What is Social Collaboration & Why Should I Care?

By Sean Gordon

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” – Michael Jordan

How are your employees’ relationships with one another? Is social collaboration something that’s celebrated in your workplace, or simply obligated?

Look back on your own professional career. Think of the biggest successes and achievements. Did you accomplish them all on your own? More than likely, it took a whole team of people collaborating, communicating and conspiring together.

Social collaboration is especially vital when it comes to training your employees. Collaborative learning helps new members feel part of a bigger goal that can be worked towards together, leading to higher engagement, happiness, productivity and loyalty.

So, what exactly is social collaboration and what impact does it have on the wellbeing (and profitability) of your company?

#1: It gives employees intrinsic motivation — and that’s powerful.

You may have heard the phrase “start with why,” but what does it really mean? It’s the reason your employees are working at your company in the first place. Consistent collaboration with a healthy team reminds your employees why they’re there and what they’re hoping to accomplish together, making them more driven, engaged and hard-working.

Effective collaboration nourishes both your company’s morale and the basic human need for social interaction. According a study by Harvard Business School, collaborating with others is leagues more productive than each person churning out their own solitary tasks because collaboration increases energy and intrinsic motivation, which leads to stronger results.

#2: It makes sense logistically.

Have you ever had an internal miscommunication that led to a serious mistake, delay or client pitfall? The benefits of social collaboration are a happier, smarter and more strategic workplace. For more experienced team members, effective collaboration allows vital information to be shared in crucial moments. For new members, collaboration leads to faster learning and less mistakes.

Online training software makes it painfully easy for new members to ask each other questions, further discuss a vital topic, discuss goals or simply chat with one another through both instant messages and instant video chat. And this chatting is not a waste of time. Having healthy relationships at work is one of the strongest ingredients of loyalty (see below).

#3: It results in less turnover at your company.

Effective social collaboration helps your team members feel heard, listened to, understood and valued, which are some of the most vital factors that determine whether they will stick around. While 3/4 of employees who don’t feel valued are already looking for another job, employees who feel heard at work are almost 5 times more likely to feel empowered to give their best effort.

Collaborative tools help your team feel heard. When your new employees feel part of a group learning and growing together, it helps them feel understood and included, increasing the likelihood that they’ll stay at your company long-term.

There are few worse feelings than social isolation at a new job, especially when you’re trying to get up to speed and learn as much as possible in a short amount of time. In a culture where over half of current employees feel unengaged and are looking for a new job, encouraging authentic collaborative learning amongst your new team members couldn’t be more important.

Andrew Carnegie once called teamwork and social collaboration “the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”

Uncommon results. That’s the goal, right? What efforts are your company making to foster healthy social collaborations amongst your employees?

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