Collaboration Tools – The Bedrock of Effective Business Interaction

Jamilla Adeline, Will Devine

Remote working has emphasised the need for increased cross-workforce collaboration. Where ad hoc in-person social interactions and desk visits to request information are no longer feasible, asset managers have had to explore alternative ways to embed or retain a collaborative working culture in their organisations.

The use of collaboration tools can drive change as well as cement existing corporate culture by both improving personal impact and as well as functional work. Used effectively, these tools can transcend the boundaries of teams spanning multiple geographies, time zones and specialisms, to enable stronger communication and collaboration.

Below we outline our practical recommendations and provide actions to implement these tools.

1. Cross-Platform Integration

Collaboration tools provide employees with instant access to real-time resources and allow multiple people to use them simultaneously. However, their true power is their cross-platform integrations, bringing broader functionality into one place to enable teams to collaborate, whether they are physically in the same room or on opposite sides of the world.

2. Temperature check & connectedness

Senior management can use these tools to get a better feel of how their people are navigating different commercial challenges and how connected their organisation appears across a wide range of topics and current issues. By increasing communication and making it easier to find more like-minded individuals within the organisation, colleagues are more likely to identify with the organisation and its purpose, whilst promoting the causes they hear about both internally and externally.

3. Recognition across a dispersed workforce

The use of channels within collaboration tools allow individuals to reach a much larger audience. As the use of communications across all employees becomes commonplace throughout the organisation, people at every level will feel part of one single entity with a common purpose.

4. Employee empowerment and faster decision making

Collaboration tools enable managers to empower people throughout the organisation by making it easy to follow progress on a wide range of projects and quickly get the information they need. By allowing senior executives to communicate quickly and effectively with their teams, it becomes easier to empower those teams to make decisions. In turn, this leaves them with the capacity to spend more time on the decisions that only they can make.

5. Direct communication to quickly get to the answer

By allowing fast, direct lines of contact with any group of employees, one can reach more targeted groups of people organised around the completion of a particular task. These tools also enable people to directly utilise the knowledge of the entire business either by asking for help or searching for relevant conversations they otherwise may not have had access to.

6. Controlled communications with easy functionality

Collaboration tools allow greater control over how tight or loose particular business processes are. Whereas version control, document sharing and decision making was previously siloed and often untraceable, now organisations can easily demonstrate and document the thinking behind their actions. Email remains possible for the most tightly controlled processes, but we recommend as close to 100% adoption as possible to make the difference.

7. Informal networking in a remote-working world

Small rituals we took for granted pre-COVID, for example bumping into people in the kitchen or scheduling an informal lunch, formed an important part of workplace culture. People getting to know each other, forming relationships outside their teams and understanding more about the wider business is critical to formulating new ideas and fostering a collaborative workplace. It is essential that organisations find ways to promote these behaviours whilst working remotely.


In Summary

In summary, an open, collaborative culture increases employee satisfaction and engagement, in turn leading to greater organisational productivity. Empowering and connecting employees enhances individuals’ drive as well as capacity to improve margins and deliver better business outcomes.

Alpha can help your organisation understand its current cultural state through organisation-wide reviews of existing practices used to inform recommendations of how to adopt collaboration tools, other technologies and practices, to enhance and optimise your corporate culture. Please contact us if you wish to find out more.

About the Authors

Jamilla Adeline
Consultant, Asset and Wealth Management Consulting UK

Jamilla is a Consultant at Alpha with over 4 years' experience consulting in Asset and Wealth Management. She has experience working with a range of clients on strategic initiatives including business design and strategy, target operating model development, product strategy and vendor selections.

Will Devine
Consultant Developer, Asset and Wealth Management Consulting UK

Will is a Consultant Developer at Alpha. Since joining the company in 2019, he has advised leading asset manager clients on client management technologies, including a number of CRM implementations. Will takes interest in how such technologies, as well as others like collaboration tools, can enhance corporate culture. Before joining Alpha, Will obtained his PhD focusing on Machine Learning techniques.