Six Methods to Encourage Better Collaboration and Communication in Your West Des Moines, IA Small Business

Good collaboration and communication are essential for any business, but they're especially important for small businesses. When everyone is on the same page and working together toward a common goal, amazing things can happen. But when communication breaks down, it can have a ripple effect that negatively impacts every area of the business.


Encouraging open communication and idea sharing, encouraging cross-team collaboration, not micromanaging people, seeking regular feedback from staff, using collaborative online tools, and improving processes as a team are all excellent ways to encourage better collaboration and communication in the workplace. Let's take a closer look at each of these six points courtesy of the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce.

1. Encourage Open Communication and Idea Sharing

One of the best ways to encourage better collaboration and communication in the workplace is to simply encourage open communication and idea sharing. When employees feel like their voices are heard and that their ideas are valued, they're more likely to be engaged and invested in their work.


There are a few simple ways to encourage open communication and idea sharing in the workplace. One is to hold weekly or monthly meetings where employees can share ideas freely. Another is to create an online forum or space where employees can post ideas anonymously. And finally, you can let employees know that they can come to you directly with any ideas or concerns they have.

2. Encourage Cross-Team Collaboration

Another way to encourage better collaboration and communication in the workplace is to encourage cross-team collaboration. When employees are sectioned off into separate teams, it can lead to miscommunication and a lack of understanding about what other teams are working on. But when employees are encouraged to collaborate with other teams, it helps break down barriers and foster a greater sense of camaraderie among employees.


There are a few different ways to encourage cross-team collaboration. One is to hold regular cross-team meetings where employees from different teams can share updates on what they're working on. Another is to create opportunities for employees from different teams to work together. And finally, you can make sure that there is ample opportunity for socializing between employees from different teams.

3. Avoid Micromanaging People

One of the quickest ways to kill morale in the workplace is to micromanage people. When employees feel like they're being constantly monitored, it breeds resentment and frustration. Furthermore, it stifles creativity and innovation because employees become too afraid to take risks. If you want to encourage better collaboration and communication in the workplace, it's important that you avoid micromanaging people at all costs.


According to Knit People, instead of micromanaging people, you should give them clear objectives and allow them to figure out how best to achieve those objectives on their own. You can also provide resources or guidelines if needed but ultimately it's important that you trust your employees to do their jobs effectively without your constant supervision.

4. Seek Regular Feedback from Staff

Another way to encourage better collaboration and communication in the workplace is by seeking regular feedback from staff members. Lattice explains that when you solicit feedback on a regular basis, it shows that you value employee input and that you're open to hearing about areas where improvements can be made. Furthermore, it allows you to catch potential problems early before they escalate into bigger issues down the line.


There are a few different ways that you can seek feedback from staff members. One is to hold regular one-on-one meetings where you ask for specific feedback on recent projects or initiatives. Another is to send out periodic surveys where staff members can rate their satisfaction with different aspects of their job or provide comments about potential improvements that could be made. And finally, you can simply ask for feedback informally on an ongoing basis throughout the day or week whenever you have casual interactions with staff members.

5. Use Collaborative Online Tools

Small businesses have a lot to gain from using collaborative online tools to improve communication between employees. These tools can help to break down barriers between departments, fostering a more cohesive work environment. For example, some departments will send PDFs because of their speciality software, but that file type can be hard to edit. To reduce frustration and wasted time, give your employees a conversion tool. So, if you need to know how to convert a PDF to Word, you and your team can add it to the tool, select the new file type, and click Convert. Now they can edit with ease.


Collaborative tools can also help employees to stay on top of deadlines and projects, ensuring that everyone is always on the same page. Additionally, collaborative online tools can help to solve problems more quickly and efficiently, as multiple employees can provide input and ideas. 

6. Improving Processes as a Team

By taking a step back and examining your processes as a team, you can likely identify areas where communication and collaboration can improve efficiency. For example, if you find that tasks are often duplicated or that there is confusion about who is responsible for what, you can implement systems to better share information and allocate responsibility. By working together to improve your business processes, you can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that your company is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Set Your Team Up for Success

Collaboration and communication are essential for any business but especially small businesses! By taking steps such as encouraging open communication and idea sharing through shows of trust and collaborative online tools, you will find your team is happier and more productive. 

Access even more great resources to help your business grow and thrive in our community by joining the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce.

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