The success (or failure) of your business can be attributed to many things. There are the obvious factors – product/service, employees, management, and customer service – and then there are the not-so-obvious factors – trust, communication, happiness, and collaboration. Each plays a very important role in how your business operates.
What is Collaboration?
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines collaboration as the ability “to work with another person or group in order to achieve or do something.” In other words, collaboration is teamwork. In the words of Mattie Stepanek, “Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” It’s science!
According to the Cisco Collaboration Work Practice Study, a qualitative, ethnographic, global research study of collaboration at Cisco, an American multinational technology company, “Working together and having multifaceted perspectives trumps working alone and often leads to idea propagation.”
As one participant in the study put it, “Collaboration is the bundling of experiences. Sharing the expertise and being able to leverage the experience of many people gives you diversity, and different views. It sums up to more than if you do it on your own.”
According to the University of Oregon’s Holden Leadership Center, businesses should strive for open communication between employees and management – collaboration. However, collaboration does not always come naturally. Sometimes you, as a manager or employer, must urge your employees to work together. But how?
How Do Employees View Current Collaboration?
According to “18 Statistics About Company Culture You Can’t Afford To Ignore,”companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%. Conversely, 86% of employees blame lack of collaboration for workplace failures, based on research by Talent Management. Where does your business fall on the collaboration spectrum? How do your employees view collaboration today. Before you do anything, you need to establish a baseline. To determine this, you can simply ask a few questions, such as:
- How do you define collaboration in our organization?
- Are you motivated to collaborate?
- How could our organization benefit from better collaboration?
Understanding employee perception can help identify weak spots within your organization and allow you to map out a plan to improve collaboration and business processes.
Learn to Work Together
In 1938, John Dewey wrote that “there is an intimate and necessary relation between the processes of actual experience and education.” What he was referring to is experiential learning. Humans learn better by doing. So instead of lecturing your employees on the value of collaboration, get out of the office and show them the benefits of teamwork.
Presented in a fun and creative way, team building exercises help break down communication barriers and encourage collaboration amongst your employees – ALL of your employees.
Terrapin Adventures is conveniently located in Howard County, Maryland, between Baltimore and Washington DC. Our experienced staff is able to create a custom team building program– onsite or offsite, indoor or outdoor – that is designed to help your group increase their ability to problem solve, think creatively and collaborate with one another. We service Maryland and Washington, D.C., and have traveled to other states as well.
If you have any questions, please call Terrapin Adventures at 301.725.1313, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.