“Collaborative” is the buzzword in work cultures and has been for some time. Collaborative cultures allow for greater creativity and engagement as well as personal responsibility.
The catch is most of us are run traditional top down hierarchical shops and transitioning towards a collaborative culture takes time and baby steps.
The first step towards a collaborative culture is employee buy in, shifting from “I’m trading hours for dollars” to “I’m trading the product that I create at work for a future I believe in”. That’s two major shifts in thinking, first that what we earn pay for is a finished product, and second that we are building a future for ourselves that we create with our pay and our product.
Breaking this down to its smallest piece, we need to communicate to the people we work with that we care about what they want to create in their lives, that we are willing to help them create their future.
Sit down with each employee in your firm and ask them what is it they want to accomplish in the next six months, year, five years. Next contract with them by telling them you will support them in achieving that goal and in return you want them to give 110% to the goals you have for the company. Share those goals with them and their part in them. Set benchmarks for their goals and yours. Make sure they are realistic, and meet monthly at the very least and weekly at the most to track movement towards their and your goals.
By doing this, you will be partnering together to move both their lives and the company to a better place. You will also lay the groundwork for a more personal and engaged relationship as well as deepen trust.