Why Is Collaboration Important? Because You’ll Miss Out On These 5 Thingson 25 October 2018
In business, everyone’s focused on outcomes—project teams, executives, and customers alike. They want to know the end result of the work effort. But how are those outcomes reached? In most cases, it’s through collaboration.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” —Helen Keller
Keller’s words—along with a Salesforce study showing that 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration for workplace failures—sets the stage for understanding why collaboration is important.
We reached out to several business experts to share their thoughts on the importance of collaboration in the workplace, and the specific benefits collaboration provides. Here’s what they had to say.
Why is collaboration important? Here's 5 key reasons:
It increases efficiency.
Kamyar Shah, a small business advisor, has seen several instances where a simple pivot from solo to team projects has dramatically increased efficiency and output.
“For example, a team of two dozen digital marketers was tracked in a remote work environment where team members worked independently on their portions of the project. The same team was tracked on a very similar project but was instructed to collaborate via project management and communication tools. The results were astonishing: the collaboration forced human interactions, which led to idea exchanges and helping one another. The collaborative project finished two weeks earlier than the non-collaborative one, with a reduced cost of about 50% and increased ROI of 29%.
“Collaboration can strengthen the inner workings of a team and, if harnessed correctly, can dramatically impact project outcomes.”
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It mitigates risk.
In Richard Pummel’s experience as an HR Lead at DevelopIntelligence, collaboration has been a great way to ensure that ideas and plans are appropriately vetted.
“Having the opportunity to work with different individuals within the business enables discussion around the problem, provides an opportunity to test hypotheses and possible outcomes, and creates an environment that prevents issues being resolved within a vacuum.
“Let's say that a company wants to offer a new payment solution to their customers. Think of all that’s needed in educating customers on available payment methods, collecting payment, and processing the payment. These different learning areas require people with differing skill sets—from technical to soft. Only by collaborating will the company ensure their customers end up with everything they need to effectively use the solution.”
It reduces redundancy.
As brand editor at House Method, Emily McCrary has cut down on duplicated efforts by embracing collaborative efforts.
“We have three sister sites. The editors from each site regularly meet to pick each other’s brains about what's working, what's not, and what problems are holding us up. We trade content, ideas, and contacts to help each other's sites grow.
“Without this collaboration, we wouldn't be able to move as quickly and successfully as we do, especially as it pertains to problem solving. Often, we'll find that one editor has already found a solution for a problem that another editor is encountering for the first time, whether related to the website, content, or processes. This is a huge timesaver for us!”
It fosters self-improvement.
Collaboration can also act as a mirror to see where you can do better. Andrew Rawson, chief learning officer at Traliant, shares his thoughts on using collaboration in this manner.
“One of the main reasons collaboration is important in the business/workplace is because it allows workers to become more self-aware. Working with others in a team, for example, forces you to articulate or showcase what you know. But it also presents skill areas you need to develop further. Ultimately, collaboration accentuates your strengths and weaknesses, and makes it clear where you can improve.”
It encourages knowledge-sharing & innovation.
Perhaps one of the most sought-after reasons for collaborating involves improving the organisation through innovation. A Step Ahead PR’s Cheryl Procter-Rogers chimes in from her experience as a senior consultant.
“When just a few employees hold essential information and knowledge, silos emerge and employees often disengage from the organisation's mission and operational goals. When teams or individuals collaborate, overall communication improves across the organisation.
“Further, collaboration is core to relationship building in the workplace and can be measured through outcomes and cultural changes. (Tweet this!) Expertise then expands across the organisation, which drives innovation. When there is an open environment for collaboration up the ladder and across the organisation, there’s the added benefit of employees feeling valued and appreciated.”
Collaboration in the workplace quickly falls apart without the right tool to support it.
Glasscubes makes it easy for teams to communicate and collaborate with one another in a transparent environment, where everything shared is accessible by all members. From communication to file sharing to project management, Glasscubes covers every area of collaboration. Your team can discuss topics, agree on action items, coordinate their efforts, and more, ultimately enabling them to be more efficient—and your organisation to produce better outcomes. Start your free trial today.