THE ART OF COLLABORATION
Collaboration is where two or more individuals or groups carry out tasks together with the aim of achieving a goal. These groups could either be organizations, institutions, or business industries. For collaboration to result to achievable goals, good leadership is key. Both individuals or groups tactically choose to cooperate in order to share a common outcome. Hence increase the success of teams as they engage collaboratively.
Why collaboration in the workplace is important
Collaboration can either happen physically or remotely, by administering an open, communicative, and collaborative experience among all members of an organization the goals will always remain achievable.
The main goal is to maximize the success of a business, hence a group impact is huge compared to a single individual. Working in teams enables employees to share their knowledge and experience, work more efficiently and effectively.
Every team member is leveraged to make better and smarter decisions. Working together in teams promotes healthy employee relationships. That latter results in better team performance and overall productivity.
Collaboration improves optimized workflow processes, maximized productivity, and increased efficiency.
How does collaboration benefit a workplace
Having diverse knowledge and skillsets are in the mix, it increases competence and experience. These different mixes are able to solve problems more creatively and effectively because they are able to cover blind spots.
When employees are constantly updated with new information, it continues the momentum and creates a continuous cycle of ideation that can bring up new and creative solutions. A team that has diverse expertise and perspectives of your team will foster problem-solving.
Connects teams to the bigger picture
The bigger picture can be sidelined when individuality is the norm, since one might be focused on a problem. Collaboration in the workplace brings people with different backgrounds together who can be leveraged to identify and see the bigger picture. In addition, it enables employees to make connections between various ideas and departments.
Boosts learning and skills-sharing
Individuals learn from each other only if there is collaboration hence a tremendous learning opportunity. You can effectively connect cross-functional teams, collaboration in the workplace requires feedback and viewpoints from various teams and team members. Two people may not have the same ideas, knowledge, and experience are transferred between individuals, enabling employees to expand their skills faster.
Increases employee satisfaction
It helps create an open forum where people feel valued and heard. Employees who are happy positively contribute to a good company culture and tend to be more accountable. This boosts morale and helps employees love their work.
The workforce is more distributed than ever. Some organizations have remote workers, and some organizations have a hybrid system. It’s more critical to promote collaboration and include remote teams so that everyone stays updated, aligned, and connected. If collaboration is not put in place, remote employees start to feel left out, which negatively impacts productivity and employee retention.
How to improve collaboration
- Good communication skills. A large part of collaborating successfully between employees and teams is listening to one another and that everyone feels acknowledged and heard. A team that prioritizes listening, learns much quicker, and is able to identify more gaps. It also builds trust, leading to better relationships.
- Set ground rules and goals. Setting goals along with rules is necessary to keep everyone on track and focused on the end goal. Goals should be iterated at the beginning of every collaboration meeting so that everyone is aligned. To make sure the collaboration is efficient rules will create a structure for the process.
- Lead by example. To encourage your team members to collaborate, be exemplary to them. This means being respectful and open to new ideas, feedback, and opinions. Transparency about processes and information and recognizing that mistakes may be made.
- Be flexible. Having various personalities and experiences in the mix, it’s important to continuously adapt to different practices and needs of team members. Be aware that there will be differences in the way others execute things and find different ways to approach those differences without being judgemental.
Collaboration can’t achieve ambitious goals through self-organization alone. Some form of coordination is needed to mobilize people and resources to address complex challenges. Collaboration must then provide participants with structures to act, such as project teams focused on specific objectives. Participants feel the need to collaborate when they feel they can have an effect, and where their organizational priorities align with the work of the team.
Steve Jobs who was a technology pioneer said “My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of its parts. That’s how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”
Nomad Lounges is a co-working space at the heart of Westlands, it is dedicated to bringing bold, creative minds across various disciplines under one roof with well-designed co-working space and serviced offices. Nomad Lounges creates that networking atmosphere where different individuals from different professions Create, Collaborate & Communicate as that is what it stands for.
The Author is Ms. Anuradha Khoda, CEO &Founder of Nomad Lounges. The article was first published by Mom Boss Kenya Magazine, July 2020 Volume 5.