How Leaders Can Create A Collaborative Company Culture

Feb 28, 2022 9 Min Read
group of people sitting showing collaborative teamwork

Photo by Christina @ @ unsplash

A Collaborative Culture Inspires Innovation

Every business relies on its employees' talents, skills, and contributions to operate smoothly and attain company objectives. Many companies establish their mission, vision and these two give their employees the appropriate guidance so even in the absence of their boss, they can still function at 100% efficiency. 

The mission and vision are guided by the companies' core values, which make up the thread of the company's culture, which is essentially the workplace behaviour, character, and personality of your organisation that defines all the actions of every team member while they are inside the company premises.

How Important Is A Workplace Culture In A Business?

A new business must define its culture and not let it shape naturally. Lack of preparation and foresight on this aspect can shape your company to have a culture that's not positive and does not align with your mission.

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This is specifically important if you employ a highly diverse set of employees. A workplace with employees with varying ethnicity might clash on some issues if company values do not adequately guide them and if the workplace culture has not been appropriately embedded from the beginning. 

Positive workplace culture will attract five-star talent, drive team member engagement, affect performance, and ultimately create satisfied and happy employees. You'll find that you'll have a low team member turnover and high retention rates if you have a positive workplace culture.

This may interest you: How Company Culture Impacts Revenue Growth

What Are The Different Types Of Workplace Culture?

  • Adhocracy Culture: the focus is on getting the job done
  • Clan Culture: family-like feel environment
  • Hierarchy Culture: articulates powizer based on rank
  • Purpose-Driven Culture: taking action on something more significant than the products and services
  • Market-Driven Culture: emphasise competitiveness
  • Collaborative Culture: a culture that values teamwork and shared efforts

Of all these workplace cultures, collaborative culture has been taking center stage these past few years because the rise of COVID-19 gave birth to hybrid workplaces. It was challenging for some company leaders to create an environment with ideas pouring left and right because of ethnicity, language, and time differences. 

You cannot say that a workplace has a collaborative culture if you ask for a brainstorming session and employees show up for it. You can say that you have the culture if you see innovations produced without calling for a meeting. This culture is embedded in the behaviour of team members. It's seen in the standard output and process of their work. 

Now, companies have found the need to nurture a collaborative culture to inspire innovation and create unique products that will highlight and define the company's brand to a prominent status. 

Read more: 7 Tips for Inspiring Collaboration

Companies can attain a collaborative culture if leaders follow these suggestions:

1. Mergence Of Functions

Departments within the company are created to support a particular task and expectations. But specific departments cannot function at their optimal best without the other.

Say, for example, your company develops apps. Your development and operations (DevOps) department will ensure the timely delivery of the project. Still, without the collaboration of development, security, and operations (DevSecOps), the department that will provide the app security against risks, everything will be futile because the project will be substandard. Knowing the difference between two separate functions merging can make one project highly successful.

2. Town Hall Meetings

For companies with most employees working remotely, a virtual town hall meeting will be essential to inspiring collaboration. Sharing updates about the company and recent successes can stimulate their team members' interest, creativity, and energy on different sides of the world.

3.  Solicit Suggestion

Some employees may not be as outspoken as others. You cannot diminish the would-be contribution of an introverted person on your team. You have to respect that they might need time to warm up and something to drive them to speak up. A platform for suggestions can motivate them to share their thoughts and ideas without being put on the spot, which usually freaks them out.

4.  Organise A Team Building Activity

Getting to know each other more deeply within the organisation or department can spark motivation, increase productivity, enhance communication, and grow trust among team members.

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There are many team-building activities a leader can use for their team. Each activity focuses on attaining specific team objectives; these are the following:

  • communication activities
  • trust-building activities
  • problem-solving and decision-making activities
  • adaptability and planning activities

Aside from inspiring collaboration among team members, team-building activities also give time for members to bond and develop a deeper working relationship with each other. Allowing members of your organisation to have fun will make them see each other in a different light, other than the formal setting of the workplace. This further boosts their connection with each other, giving them more reasons to reach out to other people for collaboration purposes.

5. Design A Zen, Open, And Organised Collaborative Workspace

Open-planned, organised, and tidy workspaces where employees can move freely and interact with each other without any obstacles can inspire creative collaboration and give rise to outstanding innovations. 

Collaborative workspaces allow team members to create a comfortable social atmosphere to communicate effectively.

6. Allow Creative Collaboration To Reign With Art

Workspaces furnished with art may encourage collaboration that's creative and smart. Art has the power to inspire, influence, and promote ambition in a workspace. When employees are surrounded by art, they can push each other's creativity and encourage them to share thoughts to improve a project actively.  

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That is why many big companies' walls are embellished with art. For instance, Facebook headquarters at Menlo Park have their walls adorned by art from employees, local artists, and even young and budding artists worldwide.

7. Provide The Right Tools

Having the right tools allows employees to function at their best. And with the right tools to work with each other, seamless and efficient communication results in highly collaborative work output even across different departments. 

An inter-office communication tool like a workplace messaging app lets teams connect with the right groups and departments for particular projects. This is especially important for companies with more employees working remotely in different parts of the world. Investing in a tool like this shortens timelines, improves productivity, and promotes common goals.

8. Reward Teamwork

Many employee turnovers result from job dissatisfaction attributed to a lack of team chemistry. Even if you could hire a stellar team member with the right qualifications, if the team relationship was not nurtured from the start, everything might be bound to fail. If teamwork is established, rewarding the achievements and successes of the team should be next on the agenda.

Recognising your team's achievements will be a significant motivating factor for creating better output and being inspired to do more. Rewards and recognition have been proven to improve team performance, increase productivity and enrich team members’ morale. 

This may interest you: Building A High-Performing Team

Sure, you can recognise an individual's contribution, but recognising a group of people promotes unity, fosters friendship, and boosts loyalty among team members of specific departments.

9.  Role Model Collaborative Behaviours

What better way to create a collaborative culture than role-modeling appropriate behaviours as a leader. Today's young workforce believes that leadership should empower others. 

Traditional top-down organisational models are starting to become a thing of the past. Leaders are now seen in the presence of staff in organised workspaces to share collaborative ideas. 

Supplementary reading: Finding A Role Model

This management style encourages engagement, energises the team, and inspires them to build thoughtful strategies and harness unique problem-solving schemes that result in better projects and innovative products.

10. Establish Mentoring And Coaching

Knowledge and skills are transferable; your highly skilled leaders must share essential company techniques, knowledge, and skills with the newer breed of employees so that the learning cycle will not come to a complete halt.

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Read more: Identifying The Right Mentor For You

Beginning a new team member's journey with your company in a setting expectations conversation will create a great first impression that will ignite their growth journey with the company and introduce the company culture, including the importance of collaboration with other team members.

11.  Establish A Feedback System

Receiving feedback and taking it in constructively is what you usually expect from your staff. Still, as the company leader, you also need to be able to accept feedback and criticisms to improve the workplace culture. 

Additional reading: How to Give Effective Feedback

When your employees are comfortable speaking up and sharing what needs improvement, you can promptly identify gaps and address those. This kind of style can be done casually or with the help of feedback software so employees' identities can remain anonymous. Confidentiality in sharing feedback is essential to many employees since many might not share for fear of retaliation.


Innovation is driven by collaboration. An organisation's success cannot be attributed to a single person only. Every team member has a distinct skillset and competencies vital to the workplace. Cultivating these through an atmosphere of creative collaboration can create ingenious ideas and deliver high-quality work overall. 

Community-based efforts resulting from a collaborative culture increase engagement and team member satisfaction that result in solid relationships that foster resourcefulness, creativity, adaptability, and professionalism. 

Working with a team that freely shares best practices and coaches' know-how and relevant skills gives a team member a sense of belongingness that will result in a higher quality work output and a goal-oriented mentality.

About Author: Fred Santos is a manager. He always tries new things to motivate and encourage his teammates. He chooses to see the potential in a person and help them develop it. Fred is an adventurer who loves to travel to different places and try exciting activities.

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