Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration — if you say it three times out loud a genie of the Google founders might appear and tell you what it is all about and why your company should be doing it. It is proven by many large companies that collaboration in the workplace makes for a more prosperous and fulfilling work environment. But why should the large corporations only benefit from this? There are many small businesses that can implement more employee participation for the betterment of the company. 38% of employees believe that there is not enough collaboration in their company; 97% of employees and executives believe that collaboration affects how well a project or task comes together.

What is collaboration? Collaboration can be broken up into three branches: team collaboration, community collaboration, and network collaboration. Each of these branches can help make your business more efficient, healthy, agile and unified.

Here are things that your company can do to become more collaborative in all three branches.

The balance of Collaboration and Quiet

Collaboration is great, however having it as the only avenue of how to complete work is counterproductive. People need to have time to themselves to process the data that they just received. Individuals need to have access to quiet zones so that they can focus on their tasks and be a better asset to when those collaborative times come up.

Customer Questions

Listening to your customers is very helpful for your company. Getting insight into what individuals think about your company and things that they would spend money on in your company can be great information. Get out and talk to your target market because by collaborating with these individuals you can hone in on product/service to suit the customer’s needs.

Don’t Make Collaboration Another Task

Don’t treat collaboration as another task for your team to complete. Make it part of your company and its dynamic — it should never be seen as a mundane task. Collaboration should be a part of how your business functions and will help it grow and stay focused.

Community Outreach

You never know who you’ll run into at community outreaches (like cleaning up your local park, charity races, and local festivals that benefit the community). Most of the time you can run into other business owners such as yourself. Talk with these people because they could give you some insight on things they have learned about running a business and could potentially help you come up with ideas on how to improve your company.

Training New Employees

The best people to train employees are their coworkers and bosses. Through collaboration there will be a mixture of expertise and first-hand knowledge from both of those groups, allowing for the new employee to get up to speed that much quicker in the business.

Online Tools

Using online tools can help your team be working with each other anywhere and everywhere (as long as there is an internet connection). These online tools include social media platforms; Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, virtual meeting tools, FaceTime, Skype, GoToMeeting, Join Me, and Zoom. Groups can collaborate with documents and files through Microsoft and Google, which is how our team at CUE works together on projects. There is plenty of software available that allows your team to be collaborative and exchange ideas even if they are nowhere near one another. Check out CUE to see the best collaborative software available for your business.

By bringing more collaboration into your company, you will grow your team and business to become more efficient and focused on the main goals of the company in that period. With collaboration, your employees will learn every day because they are learning from each other and you.