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Workplace collaboration offers a host of benefits. Some of which include improved relationships, increased productivity and more efficiency. But when there’s a lack of collaboration, it can really hurt your company. In fact, 86 percent of corporate executives, employees and educators consider a lack of collaboration a key reason for workplace failures. Here are some of the best ways to encourage collaboration.

Build Teams

Teamwork and collaboration go hand in hand. So, it only makes sense you’ll want to place an emphasis on team building. Giving your employees a chance to work closely with one another and get comfortable with each other’s styles is an essential part of the process. Therefore, you’ll want to get in the habit of dividing your staff into teams every chance you get. Which brings us to our next point.

Diversify

Ideally, you’ll intentionally set those teams up in a way that different employee skill sets complement one another and are balanced out (e.g., pair someone who’s an analytical thinker with someone who’s more abstract). Diversifying your talent like this should accentuate everyone’s strengths and increase the potency of your teams.

Promote Creativity

Each employee has their own unique ideas and ways of approaching things. And it’s important to tap into that creativity and allow people to think outside the box from time to time. Promoting creativity and innovation should help your team members feel more connected and understood, which lays the foundation for better collaboration.

Delegate Tasks Based on Skill

In Wired Magazine, business executive Jim Whitehurst talks about the concept of a meritocracy and how it breeds success in the workplace. Under this type of arrangement, “Everyone has the right to express their opinions and are encouraged to share them openly and often,” and people are given tasks based on their skill set.

If someone is the best fit for a task, that’s the one they get. If someone has proven to be highly capable, they’ll be more likely to receive a promotion and move up the ladder. And taking this type of approach ultimately improves communication because your staff should feel more comfortable being open with one another and speaking their minds.

Collaboration isn’t something that can be forced. It takes time and has to happen naturally. But executing these strategies should gradually improve collaboration among your employees and can have some major long-term advantages.

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