Collaboration – The Hows and Whys?

  • 31st Aug'21
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Collaboration in the corporate world is not something new; it is so common and imperative that businesses mostly never deal without it. But to grade the effectiveness of collaboration, we need to consider several factors apart from the results. Let's not beat around the bush, revealing only the positive side of collaboration. It is a real challenge to build a team of individuals separated by departments, goals, approaches, ethnicity, and corporate cultures. There are infinite ways to collaborate, and it's the organization's leader who decides to put the right people in the right places. The article summarises the importance of collaboration, noting how to address the challenges with practical solutions.

 

What is Collaboration

Working together towards a common goal is called collaboration. Collaboration can be intra, inter, or mixed type. Intra collaboration implies people of the same firm or industry working on a joint project; inter or hybrid means people within and outside coming forward with a new initiative like contributing to an NGO or doctors carrying out a critical operation. There are two ways to collaborate- traditional and virtual. Collaboration helps employees in accomplishing projects and finding solutions skillfully, benefitting everyone involved, including customers.

 

virtual collab

 

Importance of Collaboration at Workplace 

Increases Employee Productivity

We can easily understand this scenario with the help of a classroom example. Imagine learning in a group vs. self-study. In a team, different people come together to learn, teach and inspire each other. Employees get exposed to different work attitudes and possibly pick the best ones. Hence collaboration helps employees perform better thereby increasing their productivity and relevance.

 

Brings a Culture to the Structure of the Organization

When employees find solutions to business problems together and assist each other regularly, they get a winning class culture. A better work culture implies a show of respect and empathy for team members and quality work standards. This factor becomes one vital element in a firm's identity in the future. 

 

Enhances Inter-relationships within the Corporate Hierarchy

When you collaborate, you are just formally saying, Hi, I want to be your friend and work with you! Teamwork always brings the best in individuals and helps them understand people they work with easily. The more you spend time with your team members, the more you know them than their official designations. Example: John maybe your manager at work, but he must be a golf lover close to his kids. Ray may be your associate colleague but a great singer who loves dogs. So hanging out with your teammates gives you a glimpse of what they are in their personal lives and enhances relationships.

 

Inculcates Unity among Cohorts

A team that works together stays together. It's not the actual proverb, but it is true. When you work on projects with your team for a considerable amount of time, you feel connected to them. It helps build a sense of unity in team members.

 

Finds Quick Solutions to Issues

Many minds are better than one. So, in a team, different people can find different approaches to solve a problem, and that's what counts. The team can then pick the easiest way to resolve any issue and proceed towards the firm's goals. 

 

teamwork

 

Challenges of Collaboration

There is a lot of work that goes behind collaborations. Following are some of the reasons associations can be quite complex.

 

Diversity 

It's a lot of hard work to bring together a group of people with different mindsets together. Gender, location, language, ethics, culture, and preferences are some of the differences that can often contribute to conflicts in a team.

 

Levels of Work Literacy

Work Literacy is the term I am using for the understanding of the respective work by individuals. Every individual takes their work in their way, and merging people of varying work literacy levels is nothing short of a big deal. How to pick up expertise from employees is an art of leadership.

 

Shared Goal

Pooling in employees from different departments and bringing them to a consensus towards a common goal is again Hercule's task. Leaders supposedly take this responsibility and inform the employees of what's expected of them.

 

Reluctant to Change

Sometimes people within a team do not give in to working together quickly. They often have their own views and voice their opinions. As much as it is great to look at different perspectives, it is challenging to accommodate the wish of every individual in a team when you collaborate.

 

Being Adamant about the Structure

Another crucial part of collaboration is knowing to let go of the traditional structure system. Like leaders should be willing to listen to new ideas of team members and encourage the same within the team. The concept of collaboration is effectiveness and unity, and if it doesn't serve this purpose, managers should let it go.

 

Leadership and Collaboration

Leadership has the most significant role to play during a change in the organization, and collaboration is a type of change. However, it is up to the leaders how they merge different mindsets and achieve the target. They must sit down with the teams formed and inculcate clear objectives, ensuring a flow of trust amid the quality of work in the set time frame. Leaders also need to look that the team members respect and accept each other over the variable work methods, values and perspectives. They must share upgrades like automation and AI within the teams via training. A leader understands that effective collaboration can happen through effective communication and feedback, and he facilitates the same.

 

Final Notes

The article gives us a purview of how collaboration is a crucial work technique and a valuable one. Organizations will have records of achieving so much more through collaborations. In places other than corporations also, collaboration involves the pooling of talents and produces extraordinary results. Teams don't need to come to a consensus all the time in collaboration; what's significant is their involvement, knowledge sharing, and contribution individually.

"After all, none of us is as smart as all of us" – Ken Blanchard.

 

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*Note: The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.

About the author:

Supriti Tripathy, OpenGrowth Content Team

A believer of good things and pursuer of diverse avocation, she is a fiction lover and a simple writer. Supriti has a number of professions to her list and she feels challenges are the only answers to failures.


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