How to Create a Culture of Collaboration 0 268

How to Create a Culture of Collaboration

A company needs its employees to work together.  For the organization to function well, it must have multiple people with different expertise and skills working together towards a single goal. Basically, a company needs its people to collaborate.

But moving fast, innovating, and excelling all at the same time is a hard thing to do. It’s even harder if you put people with varying beliefs, personalities and abilities together.

How to Create a Culture of Collaboration
How to Create a Culture of Collaboration

So the big question is, “How do we create a culture based on collaboration?”

Know the “Why”

Before anyone can collaborate, they need to know why they should do it in the first place. Some professionals may refuse to work with other people because they believe that they don’t need the help of others.

To convince these kinds of people, you need to show them that the project cannot be done by a single professional. Tell them that it will be faster and efficient if a group of people with special skills work together. Plant the seeds of cooperation early and you’ll see fantastic results.

Have a meeting and invite everyone involved in the project. Explain to them clearly why you need their services and why you need to solve this problem. If people know the “why”, then all that’s left for them is to “do”.

Use the UX Mindset

The user experience mindset or UX mindset for short is a way of thinking that puts the customer first. It reframes how you think and it will give you a new work perspective. Integrating the UX mindset into the team will instill cooperation.

People unite under the UX mindset because they have a common goal. Instead of bickering with one another, people will set aside their differences to create an amazing user experience.

Teach people to respect roles

Respect or to be more accurate, the lack of respect is one of the biggest reasons why people refuse to cooperate. Lack of respect stems from a feeling of loss, elitism, miscommunications, misunderstandings, and ignorance.

It’s hard to teach people to respect someone that they’ve just met. However “hard” does not mean that it’s impossible.

To remove lack of respect from your team, you simply need to show them respect. Respect can be gained by clearing up misunderstandings, having a positive outlook, and understanding the bigger picture.

An ignorant employee might complain that a certain job or role is useless but once you show them why the bigger picture, they will understand their foolishness and begin to show a little bit of respect.

How to Create a Culture of Collaboration
How to Create a Culture of Collaboration

Teach your people to accept and embrace change

The only true constant in this world is changing.  Change is something that happens all of the time but for most people change can be a bad thing.  Your people might be comfortable with the status quo and the thought of change is a scary notion for them.

However, change is needed for progress.  You simply need to convince yourself and your people that change can be good. You simply need to look at it from a different perspective. Show them that they’ll be getting more than what they’ve bargained for. All they need to do is to simply learn and embrace change.

Sure, some changes can be rough. And change may lead to tough times, but you have to take risks to move forward.

If this isn’t enough to convince them, then you can use change as a way to stimulate people. Frame the change as something that creates adventure and excitement. Frame it in a way so that they will learn to love the unknown.

Improve the communication between team members

People cannot collaborate if they can’t communicate with each other. And standard communication isn’t enough, they have to communicate perfectly with one another.

Perfect communication between team members is hard and it isn’t just about telling people what to do. No, perfect communication is a much trickier task. You must teach your people to use the right words at the right time.

Improper communication can lead to arguments. The use of incorrect words might offend people and impact them on a subconscious level. Learn ways to reframe your words, because a single word can alter your intended message.

Effects of a Culture based on Collaboration

A culture that promotes teamwork and collaboration is ideal. There are tons of benefits from having your people work well together. But some of the most notable and most important effects would be…

An increase in creativity and morale

This is probably one of the most obvious and most notable effects of a collaborative culture. Teams are more creative and more positive since they get along well with one another. People will also feel better if the workplace promotes teaming up and working with others.

How to Create a Culture of Collaboration
How to Create a Culture of Collaboration

More innovative members

A culture that promotes working together will also promote new ideas and new opportunities. Team members are more likely to participate in meetings since they feel comfortable talking and sharing their ideas.

Innovation stems from the will to change. And if people are open to change and new opportunities, then they are welcoming innovation with open arms.

Better ROI

Achieving a culture based on collaboration is hard. It might even be impossible for others, but once you reach it, it would be worth your while.

When a team is collaborative, they work faster and better with one another. People are more content with their work and they will do their best most of the time. People are also more creative, and innovation blooms freely in the work area.

In the long run, the team will be able to produce quality products and the company will make more money in the long run.

Conclusion

Mankind is capable of creating wonderful and amazing things. I mean we’ve created airplanes that can fly in the air, we’ve harnessed the power of lightning, and we’ve created cities that can accommodate millions of people.

This is all thanks to collaboration and teamwork. Creating a collaborative culture in your workplace is a big deal. Expect better products, better relationships, and overall a better team.

Creating an ideal setting where people promote the idea of teamwork and camaraderie is hard but it is well worth it. If you’re a manager and aren’t doing this to your team, then you’re missing out!

Here’s a great read – Top 4 Tips for Building a Real Networking Community

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Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace 0 326

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

Honesty is the best policy is an old but well-known proverb. It certainly is and a lot of people believe it. People will always appreciate the honesty of another.

However, the truth is uncomfortable to talk about, especially when you’re in an office set up. Business relationships are always built in a way where you need to put on a false persona. You need to save face and most of the time you have to hide who you really are.

Many professionals have to put up with this because authenticity in the workplace is something that can’t be easily achieved. No matter what your background is, the cold and honest (ironic huh?) truth remains that you have to hide your real persona.

Being authentic at work might trigger other people. You will be the target of envy, of scorn, and you will be an outcast.

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace
Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

What now?

So what does freedom in work actually mean? Does it mean having a pantry filled with things that you can eat at your own leisure? Does it mean having a dress code that allows you to come into the office while your favorite hoodie and sweatpants?

This is true for some people but to many others, it means being able to bring out who they truly are without having to fear to be an outcast. It means that’s they can simply be themselves. The question now presents itself, how do we achieve this for everyone?

We are all made up of layers

In this age, if you don’t act like other people or do what other people do, then you are already a target for scorn. Your unique perspective and actions aren’t really accepted by corporations and businesses.

People who come from the LGBTQ+ community or married individuals who choose not to have children may find that even the simplest of questions could open up a hazardous path leading to awkward office conversations. These people may be forced to answer a question that they don’t want to answer.

Questions like “when do you plan on having kids?” or “are you really gay?” are inquiries that people who fall under the spectrum of being ‘different’ have to deal with every day.  And honestly, it can get very tiring after a while.

Even if you aren’t technically hiding your sexual orientation, people will always still want you to magically conform to the norms of society. They may be thinking that asking questions like this might magically make you change your mind on whatever you’ve already set your heart on. To be honest, this never works.

The Global Head of Culture & Inclusion at Twilio, LaFawn Davis says that “We are all intersectional, meaning all have layers with which we identify. There can also be negative and long-term impact on intersectional technologists from expending the energy to determine whether or not all their layers will be welcomed or excluded”

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace
Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

The Pressure to Cover

In day to day office conversations, a non-conforming person may find themselves straining their minds. They are always burdened because they are always trying to think of ways to communicate with other co-workers without offending any of them.

An example of this would be, someone who does not have any interest in the importance of marriage or relationships in general. This person would have to find a way to explain that they are not interested in other people without offending the inquirer. In some cases, the non-conformist will have to evade the question altogether.

In tow with evading a conversation, individuals who find themselves in this type of situation commonly resort to talking about another co-worker. Not from ill intent, but from the perspective that this would be the only way to change the topic.

Of course, this is easier said than done. For the non-conformist, it would be hardly able to shake off the innate feeling of wanting to be different. One could not simply toss aside the feeling of being authentic. But, to talk about taboo things in the office would only lead to more complications.

Research shows that the act of ‘covering’, or the act of someone downplaying their differences from the norm actually affects the workforce badly. 3000 employees in over 20 large US firms had a turnout of 61% of employees that had faced implicit pressure to cover up their true selves in some way. While 50% of employees said that the pressure had disappeared because of their commitment to the company.

However, this practice still has a negative effect on people. This practice hinders the performance of the workers, and it could drain the individual in the process. Covering is also seen as a leading cause of attrition, with over 1000 casualties in companies.

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace
Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

Lead with Empathy

The best solution to this persistent problem is to develop safer and friendlier environments for people who fall under the spectrum of ‘non-conforming’. Leading with empathy includes implementing inclusive values, such as respecting an individual’s preferred pronouns.

To an employee, the people with the most influence are their supervisors. Once their team managers make them feel like their needs are acknowledged and that they’ve established that they are in a safe zone, then these individuals will feel less of an outcast and less likely to leave the company. Authentic concern for employees always produces good results, whether or not they are classified into the minority.

Supervisors must also strive to lead by example. Once someone from a higher position starts setting a new norm, their subordinates will start picking up on the habit. If everyone in the company starts being their true to themselves without having to hide behind a mask, then the company can slowly become a safe and conducive environment.

Being ‘authentic’ in this world is a hard feat to accomplish, but staying open and humble in a conversation helps in trying to make authenticity become the new norm. There is no single answer to the existing problem but if leaders lead with bravery and trust, they are sure to herd the industry into the right path.

How to Create a Culture of Collaboration.

How to Actually Enjoy Working After Hours 0 273

How to Actually Enjoy Working After Hours

The modern worker is no stranger to working after hours. While your job offer did not explicitly say that you would be working a few hours after 5 pm, you might be needed to work extra hours because of deadlines and changes in schedule. In fact, it’s even a norm now. Not a lot of people can escape from this trend. And if you were asked to work extra hours, then you might as well enjoy it right?

Picture this. It’s finally time to go home, but then your boss calls you about a project that you need to finish ASAP. It’s a bummer, however, it’s a situation that we are powerless to stop. Working overtime doesn’t mean working uncomfortably though. Here are a few tips and tricks to make your late night a bit more pleasant.

Go Home if You Can

If you’re able to bring your documents or project files home, then, by all means, do it. A lot of work doesn’t mean that you will have to stay and do it all at once inside the office. A change of scenery and of ambiance will dramatically boost your productivity. Staying in the same place for a long period of time will bore you and it will eventually wear you down.

Your work will feel less of a burden as you find yourself in the comfort of your own home. Relax and leave your professional persona without having to worry about anyone looking over your shoulder, have some dinner or snacks, dress up comfortably and finish up what you need to do.

How to Actually Enjoy Working After Hours
How to Actually Enjoy Working After Hours

Get Comfortable

If your office comes equipped with lockers or if you have your own permanent workstation, then it would be a good idea to change into a set of comfortable clothes. It’s extremely useful for times that you need to burn that midnight oil.

Being in the office after hours means that there are fewer people to see what you’re doing. This also means that there are no supervisors to tell you what to do. It’s time to loosen your tie and make yourself at home. You can even take off your shoes and put your feet on the desk.

Take a Break and Eat Something

Can’t leave the office and go back home for a good meal? Give yourself a break and look for ways to eat out or eat in (whatever you prefer). There’s no use in working on an empty stomach. See if you can get food delivered to your building, or if there is anything in the office pantry that you can munch on.

How to Actually Enjoy Working After Hours
How to Actually Enjoy Working After Hours

Feeling a little drowsy? Go get a cup of coffee to improve your condition.

If dinner is out of the picture, remember that you can snack on other things until you get home. Get some nuts, or some candy, to help wake you up and keep your focus.

Know Your Limits

Working after hours is challenging as it is, but if you feel like you won’t be able to do anything productive, then learn to stop and call it a day.

If you’re tired and worn out, then stop. You’re just putting your work to waste. You’ll probably be called out on it and you’ll have to do your work all over again. If staying up late is not your forte, why not just call it a day? Wake up earlier the next day and finish everything you haven’t. Your work will produce better results this way.

Start With the Most Urgent and Most Challenging Things

After getting your game face on, organize and execute your tasks based on priority and difficulty. Confirm which ones you will need to present tomorrow morning and which ones you need to do right away.

The next thing that you have to do is to start on the tasks that require your full brainpower to execute. You may not be able to finish the whole task tonight, but having a head start will help you finish things easier. A solid foundation is a key to finishing any task without difficulty.

How to Actually Enjoy Working After Hours
How to Actually Enjoy Working After Hours

Plan Before You Get Started

Starting without a plan is like going on a trip without a map or a navigation app. failing to plan is planning to fail you know.

You’ll soon find yourself getting lost in a sea of things to do. Make a list of things that you need to do before setting out to finish them.

You may discover things that you won’t be able to do without a co-worker’s cooperation. Before business hours end, remember to make a list of things you need from other people so that you can do your work effectively. This will ensure a smooth sailing operation for both you and your colleague.

Set Yourself Up for the Next Day

Tonight isn’t the only night you’ll be working in the office. Remember that you need to come back the next day to start on your other tasks (or tasks that you didn’t finish tonight). Make a list of everything you need to have.

If you did your extra work at home, then spend time preparing for the things that you the next day.

Treat Yourself

All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy. Are you finally done with your tasks? Are you ready to go home? Awesome!

Your efforts to finish the task deserve a reward. No matter how small the reward, you’ll still get a good confidence boost. Take some time to treat yourself.

Let your mind and body unwind with a good bath, indulge in a snack, or if you feel too tired to do anything, then go to sleep. Sleep is the best reward that you can give your body.

Conclusion

Working late to accomplish tasks isn’t an easy or fun thing to do, but it’ll be a little bit more bearable if you know how to handle it effectively. Hopefully, late night jobs don’t happen to you frequently. Remember to take care of yourself and recognize when enough is enough.

You can do it!

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