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While developing a strong product and a lean team that can work efficiently is very important, constructing a corporate culture is also a key foundation to have. A startup can only be successful when it is a fun and friendly environment for each team member to grow, and this can only be achieved with the right set of corporate culture and values in place.

To push things forward and tackle the challenges of the market, collaboration should be one of the core values in your startup. A collaborative environment can push team members to the best of their abilities better – and in a healthier way – than a competitive one. Here are some of the tips you can use to help develop this core value within your startup.

Provide a Collaborative Environment

team_collaborationThe best way to start building collaboration as a core value in your startup is by actually providing a great platform every team member can use in the first place. There are a lot of options to choose from, so you can always create a nice collaborative environment regardless of your budget and specific requirements.

You can, for instance, use Google’s series of web applications to develop a collaborative platform. Google Docs and other apps can be used to work on documents together with other team members. Google Drive and Google Keep are perfect for storing documents and sharing notes. The Google Apps for Business suite makes all apps even better with your own domain and advanced management tools.

Professional solutions are also available and they are getting more affordable by the day. You can rely on suites like Cisco Spark, and services from companies like KBZ make implementing such a comprehensive solution both easy and affordable at the same time. These solutions are also available as services, so you don’t have to make a large investment at the beginning.

Take It to the Cloud

While a great collaborative platform is a good start, letting team members gain access to the platform using any device – and from any location – is a huge plus. Most of the solutions we talked about above can be implemented in the cloud. Other software such as Salesforce and ZCloud are even designed to be cloud-friendly out of the box.

Once the platform is in the cloud, you can let team members do their work without having to physically be in the office all the time. Sales officers can still access the latest updates or work on a quotation for a client quickly while on the go. The entire product development team can work from a remote location for some peace and quiet without skipping a beat.

A cloud-based collaboration platform will definitely kick your startup up to a higher gear, allowing every part of the lean team to be more productive than ever. Once you have reached this point, maintaining collaboration as a core corporate value should be easy.

Reward Collaborative Achievements

Companies that base their progress and evaluations on internal competitions usually reward individual achievements. To push collaboration as a value, what you need to appreciate are team accomplishments. You can still reward individual efforts, but you should praise team efforts more openly.

Simple rewards work immensely well in this situation. Paying for the digital marketing team’s dinner at a fancy restaurant when they hit 10,000 subscribers on YouTube is often more than enough to keep the entire company highly motivated. The value of the reward doesn’t really matter; the fact that you acknowledge the team’s achievements is what really matters.

A simple reward system also works better than harsh punishments. Again, the goal is to introduce a healthy and goal-driven collaboration between team members. Enforcing positive values will help the corporate culture to stick better.

Revisit Frequently

Just because you have a good collaborative platform and a strong set of teams already, doesn’t mean you don’t need to reinforce your corporate values. While a system can run smoothly and keep the company competitive, a closer look may reveal potential problems that can harm the company’s future.

Doing quick but routine evaluations, talking to employees and getting feedback from multiple sources can help you revisit your startup’s core values and make the necessary changes. Small changes to the work environment can help prevent future problems too.

With these tips in mind, you will have no trouble at all developing a strong corporate culture with collaboration as one of the core values. You will also be surprised by how effectively different parts of the company can perform when they can collaborate with each other easily.

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