Innovation and collaboration in a remote work setup are extremely important. Ideally, they need to go hand in hand to have an impact. Investing in new tools and software and refining your business strategy guarantees expanding your audience and client base. Also, staying on top of the latest trends in your industry is a great way to attract new talent on board. In addition, be ahead of the competition by embracing new ideas in your company culture.
In the past few years of pandemic outbreaks and restrictions, the strive for innovation has given way to attempts to maintain productivity levels. This has become inevitable so business keeps going. After all, the work-from-home model and reduction of innovation leads to less overhead costs. As a result, a lot of recruitment benefits become available. Remote work is more lucrative to new talent as opposed to the traditional “office” workplace we are all used to.
However, carefully planned innovation here and there can boost productivity and success to the sky. It can be the most important decision for your business to pull out of this situation of uncertainty and stagnation, and thrive instead. A BPM software could be such an innovative solution. It can help your teams collaborate better and channel all communication towards results. Also, the tool comes with transparency and therefore, guarantees more staff accountability for the tasks/ projects they are involved with.
In this article, we will discuss ways to encourage innovation and collaboration in a remote work environment, and explore the benefits and challenges of each of them.
3 Ways To Encourage Collaboration and Innovation In a Remote Work Setup
There is not one single benchmark solution to introduce and highlight the concepts of constant collaboration and innovation. It takes a few tweaks in your management style and the way business processes happen within your organization. However, once you build up a robust strategy and inspire your team, you will for sure enjoy the benefits it comes with. Here are some easy-to-implement steps to encourage collaboration and innovation in a remote team:
Optimize Your Onboarding Process
Remote work opens up amazing opportunities to find the right people for your team, wherever they are. Before the pandemic struck, only 15% of companies had a set remote work policy. Many believed in the myth that remote work without direct supervision would hurt team productivity and lead to poor results. However, as it turns out, when hiring remotely you have access to a bigger talent pool. On the other hand, looking for a good fit within your geographical area only limits your potential. Mind you, globally dispersed virtual teams have other traits to search for besides talent and experience. They are self-sufficiency, communication and time management.
Therefore, in order to make sure you encourage collaboration and innovative thinking in new hires, you need a well-structured and systematized onboarding strategy. It is very important to lay down the principles of transparency, accountability and attention to details early on. With a BPM software you can organize the onboarding process at separate projects that consist of a number of tasks. The templates are easy to monitor and complete to make sure there are no gray areas on what you expect and your company culture once the onboarding stage has ended.
A possible drawback of this step may be leaving the new starter doing the job independently when it’s too early for them. At the beginning, new employees will have a lot of questions and insecurities so make yourself or a dedicated team member available to guide.
Build a Strong Company Culture
Innovative thinking and collaboration are both ingredients of a strong company culture. Hence, make sure you stress their importance in all company documents and communication channels.
Also, pay attention to your company reputation online and make sure your culture values are clearly defined. 86% of candidates state that they wouldn’t apply for a job if they don’t approve of the company culture so it really is quite crucial to make your vision stand out. Invest in online reviews and encourage your happy clients as well as your team to leave feedback on the appropriate platforms.
It may often be quite challenging to promote collaboration and innovation as your core company values. After all, these are popular concepts in the WFH era. So, don’t spare your efforts to reach out to leads and talent via alternative channels. Take part in interviews, podcasts, write articles on high authority platforms, maintain your social media feed, and be an active participant in your community.
Do Idea Generation Sessions
As obvious as it may sound, idea generation is necessary for innovation to materialize. Idea generations work better if broken down into several stages, as traditional face-to-face or virtual brainstorming meetings once in a while do not lead to steady results.
Start with initial idea generation when each team member can contribute innovation suggestions. The easiest way would be on a template on a business process and collaboration management tool. Make sure all suggestions remain anonymous on the common template to avoid subjectivism.
However, make it clear that you or a team leader you appoint is a collaborator to each individual’s template. This is so you can later attribute the idea execution to its collaborator. After that, you, a team member or a member of management will assess all ideas and categorize them. The final stage would be discussion of revised ideas and deciding on which ones to follow through. It is better to set this last round in the office if possible while all others are better set remotely so they remain impartial.
Idea generation sessions are a surefire way to keep innovation and collaboration going in your business. However, a possible setback may be certain team members’ inability to suggest creative ideas when prompted to. A way this could be fixed could be to rotate the team members that assess the ideas generated at the initial stage. This way, you’ll make sure that everyone is involved.
Innovation And Collaboration In A Remote Work Setup: The Bottom Line
The spread of the remote work model raised a lot of questions about its effectiveness. Productivity seems to be on the rise when people work from home while the levels of innovation suffer. However, with dedication to experiment with new ways to encourage collaboration and creativity, a company can thrive in a remote work setting. It is all a matter of defining your core company values, vision and culture and facilitating onboarding and idea contribution.