In uncertain economic times, many people may only think of their own best interests. This strategy is self-serving and should be discouraged by management interested in helping their companies succeed. In order for teamwork to be successful at the workplace, managers need to provide opportunities for collaboration. Collaboration at the workplace is essential because it allows workers to build relationships and learn to work well with others.
Nonetheless, managers feel that employees are competitive in the workplace. A survey released by OfficeTeam staffing agency found that 49 percent of managers feel their employees are more competitive with one another today as opposed to ten years ago. Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, said it best. "Although it's natural for employees to want to stand out among their colleagues, it shouldn't be at the expense of others," Hosking noted. These survey results are indicative that teamwork is not encouraged at the workplace.
Michele Towers, President of Strong Tower Coaching, notes, “Establishing partnerships with the right people is a key ingredient for success in the workplace.” Working as a group is mutually beneficial for coworkers, and it helps establish strong partnerships. In order to build rapport and grow together, co-workers and team leaders must ask for input, constructive criticism, and assistance. Consultant Steve Tobak offers insight on this specific aspect on collaboration. In short, constructive back-and-forth between coworkers can result in strong partnerships.
Conversely, a recently published article in the Huffington Post claims that a weakened economy has thwarted hopes of collaboration in the workplace. Though that’s a valid argument, a better approach to the economic crisis is using your resources efficiently. By collaborating on projects, networking events, and projects, workers will understand their strengths and weaknesses. Co-workers should become allies instead of competitors and help one another. Such relationships are beneficial for personal growth as well as growth of the company.
Management must foster a workplace that realizes the potential of a collaborative environment. Workers need to rely on alliances to build strong professional relationships. Managers must provide opportunities for collaboration. If teamwork is not valued by company leaders and managers, it will not be valued by workers. Some may argue that this type of office is impossible to achieve. However, by implementing a mindset centered on teamwork, you can move your workplace toward greater collaboration.