#CollaborationWorks: Learn From and Connect with Colleagues

11 Jan #CollaborationWorks: Learn From and Connect with Colleagues

toolEvery day, employees carry out their day-to-day tasks and attend meetings, often in an office space. Increasingly, employees are allowed or even encouraged to work remotely, even if just part-time. In fact, 43% of people work remotely at least sometimes, and the number is only growing.

The only way that people can successfully work remotely – but together – and still be efficient is with great communication and the proper tools. Implementing collaboration tools allows fewer boundaries and more time to share knowledge with colleagues – and not just those who are a part of your team or department.

The right collaboration tool or set of tools is important for every worker, not just remote ones. Even if the colleague you are working with is in your office, these tools give the ability to work in real-time together on projects, share information by working transparently, and stay updated.

In addition to benefiting colleagues who work together frequently, collaboration tools also offer opportunities to those that do not often work with each other. By working on projects and sharing knowledge more openly, colleagues from other departments and locations can learn from what you are doing, and vice versa. New hires benefit as well when they begin their job and start learning about their different roles and tasks, and the history and culture of the company.

So all of this sounds great – your team will connect more, and so will members of your organization. But the amount of collaboration tools and options available to your company to effectively share knowledge is tremendous, so how do you decide on the best option?

  1.     Understand the current state of collaboration at your company.
  2.    Identify your desired future state.
  3.   Provide a roadmap for change.
  4.     Decide on the tool (or tools) to get you there.

Taking the time to complete this four-step process is important. Making a rash or uneducated decision about implementing a new tool will only set you back, especially without an understanding of what features you need out of a tool. The best way to gather this understanding is from employees. What are their pain points, and what do they need most out of a tool?

While your employees likely can answer a question about their pain points, it might be difficult to know what they need from a new collaboration tool, especially without an understanding of the options available. This is why it is so important to engage with experts who help you. No one wants to spend money on implementing a new tool, only to find out it was the wrong one or not effective.

Andy Jankowski

Andy is a Global Executive in IBM's Talent & Transformation Practice and the Global Leader of IBM's Managed Employee Services offering. With a background in enterprise technology and management consulting, he's spend the last of 26 years helping companies understand, plan for, adopt and use new technologies to transform their businesses. He is known for his view that lasting, meaningful business transformation happens from the inside out, and focuses almost exclusively on business objectives, outcomes and new, better ways of working. A few examples include: Forbes: “From Inside Out, Speed Your Company’s Transformation” http://onforb.es/1WsWiuA) BBC News: "Online Chatting at Work Gets the Thumbs Up from Bosses" http://bbc.in/1QKAHxH Forbes: "How Employers And Employees Collaborate To Create Better Work" http://onforb.es/1n8Iw4c Andy is a frequent keynote speaker on the topic of using new technologies to transform the way business is done. When not working, you can find him spending time with his wife and two children, boating, road cycling and playing electric guitar.

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