Choosing your team members wisely is always important for your business. But, it is not enough to just pick the right people for the right job, that is only one aspect of the selection. In order for your business to work in harmony as a whole, and reach its full potential through its capital in human resources, collaboration must be perceived as one of the most essential assets of your business.
Collaboration doesn’t happen by itself, well at least not in a way suitable for your business. Your job is to create positive conditions and lay down a foundation where collaboration can and will flourish the way your business needs it to. It should have roots in your organization culture through which it can easily be transferred to the whole team. A well-coordinated team open to collaborate, mutual support and a common goal is what will make your innovation process exceptional.
Motivation plays a big role here. Motivated team members directly reflect on the collaboration process and the output. So let’s see how you can motivate your team members to significantly boost collaboration, and strengthen your innovation process at the same time.
1. Setting an example
Be an example yourself, simple as it sounds. Remember, your team members are looking up to you. Your team needs a leader capable of motivating them, encouraging teamwork, ideas, and creativity. Take part in collaboration activities, be the one who creates a safe place where everyone feels welcome to express themselves. In return, you will gain more trust from your team members, be directly engaged in the collaboration process, and simply steer it the way you want it to go.
Of course, this does not mean you should take part in every collaboration activity, but simply being present from time to time, letting your team members know you are there for them is going to be a big motivator for them. This is because, on one hand, they will know that you are there to support them, and will feel appreciated knowing that you are considering their ideas, and on the other hand, for those who tend to slack more, this will be a reason to work harder. This way you are up to date with what’s going on first-hand, and at the same time your team members are motivated to work harder.
2. Creating the right work conditions
The work environment indirectly impacts the mood of your team. So try and create an open and relaxed environment. Giving your team the autonomy it needs will surely have a positive impact on the performance. Not only will your team members be more motivated, but, yet again, you will gain more trust for giving them the freedom they need.
Sometimes, even remote working might be the key for some members. Thanks to the technology itself, supported by what we’ve witnessed in the last few months, collaboration can happen from the coziness of one’s own home. Creating a culture that everyone can identify with and understand it clearly makes it all easier.
Let’s face it, we all like to be praised for the good work we’ve done. So always give recognition to your team members for the work they’ve achieved and for their involvement in group activities. Set up a reward program, and that will spark the fire. Cash prizes, gift cards, and “traditional” prizes are one way to reward your colleagues, but sometimes there are things that motivate more than money and that your team members will appreciate more. Maybe getting a more personalized gift, something that fits that exact person, might be more appreciated because it would mean that you clearly pay attention to each and every team member and regard them as individuals. This will create a sense of purpose and closeness with your colleagues and encourage openness to collaboration even more. Opportunities for self-improvement such as advancing, training, and learning new skills are also great motivators. This will indirectly reinforce the collaboration culture and strengthen your innovation process.
4. Make it fun
Whether you would like to admit it or not, we all have that inner child within us. So why not try to create a more playful collaboration process that people will be more willing to participate in. It can mean more visuals because they tend to have a positive impact on people and their performance. Gamification is already the “IT” thing almost everyone is looking up to. Even if you don’t have software that has gamification elements, you can always go the “old-school” ways, giving out badges and trophies for the achievement of your team members. This simple and playful approach will encourage your team members to put in some more effort, and all that through play. It is also a great way to encourage some friendly competition between different teams.
Remember, collaboration is about a group of different individuals working for the same goal. Your job is to steer it in the way you want it to go and at the same time provide the right conditions and acknowledgment for your team members. There is no room for Ego, micromanaging, and looking down on others. Mistakes can and will happen and your goal is to try, give your best and learn from them. If you haven’t so far, now is the time to pay more attention to collaboration within your business. Because after all, two, or multiple, heads are better than one.