Collaboration is one of those words that we use a lot but I’m not really sure if in fact I do it that well. When we had group assignments way back in the day at school and Uni I was not really the person that would gather everyone together to work on things. I was happy to do the assignment myself just to get it done. What I did not realise of course was what I was missing out on. Not just the ideas, insights and different view points but also the sense on team.

Fast forward to 2020 and I (and we as leaders) need collaboration as an essential to doing business. However it no longer just happens. Each of us need to be truly intentional about it.

We all know that 2020 presented unique challenges requiring a shift in the way that we work. How we collaborate both internally as a business, and externally with our experience partners. It’s required a lot more creativity, increased planning and more intensity, and has all been underpinned by innovative technologies.

As we are still in remote work mode at the Big Red Group (BRG), it’s taken a lot of out of the box thinking to design efficient collaboration systems in the absence of being able to catch up with our colleagues in a physical office. While the novelty of video meetings wore off by about April, our team has transitioned into some fantastic team collaboration activities which we will maintain well into 2021.

These include daily ‘huddles’ with the team via Microsoft Teams, for a quick video face-to-face session where we recap on day prior and plan for the day ahead. I find this very focused 15 minute catch up invaluable. It gets us all on the same page and we can quickly confirm if anyone needs anything from other team members to execute their tasks.

Sharing our ‘to do’ lists and tracking progress each day, also holds us accountable to each other. It’s part of being a team, and being counted on to deliver. I am just as accountable as my team members for achieving my deliverables each day, as collaboration within our BRG leadership framework is about winning as one team. To build trust and foster sustainable relationships, both employees and company leaders need to participate, it can’t just be one sided.

For the broader business, throughout the year we have maintained connection with each other through weekly ‘Town Halls’. We all join in remotely, a sea of faces on screens, but we share what’s important, keeping everyone informed and focused on the why. Why we do what we do. In these sessions, we are very transparent with where the business is at, the challenges we face, and the successes we have.

It’s through sharing information, being authentic and transparent as a leadership group that we build trust within the organisation. Everyone knows what we as a business need to work on, and when we can take a moment to say well done. It’s about engaging our people, and ensuring they know their contribution is meaningful.

Listening to team members and driving a culture of collaboration really is vital, as organisations who engage their people see exceptional results, including a 17% lift in productivity, 20% increase in sales and 21% increase in profits. It’s about creating a workplace where contribution is truly valued.

So, as the end of the year approaches, it’s a great time to take a moment to thank those most valuable to your business. And while Christmas parties and thank you lunches might be out this year, there are still many ways to acknowledge those who’ve made an impact. As your people, must always be the number one priority.

As per the picture I do find that collaboration over a meal, during an experience or activity has everyone in a creative frame of mind. What will be your next collaboration activity?

P.S. We’ve recently launched a comprehensive white paper (one of the modules is Collaboration) – Creating the ‘New’ Experience of Work, download your copy today

Also published on Medium.

Grow & Scale Your Business by Naomi Simson

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