribution they’re making because it’s something that they’re good at. As time goes on and people learn more and more about each other’s strengths, the collaboration will grow to be more natural.

Collaboration in Healthcare

In the life-and-death situations that are commonplace within the healthcare industry, collaboration is vital to provide quality care and to create a functional work environment. How, though, do you go about creating change in a place where the work tends to be intense and fast-paced? Here are a few ideas:

  • Establish clear-cut teams and what each person’s role in a team will be.
  • Make use of technology that allows multiple people to remain up to date on specific cases and situations.
  • Don’t hesitate to delegate.
  • Make sure everyone is held accountable.

Creating a Collaborative Workplace

Whatever your field, collaboration is essential for meeting goals and pushing your organization to do better. The need for new perspectives and ideas cannot be overlooked.

Think you might be working within a toxic environment? These six ideas will provide a bandaid, but not a cure. Find out for sure by taking my free assessment. Once you have the results, we can create a plan together to shift the culture into a more collaborative and healthy corporate culture.