Building a culture of collaboration for your small business is very important—it’s one of many ingredients that will help your business succeed. Creating a collaborative environment will not only produce results more quickly and effectively, but it will also help employees feel connected to your company’s mission and goals.
Plus, the culture you build internally can extend to your customer interactions, too. For example, at some companies video chatting is second nature, but at others it’s like pulling teeth. If your internal team hates video because they don’t have an easy-to-use program that supports it, then they definitely won’t use it with their customers. But if it’s ingrained in the company culture and comes naturally to employees, customers will be provided with a seamless experience.
Here are five reasons why building a culture of collaboration in your small business is so important:
Collaborative work cultures drive results
Research shows that top employers were five times more likely to reward collaboration. This means that companies with collaborative cultures, that focused on rewarding teams rather than individuals, were more likely to perform at higher levels than companies that focused on the individual.
The study, which looked at more than 1,100 companies, found that purposefully pursuing collaboration is the primary reason that high-performance companies like Patagonia achieve their desired business outcomes with such high levels of success.
Think about it: if a sales associate is out of town and has an opportunity to close a deal, companies with a collaborative culture will easily be able to coordinate the employee to get them what they need in order to seal the deal.
Or, imagine this: you’re a small ice cream company, and your dairy supplier was unable to fulfill your order for the week. If you have a good collaborative team, they’ll be able to quickly find a new supplier and resume production without delay.
Long story short? Collaboration drives results (and revenue).
Collaborating brings new perspectives
Have you ever been stuck working on a problem, only for a “fresh pair of eyes” to solve it in a second? That’s the power of collaboration. Bouncing ideas off of your coworkers can help bring fresh perspectives to the table when you need it most.
Each person on your team brings different ideas, life experiences and knowledge to the group, so collaborating allows employees to learn from each other and share their skills with one another.
Like the phrase “iron sharpens iron,” when a bunch of talented people get together to collaborate — whether it be a creative brainstorm or to solve a problem — great things happen.
Collaboration boosts morale
Not only can collaboration improve revenue and results for your company, but it can also boost morale for your employees.
When a team collaborates well together, they’re able to freely share ideas without the fear of being judged or admonished. These types of collaboration sessions make employees feel like their ideas are being heard and are valued by their coworkers.
Collaboration also cultivates good relationships between employees. The more time they spend brainstorming and collaborating together, the more they learn about each other, their communication styles and how to effectively work together.
Collaboration helps teams stay connected
As more and more companies transition to fully remote work, it’s more important than ever to make sure your team feels connected. Text-only communication can sometimes dehumanize employees and lead to miscommunication, lack of productivity and frustration. But when your employees have multiple ways to communicate — through text, video call, phone call, fax and more — they can effectively collaborate, and in turn, feel more connected to each other and the company.
Collaboration keeps you focused on the bigger picture
Without collaboration, employees will feel disconnected from the rest of the company, and in turn focus on individual problems or setbacks they face.
When employees actively and effectively collaborate with other members of their team, or even with coworkers from different departments, they’ll end up spending more time focused on the big picture goals, rather than the minutia.
A great way to build a collaborative work culture is to use tools that make it easy.
Communicator, the app interface for our b-hive unified communications and collaboration platform, was designed with collaboration in mind: you can start a chat or call with a single click of a button and seamlessly switch between different communication methods depending on what suits your needs best.