Many companies list a ‘collaborative environment’ as a perk on their job adverts.
Team working has become the new norm in most organizations and in this article we look at five reasons why this is the case.
1) Increased employee engagement
People want to work together. It’s why some organizations - including the BBC - have open plan offices which remove boundaries once commonplace between staff and management.
Employee engagement, while always important, must be induced differently from how it was in the past.
Workers don’t want to feel like drones, and a collaborative environment - where their ideas are listened to - keeps them engaged and ready to contribute to company success.
2) It’s what the millennials expect
Millennials are now the most sought after demographic for employers.
They do, however, come with a different set of engagement principles. While work isn’t seen as an extension of leisure time, the boundaries have blurred somewhat since their introduction to the job market.
Millennials are increasingly becoming key to success, and a company that wants to get the best out of them shouldn’t damage their affinity with collaboration.
3) Everyone’s more knowledgeable
If a company doesn’t promote collaboration, company-wide knowledge is often inconsistent, with small pockets of it emerging instead.
While team-working doesn’t negate this completely, it gets those who would rather just concentrate on getting on with their own work involved in other areas of the business.
With more business knowledge, individual employees will have more context from which to frame their ideas, which should make them more relevant.
4) It creates friction
Friction isn’t always negative. In fact, a healthy proportion of it can help.
If you’re working on something alone - without instant feedback - it’s unlikely that you’re going to be too critical of what you’ve been doing.
Working collaboratively provides that feedback. And while people might not take to negativity to start with, they’ll quickly find out that the friction that comes with it pushes them towards improving their work.
5) It improves problem solving
It’s one of the oldest cliches in the book, but two heads are better than one.
We’ve all had problems at work which we’ve been unable to solve alone. Without help, these problems can escalate and have a real effect on productivity and employee motivation.
In a collaborative environment these problems can be nipped in the bud quickly. This allows everyone to remain on point, engaged, and motivated to approach the next task.