5 Things you Can Do in 2017 to Drive Greater Collaboration Across Your Business

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1.      Break down knowledge silos

The ability to share and find relevant information from across the business is a key tenant of collaboration. However, with more and more places to store documents, knowledge is increasingly becoming trapped. Almost a quarter of us (23 percent) lock important documents away in our mailboxes as attachments. Even more, (38 percent), save documents to our C: drives.


Few things kill collaboration more than knowledge silos. While you may not be consciously trying to sandbag knowledge, chances are you’re retaining valuable knowledge that could be put to use across the organization.

Be more aware of how you store and share your work and make a commitment to ensure knowledge is accessible by using a collaboration solution.


2.      Be a subject matter expert

Did you know that 20 percent of employees say “improving access to subject matter experts”* is one of the top three things an organization can do to make their jobs easier?

Chances are, there’s someone in your business with just the right subject matter expertise to help you answer that customer question, resolve a technical challenge, or complete that 100-page RFP in record time.

Subject matter experts may not necessarily be in leadership roles. They might not even realize their expertise is valuable. That’s why finding them is challenging. You might even be one yourself!

If your organization uses a collaboration platform, or an internal social networking tool, make the effort to promote your own expertise, share insights and contribute to projects outside of your day-to-day function. You’ll quickly start to create a culture where others feel confident to do the same.

3.      Use team building exercises

Even the best teams benefit from the occasional team building exercises. They’re a great way of improving communication, morale, motivation, and productivity.

There are four main types of team building activities: Communication activities, problem solving and/or decision making activities, adaptability and/or planning activities, and activities that focus on building trust.

Exercises don’t have to take long. Work them into your existing team meeting schedule, or set aside 30 minutes every month to run an exercise. There are plenty of online resources available, including our own favorites here.

4.      Shadow IT – no more excuses

Shadow IT arose out of the need of employees to find solutions to their daily challenges. Much to the dismay of IT Managers and Security & Information Risk Officers (SIRO), the simplicity of consumer-grade apps meant they quickly found their way into the enterprise as alternatives to clunky, legacy corporate tools.
 
Despite crack-downs, many still exist under the radar. Over a quarter of employees (28 percent) use personal file-sharing apps to exchange files with colleagues and clients, while 22 percent routinely use unencrypted USB flash drives.**

Today, there is no excuse. SaaS has made it easier than ever for organizations to trial and invest in new technologies that meet employee requirements. Lead by example; ditch the shadow IT tools and work with IT to find tools that meet the usability needs of business users without compromising security and data governance.

5.      The right tool for the job

From Slack to Yammer or Box to Microsoft SharePoint. Perhaps your organization already has a number of software tools available.

While investing in better workplace tools is always a positive, there’s a point where it can become confusing to employees. “Should I post this comment on Skype or Slack? Should I send this document via email or a file sharing app?”

In 2017 audit the tools you have, understand how each should be used, and when. Update your IT policy, run training sessions and make sure employees understand how different tools impact client engagement, data governance and knowledge management.

Currently Vice President of Marketing for Huddle, Tim has nearly 20 years of marketing experience spanning startups to Fortune 500 companies. Prior to Huddle Tim served as vice president & head of marketing for WDS, A Xerox Company. With specialist expertise in technology and telecommunications across Europe, North America, South Africa and APAC, Tim has a proven record of leading marketing strategy and operations for B2B and B2C brands.




Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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