In this post, we will be discussing why social collaboration is important and the various advantages it provides an organization. We will also be listing out different points to remember while implementing social collaboration in your workplace. With the importance of social media and digital networking increasing day by day, it is essential that this wonderful concept will help us improve relationships and work environments.
Why is social collaboration important?
Social collaboration is considered important for an organization for many different reasons. The top reasons are explained below:
- People are the biggest assets of an organization
Organizations have become more scientific than ever. They have also increased their investing in people, acknowledging them as their biggest assets. Organizations implement social collaboration policies in order to achieve growth and advantages over their competitors. Implementing social collaboration helps organizations improve their efficiency as well as innovative practices, thus increasing their value and presence in the community.
- Better knowledge sharing between team members
When there is effective social collaboration, knowledge sharing between team members will also increase. It also makes the transfer process easier and more effective. The information is available and accessible quicker and easier, while also increasing its retention in the team member.
- Team members understand the project better
With social collaboration, it is guaranteed that all the team members are on the same page on a project. When everyone is on the same page, the project can move forward in a smoother and more efficient manner, with no one lagging behind. Social collaboration can also help the team members align their tasks with the team goals as there are higher levels of communication and interaction.
- There are higher levels of innovation and creativity
Teams that collaborate more often show higher innovation. In an organization, this is extremely important because ultimately it leads to a better product. With social collaboration, there is also a better flow of creativity in the workplace. This is a positive point for both the organization and the employee.
While creativity can be beneficial for an organization for obvious business purposes, it can also instill a better work atmosphere for the employee. Many exit interviews observe that employees leave organizations that stifle their creativity. Thus, social collaboration can also lead to better employee retention, thus helping them achieve their highest potential in the workplace.
- It improves the team-cohesion
Teams that collaborate better can withstand more challenges and pressures together. Since collaboration increases communication, transparency and thereby trust, it creates a better bond between the team members. This leads to stronger teams and stronger organizations as a result.
Social collaboration also improves the learning process between team-members. Since team members depend on each other for different skills, their inter-dependency is productive and positive. Social collaboration thus improves team effectiveness.
- It enriches the work culture
Work cultures can be either positive or toxic. What affects the development of the culture is how the smallest units in the organization interact with each other. With social collaboration, team members and teams interact positively and effectively together, thus enriching the work culture in the process.
Team culture itself has many factors like vision and values, ground rules, policies, communication styles, leadership styles, creativity, accountability, etc. Social collaboration affects all these factors in a positive manner, leading to a better team culture.
- It encourages feedback and criticism
Organizations which have a vertical structure are usually not open to feedback. However, workplaces that are more open to feedback tend to perform better. Social collaboration as a factor encourages feedback and criticism. This paves way for better outputs and better products.
Social collaboration also influences the manner in which feedback is given. In a collaborative team, feedback and criticism is given respectfully and honestly. The whole point of feedback is to create a better product or complete the project in a better manner. There is less of personal ego, but more focus on the bigger picture aligned with the organizational vision and values.
- It helps teams interact beyond borders
This is particularly important in today’s post-COVID world. Teams work from many different areas and many organizations have become remote-only. Since social collaboration uses many digital collaboration tools, interaction is better and more effective. Team members can connect with other members in the workplace located anywhere.
This not only improves interaction but also is a great source of learning. Social collaboration also gives immense value to diversity. Through digital collaboration tools, diversity can be used as an asset for the organization. Team members can learn about principles from different cultures which they can then practice in their own project.
- It helps create a flatter structure
Since many organizations are aiming or working towards a flatter structure, social collaboration is a tool they are increasingly implementing. Social collaboration enables employees to interact with those who are placed at different levels and hierarchies. When interactions happen between different levels, it leads to a flatter structure. There are higher levels of communication, and also more awareness of what’s going on in other teams.
Points to remember while implementing social collaboration
Though social collaboration may seem like a simple concept to implement, there are many factors to remember while implementing it. Using tips like the ones mentioned below will help you enforce effective social collaboration in your workplace.
- Lead social collaboration from the highest authority
It makes no sense if a particular team is collaborating very well but is not able to collaborate with those from different levels. Higher authorities in the organization should lead the collaboration process and advocate it daily. Since team members tend to learn better by modeling, the leaders should be the best role model for social collaboration in the organization.
- Social collaboration should be made easy
If collaborating itself becomes a difficult task, adding to the workload of an employee, they will not collaborate effectively or might not collaborate at all. The collaboration process itself should be easy to manage and natural to the rhythm of the organization. It should also be in tally with organizational goals and values.
- Collaborate both formally and informally
Social collaboration can be both formal and informal. And organizations should take advantage of both types fully. Formal collaboration doesn’t mean cowering in front of authority figures. It actually means giving the respect and dignity the position confers. It also means showing integrity in the messages we deliver. It comprises different factors like the language you use while communicating, the outfit that you wear to a meeting and etiquette that you follow in the workplace.
Informal collaboration without using digital collaboration tools can also be helpful. This becomes particularly essential after an employee leaves an organization. Collaborating non-formally outside the organization can help an employee improve their personal network and gain new opportunities.
In this post, we have discussed why social collaboration is important and the various advantages it provides an organization. We also listed out three points to remember while implementing social collaboration in your workplace.
Frequently asked questions:
Why is collaboration important in society?
Collaboration might be a term often tossed around in corporate settings. But its aim is much bigger than the workplace. Collaboration itself means working together towards a common goal, more intimately than just cooperation. When people collaborate and work together, they tend to achieve something much greater. Even if they have great abilities and capabilities as an individual, they can achieve a lot more by combining their skill sets with someone else’s.
In the workplace, effective collaboration leads to a more positive environment. It not only increases the levels of happiness in the workplace, but also leads to better productivity. Teams that work together also save time and effort as the workload is responsibly shared between the team members.
What are the social collaboration tools?
Social collaboration tools are many, and can be chosen according to the particular needs of an organization. The different collaboration tools are as follows:
What are the benefits of collaborations?
Collaboration itself has many benefits for a workplace. A few are explained below:
- It improves knowledge-sharing
Collaboration improves the learning process in the team. A collaborative team consists of team members with varying skill sets and backgrounds. Since they are all working towards a common team goal in a positive environment, different team members contribute their knowledge and expertise. This helps the workplace develop a learning environment.
- It increases the productivity
Collaboration in the workplace will ultimately lead to better productivity. Since the workload is shared equally among the team members, the organization saves a lot of time. The project management quality also goes up when there is effective collaboration in the workplace.
- Remote working becomes better
Since more and more employees are opting for remote working, a major challenge that organizations have faced is the decrease in trust and transparency. With collaboration, employees interact better with their teams as they are able to do so from anywhere at any time. With the right collaboration tool, employees also have quick access to information and projects, thus helping them work better and faster from the comfort of their own homes.
- It improves problem-solving
With two heads working better than one, the problem-solving process also becomes better. In a collaborative environment, everyone tends to be on the same page for the entire duration of the project. This helps team members use their skills to help each other and attain the goal for the team. Since there is open communication with enough space for honest feedback and criticism, the problem-solving process is also more efficient.
- It helps the organization focus on a greater cause
Collaboration helps the organization focus on causes greater than the workplace. It also increases the scope of the organizational duties. This is because more ideas and issues are brought to attention in a collaborative environment. Collaboration drives the organization to innovate and create products that relate better to their consumers. It also encourages organizations to create social change in their communities.
Is online collaboration good or bad?
Online collaboration is becoming more prevalent with the increase in remote working. Many organizations have trouble trusting online collaboration and some have issues in implementing effective online collaboration. However, research studies have shown that most employees prefer online collaboration to in-person collaboration.
Online collaboration can be the solution for many common problems like time issues, time-zone issues, communication & interaction problems, distance issues, etc. But for online collaboration to be effective, organizations should carefully consider their options before choosing the right collaboration tool. The right collaboration tool can help organizations achieve effective collaboration even while working remotely.
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