If you began working remotely during the pandemic, chances are good you adjusted to some of the changes easily (maybe even found you preferred them). But when you look at your workforce, does the same hold true? 47% of workers struggle to feel a sense of camaraderie with their colleagues, according to our 2022 Workplace trends & insights report. And as research from Deloitte shows, a sense of connection among employees is key to a company’s overall success.
But whether your workplace is on-site, remote, or operating under a hybrid work model, some employee skills are universally beneficial. With employee communication, respect for diversity, and trust in place, you can build a strong culture of teamwork and collaboration in your workplace.
1. Workplace communication
Intuitively, it makes sense that strong team communication skills support a culture of collaboration at work. But while we all communicate, we don’t all do so as efficiently or effectively as we could. The key to great workplace communication is remembering that it’s a two-way street: It’s about not only sending a message accurately but also receiving it accurately. This can be tricky because there are so many different ways to communicate – but whatever you need to say, you’ll be heard loud and clear if you use the right employee communication tools for the job.
Technology should be used strategically to ensure internal communication happens effectively in both directions. For example, an intranet gives you various ways to communicate with your teams – and lets them provide direct feedback – encouraging conversation and interaction. And with a solution like an employee app, you can ensure employees don’t miss important corporate news and updates. Digital signage and content offer ways to amplify company messaging, while templates and expert-curated content make it easy to generate and post in a few clicks.
You can pick the method that makes the most sense for both your message and the people receiving it.
2. Respect for diversity in the workplace
Every person working for your company is unique, and their approaches to collaboration at work and teamwork are too. Effective workplace communication may come more easily to some of your staff than to others for a variety of reasons, including cultural background, language skills, generation, employment experience, or disability.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are an essential part of building a workplace culture where everyone feels empowered to speak up – and encouraged to listen to each other. It takes real work to build an inclusive workplace culture. It’s important that employers consider the needs of all their employees and that they bring in staffers who can help further the organizations’ DEI goals. But it’s also a pretty big tell if you talk the talk about diversity but have a homogenous (or shrinking!) workforce.
Create safe physical and online spaces for conversation among marginalized communities, use tools like auto translation to make your internal workplace communication resources accessible, and intentionally make room for contributions from staff members with less visibility.
Your employees are more likely to actively collaborate and work together when they feel valued and appreciated by their colleagues and leadership.
3. Build trust with employees
Speaking of feeling valued, it’s impossible to foster healthy teamwork and collaboration in the workplace without trust. On-site, remote, and hybrid work environments require different approaches to building and maintaining trust among your staff. However, in all cases, transparency, honesty, and the right tools to support that can go a long way.
There are various ways to build trust in the workplace, including having clear and transparent policies, ensuring staff find out about news and changes internally first, and addressing toxicity quickly and effectively.
Ideal workplaces provide tools for efficiently communicating information to staff in various formats. They also make it simple to store documentation and ensure it’s both secure and accessible when needed. And when employees can easily communicate and collaborate with each other, instead of just receiving top-down communications from senior leadership, it fosters personal and professional relationships that build engagement and trust over the long term.
Even with these pieces in place, it takes time to build a strong work environment of effective teamwork and collaboration. But the collaboration and teamwork skills required to get there are ones anyone can develop, and the tools that will help along the way are more accessible now than ever before.