As a business, you understand how critical it is that your workforce performs faster, smarter and with ever-increasing effectiveness. Executives, responsible for purchase related decision making, are mmentmpletely on track with the need for enterprise wide social technologies that help improve collaboration. This is especially true for large scale organisations that have a global presence and require simultaneous support from employees located in different time zones.
While the technology for collaboration has existed for a while, it hasn’t been utilised properly. It is safe to consider it a solution that has great promise, however it is yet to reach its full potential. It should be noted that these technologies should have abilities beyond simply easing communication and knowledge sharing amongst employees. They should impact the way work is carried out. By empowering teamwork, organisations will witness an improvement in results, productivity and innovation.
Once you know how important collaboration tools are, you want to learn how they can boost performance at your business. By employing three simple strategies, you can be at the top of the collaborative ladder while getting an innovative edge within your industry.
When you introduce collaborative technology in your organisation, you do not merely digitise your workflow. You ensure the possibility of adopting new ways to perform tasks. Your technology should be embedded within work processes, helping employees accept it naturally. Objectives should be set with specifics about industry and job roles.
When a construction company launched a platform for its employees to share ideas and experiences, its team working on a program for alternative fuels was able to devise a plan to reduce almost 2 million metric tons of CO2 emissions yearly. This resulted in $140 million worth of savings and $80 million of earnings when CO2 credits were sold.
You can also use collaborative technology to serve as a guide for how to optimise the processes within your workflow to increase output and improve quality. A platform for “social workflow” can create an environment where groups are guided about a standard and optimised work plan. Task, templates and roles are outlined well in advance. Members of the team will take advantage of the platform by conducting discussions, handing off completed work, reviewing checklists, obtaining approvals and sharing updates. The management can benefit from work-stream analytics while studying the effectiveness of processes performed. They can identify areas of improvement and the success of collaboration within teams.
Your work does not stop once you’ve introduced collaborative technologies within the organisation. You need to engage in activities that give way to change management – work on encouraging, shaping and incentivising collaborative behaviour that you desire within your employees. Unfortunately, without realising it, we frequently recognise and reward behaviour that is internally competitive rather than collaborative. Such practices undermine our efforts towards prioritising collaboration.
In the beginning, organisations that sought to give employees an incentive for knowledge sharing would focus on the quantity of their posts rather than quality. A technology solutions firm thought to revise how it would encourage its employees to use tools for collaboration. It established a game in which winners would be rewarded.
Points were awarded for tasks completed, questions answered or performing other work while logged into the organisation’s own social network. Employees could unlock achievements in succession and then complete their assigned “missions”. They would also receive recognition and rewards for expertise gained within the network. As a result, 21% of total activity increased, while shaping behaviour that supported successful business outcomes.
It is important for technology to support today’s work habits as well those needed for the future. More companies are embracing a new model of operation whereby various businesses – the company in itself, its outsourced partners, its vendors and others – are working together to achieve a single goal. Success for this operating model can only be guaranteed when professionals can collaborate effectively. A similar trend involves the sourcing and deploying of talent. Mirroring the new operating model for companies, workforces have moved towards efficiently combining employees: external, internal and probable ones.
Crowdsourcing and web 2.0 have provided firms the opportunity to assign a portion of tasks to workers who might not be employed within the organisation. An organisation that specialises in providing support services to customers globally, has a simple solution: it hires home-based contractors who freelance and have their own preference for work hours. Its collaborative platform is used to track contractor performance. Those with high performance receive recognition, additional jobs and an increase in pay. This approach provides organisations the benefit to make adjustments to the number of representatives they need and allows them to handle a sudden influx of demand.
In modern times, the definition of teamwork and staff productivity has been completely revised. By failing to harness critical improvements in technology, you leave your business at risk of missing out on key growth aspects. As you adopt collaboration, you potentially arm your business with the ability to improve its agility, aid decision making and generate new ideas. Given the enthusiasm for collaboration, the market does not lack in providing solutions: you can browse through social platform tools sold by vendors as well as tools for crowdsourcing offered by employees. Assess how fruitful these tools will be for you and dive in to make the most of the opportunities at hand.