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As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably read dozens of books on how to leverage collaboration. Right when you think you have the answer, you walk into a new meeting and realize that the secret formula isn’t found in any of those books. Sound familiar?
If you identify with having an endless to-do list, more questions than answers and a team that is craving success — I can’t be the only one — here are seven tips to make managing your business easier through collaboration. They have worked for me, and there’s no need to keep them a secret!
1. Be mindful of goal and responsibility alignment.
When raising children, making sure that both parents are aligned in their methods is key. This same concept applies to company goals and responsibilities. Employers are looking to enhance employee engagement, so why are we not putting more thought into collaboration?
An excellent way to facilitate management and improve collaboration is ensuring that your team’s responsibilities are aligned with their personal goals and those at the company level. Meet with individual employees to evaluate what they are looking to achieve on a personal and professional level, and then determine how that aligns with the goals of your company and their current roles and responsibilities.
2. Make decisions.
The future of your company is formed by the decisions you make, but you don’t have to make them alone. Encourage group ideas and give everyone the chance to provide input. At your next meeting, ask your team to help you prepare for a business decision. Give them enough time to evaluate pros and cons and consider their perspectives when you make a final choice.
This exercise will not only open up a healthy discussion but will also help your team feel empowered and create stronger relationships. But be careful — Bain research shows that, after the seventh person in a decision-making group, each additional member reduces decision effectiveness by 10%.
3. Reduce the noise.
When we think of noise, we usually think of time-wasting activities like checking our phone too much (in 2017, a study revealed that smartphone usage was costing the country $15 million in lost productivity). However, too many meetings and lack of prioritization can also be huge time wasters for your business.
To avoid this, start by defining what’s more important and what can wait, set some personal rules around these priorities and ask your team to do the same. Remember, too many rules can kill collaboration, but too much freedom can cause chaos.
4. Automate processes.
A standardized process reduces wasted time and human error. Host postmortem sessions at the end of every completed project to learn from past mistakes and celebrate wins. Take it a step further by engaging your team with collaborative activities, like brainstorming sessions, that help you better understand how to manage them on future projects.
5. Prioritize diversity.
Having a diverse team where everyone brings a different point of view to the table is vital. Did you know that decisions made and executed by diverse teams deliver 60% better results? With a diverse team, not only will you have better collaboration, but you’ll also promote creativity and bring out the best in everyone. So, prioritize diversity in your hiring efforts and encourage everyone on the team to contribute their unique perspective.
6. Look at your numbers.
In a collaborative environment, it’s fundamental to define the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will guide your business decisions. Include your team in this evaluation. Remember that understanding your return on investment (ROI) and profits is easy, but knowing what matters to your employees and for your social impact matters just as much.
7. Find the right tools.
There is an endless array of business solutions, but which ones are right for you? Before buying a product, take some time to understand what your company and team need, and try to find a tool that covers most of these needs so you don’t end up with a multitude of solutions that create a problem in the long run.
The bottom line.
By promoting a collaborative culture, your company becomes easier to manage, you’re able to delegate and make better decisions, and you can focus on important tasks because your team is empowered to do their best work without close supervision.
As an entrepreneur, employee satisfaction is one of your main priorities, and the best way to achieve this is by providing a safe environment where everyone feels welcomed, trusted and supported. Remember that a company is only as successful as its team members. A collaborative environment skyrockets satisfaction and, therefore, your company’s bright future.
April 10, 2019 at 09:14AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs