How to create employee engagement and collaboration

A digital workplace built on Office 365 will give your organization great opportunities for collaboration and employee engagement on all sides. Both within the team and across all possible organizational boundaries, enabling handling of most things that will happen during a work day. To succeed, we have listed a few things that you should consider.

To be able to bring about a good cooperation, we must, first of all, know what we are going to cooperate on, what is the common benefit we want to create – which or what goals we want to achieve. A precondition for this is that there must be a certain level of transparency in the organization.  

It is almost impossible for employees to work together and to contribute if the challenges of the organization stay on individual desks or in the management team's meeting rooms. Of course, ALL information is not suitable for sharing, but letting employees take part in the operational challenges can create participation and productivity. 

If we as employees understand the problems, a natural consequence is that we also have the opportunity to come up with suggestions for solutions. Integrating features that support this type of collaboration in the Intranet, such as comments, chats, and digital "suggestion mailboxes," is both smart and effective.  

Encourage cooperation across organizational boundaries

To break the daily routines (routines rarely lead to development) one must encourage cooperation and employee engagement across organizational boundaries, between different teams and departments. Using features like a cross-organization social network, similar to Facebook or Twitter, employees who have never heard of each other can create contact and interact. Combining different goals, different kinds of people and knowledge can lead to the most amazing ideas and innovations. 

By encouraging and spurring communication between employees who usually do not have contact, it will increase understanding in the organization and motivate the staff to step outside their usual roles and perhaps even increase their commitment. 

Lead the way

Cooperation is not reserved for an individual part of the organization. The opportunity should be offered to everyone, regardless of task or level. The key is participation and visibility. There are few things that are so unmotivating for employees as managers who shut themselves down in their office in their own little bubble. Then the boss will just be a manager and not an inspiring leader who takes initiatives. An environment where communication is fast and simple, not only on the breadth of departments but also vertically in the hierarchy, opens for an easier way to lead and a smart way to inspire through a good example. 

Create a permissive and creative environment

Something that prevents employees from actively participating and presenting their ideas is the fear of being a fool or of not believing to have anything to contribute. Constant criticism and tart comments can easily kill the best discussions and are examples of effective ways to prevent even the best ideas from coming up to the surface. To avoid this, you have to create a permissive and creative environment where new ideas and discussions are welcomed, whether they may seem small, weird or even slightly over-the-top.

But some rules must surely exist, says the friend of order. Absolutely, but putting up too much "You shall not.." stifles spontaneity and creativity. Simple and clear guidelines are better. 

With a technical platform like Office 365, which enables users to quickly and easily create new constellations for collaboration and communication, making it easy for individual employees to find the right colleague to solve problems, you're on the right track. Are you thinking about managing the human factor as well, you are more than half the way.