“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
– Helen Keller, American author and activist
Collaboration has also become essential in the workplace as cloud-based web platforms—like Zoom, Slack, and Google Drive—saw a 44% increase in use by workers since 2019. Leaders in the tech software space aren’t turning a blind eye to this booming trend. The creative software giant, Adobe, acquired the collaborative design tool, Figma, for $20 billion.
“The combination of Adobe and Figma is transformational and will accelerate our vision for collaborative creativity.”
– Shantanu Narayen, Adobe CEO and Chairman
Formerly rivals in the creative cloud space, this new merger between Adobe and Figma proves what’s now known as the key to business success: collaboration.
But what does collaboration need to survive and thrive? Communication.
Collaborative communication—seamlessly sharing ideas and exchanging information in order to achieve a collective goal—should be the standard for all workplaces, especially as more people continue to telework after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why collaborative communication works ⬇️
- Streamlines work processes by creating open channels of back-and-forth dialogue
- Promotes empowerment and trust in employees
- Fosters innovation by opening problems up to new ideas and solutions
- Leads to a happier work environment for everyone
Here’s how you can build a culture of collaborative communication in your workplace:
✔️ Be empathetic and listen actively. Empathy can inspire more motivated employees and is necessary to build meaningful and authentic relationships. By taking a step back and listening to others, you’re more likely to create a culture of information sharing and engagement.
✔️ Hold regular meetings and check-ins. Invest time in fostering a collaborative communication culture by holding regular meetings, either weekly or even daily, to ensure teams have the space to work and communicate together. These meetings can be brief but their impact helps avoid miscommunication and ensures everyone has the information they need to succeed.
✔️ Assign roles and communicate expectations. Effective collaborative communication has direction, so be sure roles, deadlines, and next steps are understood by everyone. Even though everyone may be working on separate tasks, the bigger picture—the end goal—remains a focal point for your whole team through collaboration.
✔️ Show gratitude for individual accomplishments. Be sure to celebrate the small, personal victories to show appreciation for your employees and team. A Harvard University and Wharton study found that a manager's simple “Thank you” boosted an employee’s productivity by more than 50%.
✔️ Embrace creative conflict. By creating a safe collaboration space, you’re allowing your team to respectfully disagree, listen, compromise, and find better solutions. Moments of creative conflict should be seen as a great accomplishment as they only happen when teammates feel trusted and able to be heard.
✔️ Normalize constructive feedback practices. Build an open work environment where voicing concerns and giving feedback is desired rather than feared. Feedback promotes continuous learning, and 65% of employees say they’d like to receive more feedback, so feedback should be seen as an opportunity to learn and gain more knowledge. On top of that, feedback is known to boost confidence, increase motivation, and support personal growth.
✔️ Use collaborative platforms. Many technologies exist today that act as central hubs where your communication and collaboration needs can coexist. Messaging apps help track conversations and reduce the need for e-mail. Document sharing platforms make exchanging and editing files secure and seamless. And virtual presentation software—like Prezent—makes it possible for your team to collaborate on business presentations, so you’re always showing up with a polished, personalized, and powerful way to share your ideas.