used with permission from Microsoft US Small and Midsize Business Blog
Every company is in the relationship business. The best way to serve customers and move your business forward is to work better with others towards a common goal. Collaboration (both offline and online) is one of the most important driving forces for continued growth in any business; small or large.
Collaboration lays a foundation for better teamwork. Effective and meaningful collaboration is much more than just ‘working together,’ and employees who collaborate better are able to work towards providing new and superior solutions to customers they serve.
Employees are part of a greater whole, and working together is the only way business goals and visions can be achieved. Your employees are more likely to continue working with you when they have strong connections and relationships with the people they work with and feel they’re a part of something bigger. Collaborating isn’t easy for everyone, but it will, over time, get your business to a much better position to innovate.
The right collaboration technology can have a significant impact on your business
Collaboration tools are changing the way we work. Collaboration based on cloud technology is fast becoming a permanent feature of the contemporary workplace. The popularity of online tools and platforms have helped reinforce the benefits of collaboration for businesses. Many organizations from all industries are turning to technology to eliminate physical barriers and enhance business growth.
With different business communication products and services ranging from email to project collaboration to storage, including Outlook, Office 365, Teams, Yammer, SharePoint, Skype and OneDrive, Microsoft allows businesses of all sizes to connect and communicate to increase productivity.
With Office 365, employees can track and participate in business operations from any office, on any device and at different geographical locations. Leveraging the power of the right collaboration tools will give any business a competitive edge. Collaboration tools do not just encourage better knowledge sharing; they improve the speed and effectiveness of people’s efforts, and make it easier to execute on ideas.
With the right tools like Teams, Yammer and Skype, your business can take care of online meetings, team chats, group brainstorming, task sharing, and more. Collaboration technologies help shape how work is done in different departments and enable teamwork that leads to better results, greater innovation and ultimately higher productivity.
Collaboration reduces the barriers to productivity and business growth
The success of your business depends on how fast people can open up and work with each other. Tasks and projects that may now take months can be reduced to a few weeks to solve or complete. Most importantly, team members contribute different, unique standpoints and expertise to get things done. Multiple ideas and solutions make it easier to find better answers to business problems, and with cloud solutions like SharePoint and OneDrive, employees can contribute remotely to projects in real time.
Businesses that have access to collaboration tools and systems are able to access information, documents and business data faster. Your decision process can be shortened when the right communication structures are employed.
Good communication eliminates unnecessary and long business processes, allowing for collaborative discussion and helping to disseminate ideas, documents and general information across your business quicker.
It encourages a culture of ongoing learning
Companies that make room for collaboration open new opportunities for growth among colleagues. They allow their employees to enhance their capacity to grow beyond their comfort zones and take the business to new heights.
When people open up and work without fear or favor, they are able to share their knowledge, experience and skills with team members freely. Workplace collaboration challenges people to think, communicate and receive clarity about what they are good at and how best they can use their skills for the growth of the business.
Individuals within teams can share with each other – exploring, testing and refining new ideas. Effective collaboration builds trust among employees and teaches them to rely on each other – allowing them to function as a more cohesive unit.
Collaboration encourages creative and original thinking
Many smart employees are disengaged due to poor communication or internal collaboration systems. You can empower your employees to become part of the company’s future by opening up better communication channels that allow them to contribute to ongoing projects. Collaboration, when executed well, brings different voices, specialties, teams, and opinions from several locations together to solve business problems. With the right tools, employees can brainstorm and come up with creative ideas.
Microsoft Teams, now available in Office 365, gives your team an incredible opportunity to interact and share ideas with each other. All your content, tools, people, and conversations are available in the team workspace to encourage creative thinking and provide a modern conversation experience for your employees.
The value of creating an environment where employees are encouraged to think creatively and put their ideas forward should not be underestimated. Promote and foster creativity by investing in the right collaboration resources.
It moves any business more effectively toward its goals
Collaboration and better communication has far reaching benefits for your business. True collaboration improves competitiveness by enabling better communication and better work-flow between employees, partners, and customers.
When properly executed, the outcome of embracing cloud collaboration tools often exceed expectations. Expect employees work better, stimulate fresh thinking and encourage innovation, taking your company to new heights.
If your business is yet to fully benefit from collaboration tools, invest time and resources into the right apps and systems for your company today. Expect and celebrate teamwork. Encourage employees to use the right tools instead of relying heavily on just email. Better collaboration can be the lifeblood that lets new ideas thrive throughout your business.