Collaboration Ideas To Boost Creativity In The Workplace

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 11, 2021

Collaboration can improve teamwork and make for more cohesive products, as well as potentially increase the creativity of individual team members. Generating ideas for collaboration can be a challenge across many industries and job settings. In this article, we show you how to create ideas for collaboration in the workplace.

Related: How To Be a Collaborative Leader at Work

Why is collaboration important?

Collaboration is an important component of a cohesive team because it brings people together and can help generate new ideas. Whether you're in an office setting or construction site, encouraging collaboration among team members can increase productivity and make creating projects more efficient. Here are some reasons to encourage collaboration in the workplace:

  • Better problem solving: Collaborative teams can be better at solving complex work-related issues. When a team understands how to work well together to tackle a problem, it can reduce friction and help the team overcome obstacles by relying on one another.

  • Learning from others: Diversity in the workplace can be a great asset to any company, as it allows workers to learn from one another. Different people can bring unique perspectives to jobs, problems and projects, and those perspectives can change the entire workflow for the better.

  • Uniting departments: When departments work together to tackle projects and challenges, the entire workplace can become a more efficient, cohesive unit. Having unity among the business's departments can also bring a greater sense of identity to employees.

  • Increasing profits: When a team is working more quickly and more accurately because of collaboration, a business can increase its revenue by completing projects faster and increasing production numbers.

Read more: How To Increase Collaboration in the Workplace

10 ideas to encourage collaboration in the workplace

Here are 10 ideas you can use to help encourage collaboration in the workplace:

1. Host team-building exercises

Host a team-building exercise regularly. Working as a team may not come naturally to some people, but there's always room to learn and grow. Team-building exercises can help close the gap in understanding among staff and create a more cohesive team. Some ideas for team-building exercises include solving an escape room puzzle, a scavenger hunt and a puzzle-building competition.

Related: 10 Team-Building Training Exercises

2. Create open workspaces

Create an open workspace in your office where employees can more easily see and communicate with each other, and congregate openly in lounge areas together. Having employees confined to a desk or in a cubicle can physically separate them from others, making it less likely or more difficult for them to collaborate on ideas. By bringing everyone together in an open workspace, you can create a more collaborative environment and subtly encourage greater teamwork.

3. Host weekly team meetings

A great way to bring teams together to discuss specific projects is by hosting a team meeting once per week. Each team can divide into its own meeting and discuss the parameters for the current project, each team member's status and the goals or deadline associated with that project. This can be a good way to learn everyone's thoughts on the project and its requirements and potentially incorporate fresh, creative ideas.

4. Use project management software

Use project management software for your team to work and provide updates. Having a platform where team members can easily connect, communicate and collaborate on projects can help facilitate a more collaborative environment. There are many project management and team management platforms available online, including some that are free.

5. Model collaboration in senior positions

A good way to encourage collaboration is to model the behavior at the management level. Higher positions that can exhibit strong collaboration tendencies can be a great way to set an example for the team, especially for newer members.

6. Provide training opportunities

A company can grant different training opportunities for its employees that focus on collaboration and teamwork. Seminars or webinars are a good start because anyone can attend and webinars are accessible from the workplace.

7. Focus on company culture

Focusing on a company culture that praises teamwork and community can help create and encourage an atmosphere of collaboration. Company culture can have a tremendous impact on how an employee sees their position with the business and how they work with others.

8. Rely on team leaders

Team leaders can have a positive influence on their team members. A team leader who displays a collaborative attitude and encourages their team to contribute ideas may encourage team members to adopt the same mentality.

9. Use positive reinforcement

Rewarding teams that display great teamwork can help encourage collaboration and inspire innovation elsewhere. A company can reward teams that successfully work together on a project or to resolve an issue with prizes like extra time off, company-sponsored lunches and more.

10. Set clear team goals

Clear goals can help give teams something to work toward together. Setting realistic goals can encourage a team to work cohesively for a reward and can give a team a sense of pride on completion.

Related: 9 Steps To Building a Successful Culture of Collaboration

Tips on improving collaboration

Here are some tips on how to improve your team's collaboration:

  • Review your communication network: Ensure your business's tools and workspaces facilitate good communication to help with collaborative efforts and keep everyone moving in the same direction, including management.

  • Track consistency with deadlines: If a team consistently misses deadlines, there could be a collaboration challenge in the way of progress. Consider sitting down with the team and brainstorming what might hold them back from meeting deadlines.

  • Make sure priorities are clear: Clarifying priorities and expectations can help reduce collaborative challenges. Sometimes, an unclear expectation can lead to miscommunication, which can affect collaborative efforts.

  • Hold everyone accountable: Taking responsibility for mistakes and successes can facilitate a sense of integrity in a team. You can address a breakdown of integrity by encouraging honesty during team projects and rewarding productivity.

  • Track team's lifetime growth: A team that collaborates effectively can show impressive growth over the course of its lifetime. Stagnated growth could show challenges in communication or collaboration.

  • Include collaboration with training: A collaborative workplace will probably include collaboration as a training module during the onboarding process. Consider encouraging collaboration and communication from the very beginning of an employee's career.

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