Collaboration can re-invigorate organizations by fully engaging employees, improving retention, and increasing innovation. It can help employees thrive in an ever-changing, diverse workplace. However, as organizations grow, employees scatter through telework and multiple locations, budgets shrink, and workloads expand, collaboration remains a challenge. Unfortunately, many senior leaders view collaboration as a skill that is best applied on selected projects, rather than as an organization-wide cultural value that should be embedded in the company’s fabric.
This can be seen in the conclusions drawn from a Corporate Executive Board survey on the nature of collaboration in today’s workplaces. The survey confirmed that jobs require more collaboration today than they did three years ago, and that more employees need to regularly coordinate their work with people from different units and supervisory levels. The study concluded that collaboration should be encouraged among teams when projects have a high-potential impact; when diverse perspectives would help the project get completed; and when participants share similar goals (CEB staff, n.d.).
CEB’s conclusion about when to encourage collaboration among teams recognizes the contribution that collaboration can bring to an organization, but it does not go far enough. Most organizations share a similarly narrow definition and relegate collaboration to an activity best used on complex, high-impact projects. A truly collaborative environment involves all organizational levels and is infused in an organization’s cultural identity and day-to-day operations.
Download a copy of our research below that:
- Redefines collaboration and establishes what a truly collaborative environment is;
- Lists the benefits of sustained collaboration;
- Examines why collaboration often fails in organizations;
- Explores the building blocks required for effective collaboration, and;
- Provides steps on how to encourage collaboration in the workplace.
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