Every business we work with seems to have a common problem, difficulty collaborating, and employees that feel communication is lacking. We aren’t here to tell you this is a problem that has a one size fits all solution, but we are here to tell you this can be solved. Microsoft has been working since it’s inception to find the quick fix for this problem in businesses.

They started to get it right with SharePoint in 2007, but it wasn’t the sole fix, because businesses customized it so heavily it was near impossible to upgrade to the new versions. So they did research and determined what they thought was most needed and we got SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013. These are great but still lacking what businesses really need.

So what do businesses really need? They need to start looking from the bottom up, instead of the top down… That statement will hit a lot of people hard, because top down always sets the tone right? Not even close, top gives guidance and the bottom figures out how to get it done. If that wasn’t true your company wouldn’t have spent so much money last year trying to solve “Shadow IT”!

How does one look from the bottom up effectively? Well it starts by finding the achievers in the departments, who’s doing all the work, who is getting a lot of praise for their accomplishments? Those are the people you need to get on your side and in these discussions. Now being the 21st century, I don’t recommend setting these up as meetings, but rather discussions in a passive communication forum. Dare I say Yammer… no just kidding, Microsoft Teams is a fabulous place, if you want to learn more, get a hold of us!

Now what, we have the people picked out, we have the platform in place, how do we fix our problems? Get them opening up, but opening up yourself. It starts to call out things that are difficult for yourselves, then ask for opinions on how to fix what your issues are. This makes them see that it is okay to talk about issues they see as problems in the organization, instead of fear any repercussions from it. *Note, as long as they are civil, and professional, make sure they never see any ill will toward them, no matter how real what they say is* Make sure this group is private and open only to the people in this select group. Break these problems and issues down step by step, let everyone in this small group chime in on how they think it would be better.

After you have some good data, compile the information make some executive decisions on how to solve the problems and communicate these with the group. Get feedback, as you don’t want to come off as you are making the final decision on this topic, you want to COLLABORATE on these items and COMMUNICATE well with the group or team.

While this is going on, you will want your achievers to be collaborating and communicating with their teams so it’s not just them making the decisions, sometimes the achievers will be very good at a task because they work a certain way. Including the entire team is inefficient, but gathering their input is important.

Good luck and happy collaborating, and if you need any help reach out we’d love to help!