Collaboration is becoming the norm in many workplaces, thanks to technology. More than just cooperation, collaboration is a true group effort of working towards a common goal for the good of the organization.
Collaboration is replacing traditional silos of knowledge and infrastructure. Instead, departmental lines are blurred and information is shared as needed. Becoming a collaborative workplace does not happen overnight; in order to do so, the organization’s entire culture must change. Culture develops over many years and changing it may meet resistance, especially with long-time employees who are used to doing things the “old way.”
As with any management style, there are advantages and disadvantages of collaboration.
- Increases creativity
- Increases employee engagement
- Balances the decision-making process
- Improves communication
- Improves relationships
- Conflict within groups
- Ambiguity of roles and responsibilities
- Strong personalities may dominate
- The decision-making process takes longer
- Cost may be a factor (technology and time in meetings takes away from other duties, etc.)
What is the best way to introduce collaboration in your organization? Embrace technology. Tools such as video conferencing, web-based project management tools and instant messaging can allow team members to stay informed of needs and developments in real time. Another hint is to strive for diversity. Teams made up of similar-thinkers can find that their ideas and solutions are not as innovative as ideas and solutions from a team of diverse thinkers. Combining several different skill levels and areas of expertise will produce better results.
In this age of collaboration, many issues in the workplace today are much more complex than they were years ago and require expertise from many different fields. Members of Generation Y have grown up with technology and are used to working in teams. Keeping up with the times may mean shifting your company’s culture to a more collaborative one.
MHN can help
MHN’s standard Employee Assistance Program (EAP) includes management consultation and an allotment of training hours in organizational and employee development. Employers can add customized workshops and seminars developed by an MHN curriculum development specialist for an additional fee. Our consultants have backgrounds in professional counseling, human resources and business, allowing them to offer the insight, assessment, feedback, and action plans that are right for your managers and employees. To learn more, please call 1-800-327-7526 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article is for informational and self-help purposes only. It should not be treated as a substitute for financial, medical, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice, or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified professional.
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