Technology Record - Issue 28: Spring 2023

110 VIEWPOINT The invisible power of collaboration Managers can make more informed decisions on all parts of their business – from employee well-being to revenue generation – using collaboration analytics How can managers best support their teams in this world of remote and hybrid working? When everyone was sitting in the same office every day, it was easy to see if someone was thriving or struggling. Now many of us meet and collaborate using Microsoft Teams, holding meetings in and out of the office that include remote staff. Working practices have moved past remote working to a true hybrid working model, where collaboration becomes invisible, yet remains as important as it was in the office. Managers no longer need to rely on instinct or supposition to lead their people. Collaboration analytics is the new kid on the block, borne through the rise of Microsoft Teams, helping businesses to make decisions based on facts not feelings. Collaboration analytics supports every business objective, from people policy to revenue generation. For example, it can be used to help monitor employee well-being, as unexpected changes in collaboration can show when team members are not coping. Meeting habits such as persistent conflicts or overruns, for instance, can be a key indicator of when somebody is struggling. Identifying and replicating best practices is also much easier with analytics. Defining rules of engagement for every role helps to drive efficiency. Teams and channels are especially useful for cross-functional teams, in which people with different expertise work towards a single goal. Collaboration analytics show which teams are most effective through statistics on members, activities and communications. Analytics can also be extremely useful in human resource reviews. Employees are valuable assets and expensive to replace. An understanding of your managers’ balance of one-to-one versus group meetings and calls helps to review how individuals are supported. Collaboration analytics is a form of high-level statistical analysis. Yes, managers can support teams using analytics, but individuals can also learn from their own trends – and may even be surprised by them! Visibility of one’s own collaboration network, activity, trends and habits empowers selfimprovement and underpins well-being in the workplace. Hilary Oliver is chief marketing and experience officer at Tollring HILARY OLIVER: TOLLRING