5 Steps to Creating a Collaborative Enterprise Workplace
Productivity and profitably are high on the list of goals for every enterprise, but how can managers steer their companies in the right direction to help it meet those goals? It’s becoming increasingly difficult, especially when employees are facing a serious case of communications overload that is actually hindering productivity, thereby limiting profitability. Case in point: According to a recent study from Radicati, enterprise employees receive an average of 120 emails a day. With that volume—not to mention the barrage of information coming from additional communications tools such as messaging apps and mobile phones—how can teams possibly get anything of substance done?
Today’s enterprise managers need to create a collaborative workplace environment, one where the goals of productivity and profitability are front and center and there are clear, actionable processes in place to help team members succeed. Here are 5 ways enterprises can get started:
1) Define Productivity. Productivity is formally defined as the effectiveness of productive effort as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input. In the workplace, productivity means a product or project has been completed on or before deadline, using the projected—or fewer—hours, resources or money. In essence, it’s getting more work done in less time. When projects, and the individual roles, tasks, budgets and deadlines are clearly defined, conditions are ripe for productivity.
2) Embrace Collaboration. Collaboration is essential to most teams and businesses. Often, we assume teams naturally collaborate well; however, that’s not always the case. Productive collaboration is made up of variety of processes and elements, each of which can be improved incrementally. When clear expectations are defined, and every team member knows his individual role, the seeds of a collaborative workplace are planted. Managers can nurture those seeds by encouraging open and effective communication and an atmosphere of appreciation of diverse opinions—and quick resolution to issues as they arise.
3) Create Transparency. Team transparency means there’s clear visibility into the tasks, status and progress of every team member—and the project as a whole. This visibility increases team transparency, reduces the need to chase people down, and gives a dynamic history of what activity has taken place over the course of the workflow or project. Without transparency, managers may tend to micromanage because they don’t see another way to ensure projects stay on track. When managers can see what each team member is doing, and how the project is progressing as a whole, they themselves become a much more effective leader.
4) Encourage Accountability. Today, most enterprises’ competitive advantages lie in effective team collaboration and moving faster than their competition. Companies that don’t foster accountability may typically see team members moving more slowly, missing deadlines, and frequently feeling that they’re playing catch-up, as opposed to moving forward. This can lead to losing that competitive edge that comes from moving quickly as a team. When individuals and teams know who is doing what, and in real-time, they can move together to help the enterprise meet its larger goals. Having self-led methods to track tasks gives employees ways to demonstrate effectiveness and accountability to their co-workers and their managers. This accountability can lead to increased exposure and opportunities within an organization, as well as increase employee satisfaction and retention.
5) Embrace Analytics. In today’s workplace, data is key. Being able to analyze data to spot trends and trouble spots, review current and historical assignments, understand team member workloads, and project timelines based on past projects—all of these factors can help enterprises drive more efficiency across their business.
By providing the basis for a collaborative workplace environment, managers will find it’s easier to help team members—and the team as a whole—succeed in reaching their goals. In these scenarios, productivity and profitability are a natural byproduct.
About Dan Schoenbaum
Dan joined Redbooth as CEO in September 2011. He has 19 years of leadership with high-growth software companies. Prior to Redbooth, Dan was the COO and Chief Business Development Officer for Tripwire, a leader in the enterprise security market, where he helped triple revenues to $90M, file an S1 on the NASDAQ and sell the company. Dan was also the Chairman of Mergers & Acquisitions and VP, Strategy at Compuware (Nasdaq: CPWR) - a billion dollar enterprise software company and is credited with the creation of an 800M line of products at Mercury Interactive (acquired by HP for $4.6B). Dan is on the board of Evolven Software and was a First Sergeant and a sniper in the Israeli paratroopers.
Edited by Kyle Piscioniere