How to boost Employee participation in Collaboration

So your company has embraced Cloud collaboration (and is aware of the vast benefits collaboration can offer, such as the efficiency with which projects can be managed, the increase in productivity and communication, and the quality), however your employees are slow to participate and use the software. Adapting to new methods of working and new pieces of software, when employees are used to basic Email or IM, can be daunting.

There are many reasons why management and employees are reluctant to say yes to Cloud Collaboration, like the reliability, security or the fact they have never used collaboration software before.  However, in order to roll out the software successfully, company-wide, there are some tools and approaches that can be implemented to ensure complete integration.


The idea of Gamification is to take the enjoyable characteristics of games (online) and to implement them into business practices. These can include features such as a points system, leader boards, levels and rewards. By utilising the fun facets of gaming and employing them in a company’s Cloud collaboration software, businesses are able to actively encourage employees to participate more and achieve higher productivity. Deloitte believes, ‘gamification will be incorporated into 25 percent of redesigned business processes by 2015’. This could very well be in part to a recent Modern Survey study which suggests that ‘only 10% of employees in the US are fully engaged at work’, yet these same employees could probably spend hours engaged in a game.

Choosing the right collaboration tool- what do you need it for?

It is pointless giving employees a brand new expensive bit of  Cloud collaboration software if all you are using it for is to share files. There is so much more that Cloud collaboration can offer; such as groups for file sharing- but also version updates, and @mention facilities allowing individuals or groups to be alerted to a change on a project they’re worked on, and employees can collaborate together on a project though the Cloud- so away from their desks. You need to know what you want and what you want to use it for before rolling it out to employees. Without doing this you risk constant changes to the software and features of the software not being utilised to their full potential as they are not right for your company, resulting in bored and fed up employees who eventually give up on the collaboration you are offering.  The software needs to be current, useful to what you need and something the whole company can easily rally around.

Leading by example; why would the employees adopt the collaborative tools if the CEO has not?

This is one of the most important approaches to take when implementing company-wide collaborative software. According to a survey published by Forbes Industry, ‘58% of the participants and 90% of leaders said that Cloud collaboration results in more efficient business processes.’. If the CEO, executives and managers of the company believe Cloud based collaboration results in more ‘efficiency’ then they need to do more than say so. The leaders need to pro-actively use the software, even if it means ignoring employee emails and replying to them via the collaboration tools. However if the employees are using the software and the top dogs of the business aren’t, this can’t instil much faith in the employees over the software!  Both need to use it and the management need to lead the way.

Content and ease of use

Another crucial area of advocating the software is content; if employees are greeted by a blank looking screen with a few buttons and no files or groups set up, then they will swiftly grow bored and uninterested in it. As important as gamification, content will grab their attention and hold their curiosity; if they are invited to groups and to collaborate on files and projects, not only will it get the ball rolling successfully but it will attract their interest. Ease of use is equally vital to holding the initial interest of employees. If the Cloud collaboration involves multiple day’s worth of training and a dozen links and buttons to reach their collaborating virtual destination then they will become tired and disillusioned with Cloud collaborating and willing to embrace it in the long term.

Daniella Richt