The Importance of Collaboration

Collaboration is a key component in organizational success. As explained in a recent Harvard Business Review article, collaboration allows organizations to pull together experts with unique, cross-functional perspectives to solve rapidly changing, complex problems that have long-term implications. This diversity of experience gives teams the opportunity to see risks and opportunities from different angles, create new solutions and have greater adaptability, all of which is incredibly important during times of crisis. After analyzing a decade’s worth of data on collaboration, the authors of the article, Heidi K. Gardner and Ivan Matviak, determined that collaborative teams and leaders are able to keep their organizations thriving even during a crisis. However, remote working and social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis have complicated traditional ways of collaboration.

How to Promote Collaboration

As listed in their article, here are some strategies for promoting collaboration during COVID-19 from Gardner and Matviak:

  • Encourage Questions and Challenges: A company culture that not only accepts but expects employees to challenge other’s assumptions and offer up new ideas is one that will thrive in any given situation. Involve employees with a wide range of skills and knowledge in decision making processes and make sure they feel encouraged to be inquisitive.
  • Reinforce Organizational Purpose and Goals Frequently: Believing that one’s organization fulfills a higher purpose motivates employees to act in a more collective and collaborative fashion. This is because when everyone understands the goals and can clearly see how their skill set and experience can contribute to the overall purpose, they are more willing to work together for that common purpose. Choose a communication channel, or several, that appeal to employees and communicate the organizational purpose and goals as often as you can.
  • Recognize Collaborative Leaders and Teams: Regardless of the situation, recognition goes a long way. In this case, make sure to recognize the entire team for successfully completing projects or tasks. This is especially important when employees are working from home. Take the time to acknowledge the roll each individual played and how the collaborative effort led to the successful result.

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