How to implement a collaboration tool and live to tell the tale
If your team is used to losing track of email threads, having multiple versions of files available, and working with paper forms and print outs, it’s time to implement a collaboration tool. It may seem overwhelming and scary at first. We get it; your team has learned to function with the tools you used now and introducing a new one would seem like a huge halt to productivity.
But introducing a new and improved collaboration tool and system can, in the long run, improve productivity by 20-25%. Over 80% of companies are using collaboration tools so by not, you are at risk for falling behind in big areas.
Ready to make the jump? Have no fear, here are a few ways you can ensure implementing a collaboration tool is successful and stress-free for your team:
Look for a platform that addresses your communication issues:
You don’t need to implement a very sophisticated tool, but look for the one that will solve your most intrinsic problems keeping your team from seamless productivity. Consider what your communication issues are and do some research. Most teams really struggle with internal email and using multiple tools for sharing and communication, which can cause confusion. Implement an easy-to use, all-in-one, and intuitive tool that anyone can use without much technical knowledge. You have to feel comfortable with the tool; it has to be something that can easily be adopted by your whole team at once. It doesn’t mean that you won’t have any questions, but they should be easy to figure out and not require extensive tech knowledge! Anything that is going to simplify your team’s communication should be intrinsically simple.
Inspire adoption from the top:
Think of your collaboration tool like a new skill set you’re adding to your team’s repertoire. Communicate implementation of the new tool and encourage all users to connect from day one. A central announcement or meeting is helpful so changes are not a surprise or information isn’t moving through the grapevine or one department at a time which can be confusing. This also helps ensure that managers and leaders are all on the same page in terms of how the collaboration tool is to be used collectively.
Even if there is resistance at the beginning, top management and team leaders should act as ambassadors, making sure their teams are connected so implementation is seamless and quick. The learning period is where you’re most likely to lose time and have the most confusion. The best way to ensure your team adopts your new system easily and self-sufficiently is by choosing a tool that has ample support and information. For example, Hibox has a chatbot within the app that helps answer users questions. There is also an extensive help center available for your team to check out the details on how to do just about anything in the platform. This way, your team can learn the tool on their own and the process of adapting is much smoother.
Start by using task management to create actionable work with the new platform:
If you weren’t using a task management system before, this is something you can look forward to with a collaboration tool. It’s also a way to get people working and engaging with the tool right away. Using a task manager, you can plan projects, break them down by task, and assign them to teams and individuals to get things moving along. This gives employees actionable steps to take with the new collaboration platform and gets everyone using it together right away. Your team will love how easier it is to have a central place to align and assign work. The results will show right away.
Integrate the tools your team already loves:
There are likely tools your team already loves and uses everyday like file sharing and email tools that they don’t want to part from. A good way to get people to move to a new collaboration platform is to integrate those same tools with the new platform. Plenty of collaboration platforms have integrations for the most popular tools used by teams today. Hibox has integrations ready to go for Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and email. By showing your team how they can perform better using the same tools in the collaboration platform they’re more likely to feel comfortable using it right away. If there is a familiarity with the tools, they are more likely to understand the interface, and how everything fits together in one complete digital workspace. It feel like much less of a departure and more like a simple upgrade to current processes.
Allow your team to give their suggestions and preferences for how to structure collaboration:
No one knows your work process better than your team! Allow your employees to give their suggestions and preferences on how to structure collaboration within your collaboration tool. You can’t force new processes on people who have been determining how work works within your organization from the start. They know what’s best for them and their coworkers and how they all work together best. Show them and allow them to set up their own projects and organization for tasks and communication between each other so that it’s intuitive to them. Giving them this power inspires engagement, ownership, and they’re more likely to get using it right away.
Add community elements:
A great way to ensure engagement from the start is to add community elements to your collaboration tool that get people hooked and already engaging with each other on your collaboration tool. Some examples that are used in collaboration tools like Hibox are chat streams for teams and the whole company where employees can share fun updates, GIFs, and emojis. Having features like this mimic a sort of a social media like atmosphere that people really love being a part of it’s and easy way to get people of all ages involved and interacting on the platform right away.
Don’t quit too soon:
Give the new collaboration system time to work itself out, and more importantly, for people to make it work for them individually. There is a good chance people will take time at their own individual pace to learn how the tool works for them and implement it to their own personal productivity process. Help them work through it and provide consistency for success!
Implementing a collaboration tool statistically guaranteed to boost your productivity as a company shouldn’t be so scary but change is always scary. Take these tips as you embark on a mission of growth and improvement! Try Hibox with your team for the most intuitive and productive collaboration experience.