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Many organisations recognise the need for employees to work as part of a team. We often see “team” sent to groups on emails or a group meeting being opened with the word “team.” Yet, the actions among and within the team often lack the appropriate skills to effectively work as one.
Managers often promote competition within the team, or avoid tackling issues that risk team cohesiveness. When left unchecked, these can have detrimental effects on the team members and the organisation. Supporting collaboration is a more effective strategy and beneficial to all including the organisation. However, anyone can show cooperation but not necessarily accept or want to collaborate. Collaboration requires transparency, time and planning. There are several benefits to promoting a collaborative environment.
Information power – When individuals share information openly and willingly, there is transparency of effort. This avoids redundancy, builds trust and allows effective problem solving and higher productivity.
Talent development – Developing talent within the team is an effective approach to developing team cohesiveness while bearing in mind that people are the best asset. Sharing ideas, best practices and knowledge helps individuals grow and develop professionally, stay engaged and increase retention. This creates a win-win situation for all.
Synergy – As the adage goes, “Two heads are better than one.” Collaboration leads to higher quality of output and team cohesiveness, creating synergy. When two or more individuals are encouraged to share ideas and effort, the results can be extremely effective and powerful.
Three key factors must be present to support collaboration: effective communication, thrust and supportive leadership/team styles. If any of these factors is missing, a collaborative environment cannot survive and grow. These must be nurtured for greater success.
* A collaborative environment encourages sharing of ideas
* It produces informed staff, developed talents and synergy
* It needs open communication, trust and leadership support
Source: Roisin Wadding, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is Managing Director, Quantum Human Resource Consultancy