Collaboration or Bust
Collaboration in the workplace is a hot topic these days and if you are wondering what all the fuss is about consider the following statistics
- 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. (Salesforce)
- 39% of surveyed employees believe that people in their own organization don’t collaborate enough (Visix.com)
With challenging work environments, an increasing pace for change and agility, and more hybrid and remote employees putting significant pressure on employers, organisations need to work differently. Social collaboration tools have become a necessity but all the fancy tools in the world can’t create effective collaboration if it isn’t in the hearts and minds of your employees first.
Now I am not advocating you don’t need the right tools and channels – they are critical but as an enabler of collaboration and not the reason why collaboration happens.
So how do you get into the hearts and minds of your employees? In my experience, no matter what organisation I have worked in, it happens when you have created a culture where people feel safe to have open and honest conversations about any topic with any one in the organisation. These can often be challenging conversations but are necessary if decisions are going to be made and problems are going to get solved.
But unfortunately, this is easier said than done because there can be so many barriers, embedded into your existing culture, getting in the way; big ugly things such as a lack of trust and transparency, too much ego getting in the way of individuals eating humble pie and fear of retribution for saying the wrong thing to the wrong person.
So where do you start? It can be scary but the path to moving forward is to actually admit there could be negative behaviours in your organisation creating barriers. Many organisations choose to not open that door because it does take a lot of effort, time and patience to uncover the root causes but I can guarantee you, the efforts pay off.
Consider this statistic about collaboration…
- 33% of employees say the ability to collaborate makes them more loyal. (The Economist)
At a time when employees have so many choices for job opportunities, can you really afford not do the work to unleash the “super powers” collaboration can bring to your organisation?
Jane White, Chief People and Culture Officer