According to a recent Gallup poll, one of the best ways to drive internal growth is through enhanced employee collaboration. Below introduces four strategies to help encourage internal growth and collaboration.
One of the biggest obstacles to collaboration is indirect interference from management. This is when managers encourage unsupervised teamwork, but will continue to micromanage their employee’s choices and performances. Higher-ups must learn to take some steps back in order to embrace change and honest feedback. This may be hard for certain supervisors who prefer to be intimately involved with business operations, but it will help them professionally grow in the end. Keep in mind that as employees become more empowered, they will take on more responsibility and independently strive to improve quality and efficiency.
Another major obstacle to internal growth is unintended criticism from management. You may encourage employees to openly share their ideas and opinions, but immediately downplay the potential usefulness or outright reject the suggestion. Learn to embrace diverse ideas. Cultivating a culture of change that challenges preexisting notions and industry standards is a start. Have a safe or anonymous place open where employees can voice concerns and ideas. Embrace your employee diversity to drive innovation and teamwork.
Focus on Individual Benefits
Many companies understandably focus on the overall corporate benefit of proposed changes or new processes. However, company management shouldn’t ignore how employees will individually benefit from growth and collaboration. For example, you might encourage employee buy-in through emphasizing how collaboration will streamline work processes and free up time for cross training and personal development. Once employees understand how teamwork and business growth will improve their salaries and career opportunities, they will be more motivated to improve their performance and cooperate with each other.
Quality control and performance management programs often standardize procedures and positions. Standardizing will improve quality, efficiency, and even safety. However, there are alternatives that will encourage more collaboration. For example, consider allowing employees to create and maintain company traditions, such as recognizing long term employees, or giving rewards for helping fellow employees or customers. On the other hand, allowing employees to design their own customized workwear uniforms will encourage individuality, while also building team spirit and company loyalty.
To recap, internal growth depends on continual collaboration among employees. Companies can encourage collective cooperation through unsupervised delegation, uninhibited feedback, individualized benefits, and employee-driven standardization.