Given the benefits of better collaboration, why do some employees embrace it, while others do not? Companies clearly recognize the potential of collaboration to significantly impact productivity and innovation. Many businesses have adopted tools and technologies that enable and encourage collaboration in their organization. Here are G-Suite tips to make workplace collaboration less frightening.
Just because a company decides to use a productivity platform like G Suite, it doesn’t mean that all of its employees will adopt the tool. Understanding how these tools are used does not remove all employee hesitation to use. Management staff must first understand the value of collaborators and be encouraged in this area.
Employees don’t instinctively know how computing devices can enhance their work and overcoming these obstacles can be scary and takes effort. Getting people to actually collaborate requires much more than a company giving them a set of tools. It’s about helping them use this new functionality to change the way they work – for the better.
Tip 1: Train Beyond the Tools
Companies do a good job of teaching people how to access and use basic G Suite features. But many fail to take a step back and educate their employees about how these new applications and their capabilities enable new ways of working for them. This affects not only their individual roles but also how they work with everyone.
Initially, most people viewed apps like Docs, Sheets, and Slides as an all-in-one replacement for tools like Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
They will learn how to do their job using these new tools just like they did using their old applications. But this just scratches the surface and fails to help them become more cooperative.
These new cloud-based platforms also enable people to do things differently. While helping them understand all the ways these apps enable greater collaboration, it will also help them identify opportunities to incorporate these capabilities into their daily workflow.
Tip 2: Stop Waiting – Think More in Real-Time
Creating and editing a document has historically been a linear task where one person works on it, then another person reviews the piece, and provides comments, and so on. Things happened sequentially and were discrete.
Cloud-based editing tools like Docs, Sheets and Slides require people to change their perspective and expectations. Groups can edit the same document together and collaborate in real-time without ever stepping on each other’s toes.
It takes a while to get used to working in the same document with teammates or people outside your company. But being able to view edits as another kind, communicate via built-in chat and ask questions while you work opens up the content creation process for everyone on the team.
Tip 3: Embrace Cloud Search
One of the best and probably the least appreciated tools in G Suite is Cloud Search. According to Google, workers spend 20 percent of their week searching and consolidating information. Using cloud search can reduce this figure dramatically.
Cloud Search brings the power of Google’s best search technology to G Suite. Its seamless integration with the G Suite app allows you to search Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar and more. It uses machine learning to show quick query suggestions and most relevant results across different content platforms.
Another advantage is that it acts as a directory, providing easy access to contact information for everyone who works or works on a document or project. This makes it much easier to communicate with colleagues and saves time.
Tip 4: Put faces with those names
It is not always possible or practical to hold meetings in person. They plan more and only happen when everyone is in one place and schedule them in advance. Also, in companies with many different offices, or with a large number of remote employees, it becomes even more challenging to bring people together.
Start using G Suite apps like Meet and Chat to add a personal connection to your team communication. Set a goal to start doing more frequent, shorter check-ins and daily huddles with your coworkers.
Stop sending only emails or Slack messages. Being able to actually see the participants in the meeting helps people feel more connected and increases collaboration.
Google announced that they will be converting classic Hangouts users to Chat and Meet on G Suite domains later this year.