Collaboration is an HR Issue: How HR Managers Can Build a Collaborative Workplace

Collaboration is an HR issue.

Think about it. A collaborative workforce is attractive to new hires, improves productivity and helps employees develop their skills.

So how can HR managers help to develop a collaborative workplace?

Don’t shy away from collaborative technology

The market for new HR technology is huge at the moment, with new apps cropping up every day to help you recruit new employees, develop your team and simplify business processes.

But HR managers should also be concerned about finding technologies that can help employees communicate and collaborative effectively.

37 Signals’ Basecamp is a great tool for collaborating on projects, keeping a full audit trail of project related communications, files and to-do lists. Contactzilla allows employees to manage contacts as a team so they can stay connected with coworkers and clients alike.

There’s a world of collaborative tools available, don’t be afraid to give them a try.

Promote, motivate and reward

HR departments have been running traditional team-building days for decades but recently, more and more companies are taking a fresh approach to promoting collaboration.

More and more tech companies are holding regular ‘hack days’ where developers are given a day off their usual jobs to hack away at something different.

For some companies, like Yammer, hack days involve getting employees to work on creative improvements to the product and are used to drive innovation. Spotify hold week long hackathons where employees can work on their own personal side projects, with the aim of inspiring creativity.

HR teams in tech companies can organise hack days where employees work in teams to develop a new product, feature, or just create something cool. Non-tech departments can hold enterprise brainstorming days where team members work together to come up with new ideas and create plans. Incentivize days like this by offering rewards for collaborative efforts.

Utilize employees’ voices

HR managers need to make sure that employees are heard.

Traditionally, HR departments gather feedback on employee happiness and engagement, but HR teams can be doing a lot more to involve employees in company-wide decisions.

“When going down the collaboration road within your organization it’s important to make employees a part of the decision making process from step one. Listen to their ideas, their needs, and their suggestions and integrate their feedback in your technology and strategy.” – Jacob Morgan, Principal of the Chess Media Group

HR departments should make sure that employees have the opportunity to discuss their ideas and be heard by managers and decision makers. This could be during regular employee reviews, weekly company-wide catch up meetings or even just an open door policy.

How does your HR department tackle workplace collaboration? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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