“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
Seamless collaboration is key for an enterprise as it ensures smooth continuity of business processes, encourages innovation, and improves employee retention and engagement.
And while collaboration is crucial, it is never easy to achieve. Enterprises often find it challenging to get people from different business areas to work together effectively.
This is why a platform with rich collaboration capabilities is required.
Enter – SharePoint.
SharePoint is a widely used enterprise-level platform that besides content and project management helps make collaboration work easier among team members.
In this blog post, we will discuss how SharePoint helps enterprises improve employee collaboration and overcome common challenges in the process.
The Concept of Enterprise Collaboration
Enterprise collaboration is basically a communication system that consists of a number of tools to help employees jointly complete tasks across an organization. The focus is on facilitating teamwork that results in improved employee engagement, higher innovation, and better performance.
Enterprise collaboration works on three levels that are –
1. Structural Level (collaborative structures, roles and responsibilities)
2. Systematic Level (systems, processes, and policies)
3. Interactional Level (employee communication)
In a nutshell, enterprise collaboration is not only about digital tools but also the overall company culture that comprises collaborative processes, relationships, and behavior.
SharePoint as a Collaboration Platform
Enterprise collaboration usually requires systems like document management, project management, and intranet to facilitate workflows and employee communication. SharePoint is an all-in-one enterprise-level platform that helps establish collaboration on all three levels discussed earlier –
1. Structural Level
SharePoint supports open collaborative structures where members of different teams and departments can connect easily. It also helps in managing employees’ roles and responsibilities by automatically assigning workflows according to their profiles. Employees get different permissions based on their designation and activities.
2. Systematic Level
SharePoint creates a single source of truth that eliminates data duplication and provides easily discoverable and accurate information. This helps reduce intra-dependency among different teams and enhance overall employee efficiency. Furthermore, it enables automated data extraction from CRM to create contracts without repetition. It also helps build a centralized knowledge base with various types of workflows to automate document-related tasks.
3. Interactional Level
SharePoint helps create a culture of openness where employees can easily express and share their opinions. It offers multiple tools to support communication, that include live chat, blogs, comments, and wikis. Hence, it becomes easier for team members to give feedback on new projects, events, and policies. This improves employees’ trust and loyalty and enhances engagement and retention rates.
Common Challenges of Enterprise Collaboration
Exercising seamless collaboration across the organization can be challenging. Here are some of the major issues that most enterprises have to deal with.
Lack of Strategy
Effective collaboration requires a well-defined strategy. Without it, employees usually work aimlessly which often hinders their productivity. The lack of strategy also makes it difficult for leaders to assign roles and responsibilities to the right team members.
Most enterprises do not consider collaboration as a necessary organization-wide cultural value. They acknowledge it as a skill that’s required occasionally. This discourages employees from teamwork as they look at it as the time that could be spent on improving their individual performance.
Collaboration decreases with expansion and distance. With employees scattered across different departments and locations, it becomes difficult to work together. Oftentimes, departments may not be willing to share the information with team members from other departments, which can lead to silos. Moreover, remote teams and work-from-home employees may not be kept in the loop every time about important changes and events in the company.
Disconnection of Tools
Different teams in an organization can use different collaboration tools. This can reduce overall transparency. Some employees might not have access to certain tools, making it difficult to get the information they need. Additionally, employees can use duplicate tools for the same tasks which can lead to inconsistency in collaboration across the organization.
How SharePoint Helps Organizations Overcome Collaboration Challenges?
Teamwork makes the dream work. But encouraging teamwork across the organization goes beyond strategies and communication. It requires suitable tools to support collaboration and curb the different challenges in the process.
SharePoint is an advanced collaboration platform that helps you bring all your employees together regardless of their departments, location, and work profile. It helps establish collaboration on both small (team-wise) and large (cross-departmental) scales through its various features.
Listed below are some of the reasons that make SharePoint a suitable platform for enterprise collaboration.
SharePoint does not add unnecessary software to your tech stack. It allows organizations to use only the tools needed to get the job done. This helps build a collaboration solution that meets the needs of businesses of any size and complexity.
Being a product of Microsoft, SharePoint is compatible with other Microsoft solutions such as MS Dynamics 365, Office 365, and Power Platform which helps extend the system’s functionalities and improve overall productivity. It can also be integrated with many third-party applications, including CRM, ERP, and HR to enhance various business operations within the organization.
With SharePoint, you can easily create collaboration solutions without coding. You just need to connect the required building blocks of functionalities to support processes and create rich digital experiences.
SharePoint helps track employee activities in a collaborative environment. It generates automated reports with KPIs such as the number of tasks completed and the number of hours worked on a project to assess employee performance.
To use SharePoint on the cloud, you just need to pay a minimal monthly subscription fee. The SharePoint Online options start from as low as $5 per user/month which is quite affordable for enterprise businesses.
Better Project Management
By creating centralized storage, SharePoint provides complete visibility into projects and helps ensure everything is on track. It stores the version history of documents, comments, and real-time collaboration to monitor changes and overall work.
Collaboration is a fundamental aspect of a successful enterprise. And to promote collaboration organization-wide, you need the right tools and strategies that help connect employees.
SharePoint is a flexible platform that can help you build a supportive collaboration environment that serves all your needs, solves organizational challenges, and encourage effective collaboration among employees.
Want to Improve Collaboration in Your Organization With SharePoint? Contact Us.
Our SharePoint experts would be happy to help you with all your SharePoint consulting, development, migration, and integration needs. To learn more about our services, email us at [email protected], and we’ll take it from there.
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