With seven out of ten IT professionals rating improving collaboration as a high priority for their organizations this year, we turned to our pool of expert partners and customers to learn more about their collaboration success stories. After carefully analyzing their best practices, we’ve narrowed down the data to our Top Seven Habits of Highly Effective Collaboration Organizations.
In order to be at peak collaboration capability, it’s important to make sure everyone is taking part in the conversation and has a seat at the table — including your remote workers and teleworkers. Not only does this create a larger knowledge pool, motivated employees and contingency-proof practices, it also positively impacts the overall office culture. When it comes to those who can’t physically be there for important team meetings, making sure they feel included and valued via video is critical to effective collaboration. Major League Baseball, for example, makes meetings accessible to everyone through video and live streaming. By using video conferencing, more employees were able to get involved and felt encouraged to share their ideas and opinions without having to travel across the country.
So how does one get in the habit of practicing inclusivity? Consider replacing the multiple tools being used across your organization with one easy-to-use solution with a centralized directory that can enable multiple communication technologies. This way, you can cut service contract overlaps and practice the highly effective collaboration habit of inclusivity.
You can’t call yourself an inclusive organization without making sure all of your employees have been smoothly onboarded into the company culture and tech ecosystem. As the second habit of a highly collaborative workforce, integrated communication puts the focus on ensuring that your message and brand are consistent, regardless of the channel that’s used as the vehicle to share that message.
Having a completely integrated team leads to fluid communication and stronger partnerships and relationships with colleagues and customers, so it’s important to approach integration strategically. By taking inventory and identifying the tools you don’t need, you’re able to develop a collaboration ecosystem with tools that are consistent across all devices. Look for tools that utilize SSO, have video that is interoperable across third-party devices and have easy guest calling for your customers who might not be equipped with the same tools.
Working for an organization that is proactive instead of reactive sets that company above the rest. It’s better to know about the problems being thrown at you and start solving them before they start affecting the rest of the organization and your customers. A proactive collaboration culture enables teams to put out the spark before it starts a fire.
Of course, getting in the habit of being proactive instead of reactive takes time and practice, but the benefits go a long way. Email and chat are traditionally reactive forms of communication, whereas connecting over video is a very proactive form of communication. By connecting over video, you can get answers faster, reduce miscommunication and fix errors without deterring your regular work schedule.
Proactivity isn’t just for end users. A highly effective communications platform is only highly effective if it’s working. The Lifesize Admin Console proactively monitors your environment and alerts you to issues like unplugged cords or network connectivity issues so you can fix problems before they impact your team communication.
Creating Positive Environments
Being immersed in a positive and open environment is another key to success when it comes to becoming a highly collaborative organization. People are more willing to share their ideas around positivity and reflect that positivity in their work ethic. Just by creating an open and diverse dialogue within your team, the results are increased engagement, productivity, team bonding and collaboration— and it all starts with being open-minded and encouraging others to think outside of the box.
But the importance of creating a positive environment doesn’t stop in the office. Deloitte recently found that the younger generation also looks for business leaders who are eager to be proactive about making a positive impact on society as well as in the workplace. So in addition to providing your employees with the right tools they need to be self-motivated and encouraged, it’s also just as important to look at the bigger picture.
Most forward-thinking companies have said at least once, “There’s no such thing as a bad idea,” and that’s because most of these organizations value those who think creatively. Creativity is at the heart of business innovation, and innovation is the engine of growth and team bonding. Not only does it increase the curiosity that drives the desire to learn and try new things, it also opens up the mind to explore paths that haven’t been traveled before. Being open-minded and inclusive of those with new ideas makes collaborating as a team easier and forges stronger working relationships.
Just by equipping everyone with the right tools and encouraging them to use those tools without strict limitations, you’ll find a huge return on your investment as teams find creative new ways to collaborate smarter, faster and easier.
Effective Time Management
Harvard recently conducted a survey and found that 92% of employees failed to achieve their long-term goals because of time poverty. Relatable, right? There never seems to be enough time in the workday to get things done when you’re running from meeting to meeting and squeezing in time to reply to all 300 emails.
Try deploying a tool that syncs everyone’s calendars — no more trying to figure out when everyone is available, no more wasting time waiting on other team members and no more missing deadlines. Just by recording your meetings and meeting face to face over video, you can achieve maximum efficiency and increased engagement and motivation. In fact, meeting face to face is equivalent to 34 emails back and forth! Take back your time — communicate and collaborate smarter with the right tools and get things done faster.
Ability to Adapt and Evolve
It’s easy to say you’re a risk-taker — it’s harder to actually be one. Accepting change is hard, but taking risks and evolving with progress is important in order to grow and maintain credibility and validity as an organization. If you become a naysayer, the struggle to adapt is only going to be twice as hard.
In order to adapt well, it’s important to look at the numbers. Data and analytics will show how team members and customers are reacting to a new product or campaign, and then you can move quickly in reshaping and taking those opinions into consideration. Deploying a technology that can adapt to the newest workplace and industry trends is key to how your organization functions and collaborates. With a tool like Lifesize, scalability, consistency across platforms and automatic updates are all a part of the deal — no need to call IT to manually update your meeting room systems or break the bank by buying all new sets of tools anymore.
Whether your organization practices just a few of these habits or all seven, striving to be better collaborators is what makes a company great. There’s always room to grow when it comes to how effectively we collaborate with our colleagues and customers, whether that be through consolidating our communication tools or just opening up the floor for more dialogue with our team members. Want to get started on getting those habits in check? Sign up for a free trial of Lifesize and experience what meeting smarter and better is really like. It’s easy — we promise.