Most businesses today understand, on some level, that seamless internal collaboration is key to business success. Studies show that high levels of collaboration result in more engaged employees who communicate openly and don’t fall prey to bottlenecks (like managers taking too long to approve projects). This, in turn, results in better service delivery and improved customer experience.
However, when it comes to building an enabling environment that encourages online and offline employee collaboration, many companies still fail and continue to operate in restrictive silos. In today’s era, with the rise of hybrid working, companies need to think about implementing efficient collaboration platforms that can easily connect teams, regardless of employees working in the office or remotely.
The power of collaboration
Before digging into what businesses should be looking for in online collaboration tools, it’s worth digging into what makes collaboration so powerful.
Besides the increased employee engagement mentioned above, effective collaboration also improves the flow of information in the organization and promotes better communication. This, in turn, results in faster problem resolution. Employees recognize it too.
According to a study, 86% of employees attribute workplace failures to a lack of collaboration and ineffective communication. When people work collaboratively, they are also more likely to complete a task. In other words, collaboration is crucial for any organization looking for long-term success.
The right tools to digitally recreate a collaborative culture – what to look for
As many organizations have learned over the past couple of years, the general assortment of tools they previously relied on is no longer enough. Switching between instant messaging services, meeting platforms and productivity solutions means that vital information is bound to get lost at some point.
Context deferral, informational continuity, and service consistency become challenges for employees when they are forced to use a non-integrated set of tools for their day-to-day work. When the employee experience decreases, it has a direct effect on the customer experience.
So, as the virtual world invades the workplace and becomes a permanent part of it, organizations need to think about implementing an enterprise-wide collaboration and connectivity platform that enables both inter and intra-team communications, breaks down silos and helps maintain employee productivity levels.
In particular, productivity platforms or suites that bring together essential office productivity needs such as email, instant messaging, internal forums, A/V conferencing, word processors with live collaboration features , etc., with tight integrations and consistent interfaces allow these applications to become all the more powerful and provide contextual relevance across services.
For example, when e-mail and instant messaging applications work together, employees have an easier time converting e-mail conversations that warrant live chats into threads and transferring relevant information to the inbox. discussion. Based on chat discussions, employees can also add end deliverables as personal tasks directly from the chat box. And online word processors that facilitate live collaboration, allowing multiple people to contribute and comment simultaneously, can be convenient and life-changing for remote workers. Not to mention the version control issues that can be avoided by saving employees from having to email documents.
Another aspect to look for in collaboration suites is the ability to integrate this internal collaboration into business applications such as CRMs. For example, the ability of an instant messaging tool to contextually integrate with an organization’s CRM platform will allow executives to discuss a certain ticket via chat or a quick audio call before responding. to the client.
Collaboration-friendly elements like these can further increase productivity levels and speed up work, while making working across multiple departments a seamless experience for employees.
Change of mentality
To help fuel the mindset shift needed to ensure that digital collaboration takes root in a company’s organizational culture, it’s equally critical that leaders embrace, and are seen to adopt, the platform. If they take full advantage of it, their team members will also be incentivized to do so.
At the same time, employees around the world are also suffering from digital burnout and virtual fatigue as their entire work schedules shift online. It is therefore vital that managers balance empathy and humanity with the use of such tools in a non-intrusive way.
It should be clear by now that there is no turning back for organizations that have digitized so rapidly over the past two years. They can, however, move forward in a way that encourages collaboration and cultural retention, regardless of where their employees work.