5 Ways to Break Barriers for a More Collaborative Work Culture

A man is using a sledgehammer to break through a More Collaborative Work Culture

Many Leaders Strive for a More Collaborative Work Culture
If you want a more collaborative work culture, one that depends on achieving company-wide and team goals rather than individual goals, you need to break down the barriers that keep your functions and employees in silos.

Timely Information Flow Matters Across Teams
In fact, your company’s ability to grow and stay competitive may depend upon your company’s ability to share:

  • What they know
  • What they can do
  • How they can help

Our Organizational Alignment Research found that “timely information flow across the company” ranked as the fourth biggest differentiator between high and low performing organizations. A more collaborative culture is a smart way to unleash your company’s true potential.

Five Ways to Break Barriers for a More Collaborative Work Culture
Here are five ways you can crash through those walls that restrict the power of effective collaboration at work:

1.  Get Your CEO and Senior Leadership team On Board
Influence company leadership so they understand their role in building a collaborative work culture. The work force will take their cues on accepted company culture from those who lead them. Leadership must consistently set the example. Everyone in a supervisory position needs to model the desired behavior—no silos tolerated.

2.  Clearly Define How You Expect Employees to Behave
Make sure every employee understands what it means to collaborate and how collaboration looks day in and day out. In other words, you need to make sure the work force knows how their specific and observable actions contribute to the kind of culture you desire.

3.  Reinforce Desired Behaviors Through Accountability
Positive change is unlikely to happen unless you are consistent in:

  • Measuring and rewarding the desired behaviors.
  • Having consequences for the silo-building behaviors.

Employees across the board need to be monitored…no exceptions. If you allow a top performer to get away with looking only toward individual goals and not cooperating with team members to help achieve team goals, your initiative will quickly lose credibility and the change effort will fail.

4.  Hire and Promote with Your Desired Workplace Culture in Mind
Talent alone should not drive your hiring or promotions. You want employees who reinforce the team culture you are striving to create. High performing leaders hire and promote people who sincerely want to contribute to the team’s success by sharing information, resources, and points of view.

5.  Foster the Kind of Open Communication that Supports Strong Relationships
Make sure that the individuals on your team know how to communicate effectively. You want an environment where people can speak honestly and with respect. You need communicators who know how to build rapport, manage conflict and focus on ways to work productively.

The Bottom Line
Organizational culture matters a lot. Be proactive about creating more collaborative work culture you know will help your people and your business thrive now and into the future.

To learn about the steps required to create a more collaborative work culture, download High Performance Corporate Culture Whitepaper

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