The work style in which the employees come together and work to achieve a common objective is collaboration.
This working style is beneficial for the company and for the team members.
Whether you have an on-site workplace or a digital workspace, you need to enhance collaboration because, with that, the contributors, managers, and leaders will be able to achieve the common objective of the company. It means the distribution of the load.
It also means that people combine their skills, resources, expertise, and experience to generate effective results. Collaboration is a part of teamwork and helps the team work successfully.
Why Is Teamwork And Collaboration Important In The Workplace?
In any workplace, people work to achieve success, job satisfaction, company goals, etc. If everyone worked on their own without any sync or collaboration, there would be workplace confusion.
There might be missing many things, duplication of work, and everyone only working for themselves. Without cooperation, a company will not be able to reach its peak position.
The below-mentioned points make it clear why collaboration is crucial for the workplace.
1. Collaboration at work maintains the company in the best position.
Companies that have teams, members, leaders, managers, and people at different hierarchies must establish collaboration at work.
With this, there will be multiple benefits. The employees will feel valued in one place because there is apt communication, interaction, and consulting, leading to better job satisfaction.
Conversely, the company can deliver the best products and services collaboratively, leading to customer satisfaction.
2. Collaboration in the workplace leads to employee empowerment.
When there is collaboration in the workplace, people come from diverse backgrounds and have various skill sets.
Collaboration allows employee empowerment. When some skill sets are lacking in a team, the leader would prefer mentoring as the strategy.
Thus, member development can empower the team, and then there would be great results for the company. Along with employee empowerment, collaboration also fosters a sense of belonging.
3. There is a learning culture and better problem-solving.
When collaboration is a part of the work culture in any organization, there will be better problem-solving, better ideation, and an excellent learning process.
Since collaborative culture can attract varied skill sets and employee pools, something that one person lacks, the other person will complement. This kind of culture can initiate a problem-solving approach in the organization.
4. Collaboration in the workplace helps to partner with people from different backgrounds.
In a work culture with a collaborative environment, people from different backgrounds come and work together.
This kind of partnership can blossom into great relations in the long term. Also, it helps to know the differences between people and if they are good at something, then learn from them.
5. It leads to better engagement among the employees.
When the employees come across a collaborative work culture, there will be better engagement among them.
They will be able to set individual goals and sync with the higher goals that are the company objectives. Finally, there will be improvement and performance and productivity.
6. It leads to employee retention.
A collaborative work style impresses the employees and makes them comfortable too. There are good chances that the employees will stay in the company long. Thus there will be better employee retention.
How To Achieve Effective Collaboration In The Workplace?
Evaluate whether there is effective collaboration in the workplace.
It is crucial to evaluate whether the current strategy to implement collaboration in your workplace is working.
If it is not working, you must figure out the reasons for the same. To understand the cause, you may survey various teams within the organization. If you get a clue that the work climate is non-collaborative, you must design a relevant strategy.
Involve everyone in the strategy, from managers to leaders to team members.
It is crucial to include everyone in the strategy. It would help if you involved the top management employees with those working at lower levels of the hierarchy. Collaboration should be part of the company’s values.
When the employee joins, he should know that the work culture has collaboration. He should try to stay within the framework.
The leaders must be fair to the members, and there should be transparency among the members.
When collaboration enhancement strategies are created, they should be communicated to the employees at all levels.
There should be proper guidelines about goals and objectives.
The company should outline the objectives and goals for everyone concerned. There should be clarity about individual goals and those related to the company.
There will be collaboration when members know what they should do to be part of the team.
There should be the use of collaboration tools for on-site and online teams.
The company should use effective technological tools which will help in enhancing collaboration
within the team and intra-team collaboration. But merely using the technology might not solve all the problems.
Leaders should be adaptable to new situations, and they should change with time and circumstances. Adaptability is something that can be practised continuously.
Use reward systems for the employees.
When the team successfully finishes a project or some challenging task, there should be a reward system for the employees.
This system will provide better avenues for the employees to stay motivated and grow within the framework. While there is incentivization, there should also be accountability which can make the employees responsible for their duties and tasks to fulfil their goals.
When employees receive rewards, they feel valued and motivated to work better. It will show up in their way of working and can provide a boost to employee morale too.
Make collaboration a way of working.
Understanding that collaboration should be a continuous practice and become part of the work culture is crucial.
It is not something that you take up temporarily and then leave. There should be set protocols and frameworks which the teams and the team members must follow.
Apart from the above, inspiring the members from time to time and keeping an open mind will provide an environment to develop collaboration.
There are so many good things about collaborative work culture. Still, some practical challenges come along the way while implementing collaboration in the workplace.
But it would not be worth accepting those challenges; the organization must devise potent solutions. These challenges create hurdles on the smooth road.
Here are the challenges that may affect implementing collaboration in the workplace.
Collaboration Challenges Or Roadblocks
1. Low trust among the members
The members of the team or the organization must have trust in one another. Collaboration will not be possible if there is a lack of confidence.
Only when there is transparency and trust among them will there be efficiency and functionality in project execution? When there is trust, there will be mutual respect as well.
So, rather than finding fault in the system, it would be better to address and solve the problem quickly.
2. Misunderstanding individual and team goals.
The individuals and teams should understand the goals pretty well. Suppose there is any Misunderstanding about setting goals or communication of the same.
In that case, this can become a hurdle to achieving collaboration in the workplace.
3. Miscommunication can lead to ego issues.
Suppose someone in the team says something that was miscommunicated. In that case, this thing can lead to many issues, including ego problems. It can become a big block to implementing collaboration in the organization or team.
Sometimes there can be miscommunication due to ineffective communication channels. One should figure out why there was a miscommunication and sort out the same.
4. Inability to handle and resolve conflicts.
In a team or an organization, there would be conflicts. It would not be right to avoid them. The leaders must handle the conflicts effectively and resolve the same. The leaders who are unable
to do so can not create a collaborative work atmosphere in the organization.
These are some roadblocks or challenges that might come in the way of effective implementation of collaboration in the workplace. If they become prominent, then the company’s objectives will be in trouble.
Every organization must appoint leaders who have the urge to enhance collaboration in the workplace. The success of every organization will depend upon the work style, work culture and work ethics there.
What Are The Types Of Collaboration At The Workplace?
Individuals within the organization work towards achieving the common goal. This concept is internal collaboration. There is trust and transparency among the members, and the information is not meant to be shared with outside parties.
The teams collaborate because there will be better functionality only when they are in sync with one another. You can also say it is a cross-team collaboration. For example, there should be a collaboration between the lead generation and sales teams.
Both these teams depend on one another and can work better when in sync with common targets.
At times, there should be cross-departmental collaboration in the workplace. The best example is that the HR team should collaborate with the other departments.
The Hr department should provide a framework for the new policies to the different departments so that the members have the right levels of awareness.
When teams are located at different locations, the virtual collaboration will be needed. It will matter a lot because when remote workers work in a virtual collaborative atmosphere, there is motivation to do better.
There is a need for network and cloud collaboration, which you can consider under virtual collaboration.
All the above details hint that the workforce should adopt collaboration as a way of working. When the collaborative style is implemented in the workplace, there will be benefits at all levels. It is a continuous process and should be looked into at regular intervals.
When needed, the leaders may also be flexible and adaptable to the situations to promote a better work culture in the workplace.
Every organization should have collaboration in the workplace. Lack of it will lead to low performance and productivity.
Teamwork is highly recommended when the projects are tough and need special skill sets. Working in a place where collaboration is taught in the work culture, there will be better satisfaction levels.
The first step is to evaluate whether the workplace is collaborative or not. If the company lacks, there should be strategies to implement collaboration in the workplace. While implementing the system, there might be some challenges the organization may face.
But, there should be solutions to overcome the roadblocks. Understanding that transparency, fairness, and trust will enhance relations and help promote collaboration in the workplace, the leaders’ strategies must intricate these elements.
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Carol T. Mahaffey is a certified American Author And a creator of Theleaderboy. Carol is a Self-Taught Marketer with 10+ Years of Experience. She brings her decade of experience to her current role, where she is dedicated to writing books, blogs, and articles, inspiring the world on how to become a better Leader.