"Bad companies are destroyed by crisis, good companies survive them, great companies are improved by them." - Andy Grove
Great workplaces already realised the importance of promoting teamwork and encouraging cross-collaboration already before the crisis. Of course, this gives them an advantage during these turbulent times. They know it’s important to recognise the accomplishments of individuals who go above and beyond, the best organisations to work for succeed by bringing people together to accomplish things together in an environment of trust.
Here are some of the ways our Best Workplaces™ and Great Place to Work®-Certified organisations create a culture of collaboration.
1. Creating personal connections
Effective collaboration is rooted in a sense of trust and care for one another, and great workplaces put effort into connecting people with one another to form strong teams and social networks. Forming bonds with colleagues, especially across the company, means employees will feel more comfortable reaching out for help or input on their projects. Ultimate Software’s, a best workplace in the US, already organised virtual coffee-breaks in 2018, a practice many organisations only
discovered about 2 months ago.
2. Bringing people together to solve problems
Creating opportunities for cross-functional collaboration creates value for not only employees, who will expand their internal networks, but can help organisations solve tough challenges facing the business. In recent years, more and more companies have assembled teams that bring people from across the organisation together to brainstorm on issues and leverage their diverse perspectives to come up with new ideas that will benefit the business. Also today we find that this flexibility is a useful tool for our Best Workplaces. During Covid-19, Protime felt that some teams were overflowing with work while other teams struggled to keep everyone busy. Because they strongly believe in ‘solidarity’ they started a Marketplace concept specifically oriented to spread the workload between the Protime teams. Teams would define projects that would need some helping hands. Other teams who were searching for useful work could look at this list and match people with the right skills to this project. This way Protime took the corona period as an opportunity to increase cross team collaboration.
3. Platforms where people connect
Cultures of collaboration are rooted in trust and building relationships. While collaboration platforms are on the rise, the Best Workplaces have had digital spaces to connect and share information for many years – the actual platforms they use may have changed over time, but the concept of giving people an accessible place to gather and connect has remained the same. Many of our great workplaces leverage the use of discussion boards where people across the organisation can connect around shared interests (personal and professional), as well as hosting idea-sharing platforms, where people can make suggestions and others can upvote and comment on these ideas.
4. It all comes down to Trust
Collaboration hinges on employees’ willingness to come together and achieve goals together, which can only happen in an environment of trust, pride and camaraderie. People need to feel safe to give and receive genuinely constructive feedback, be inspired by a common goal, and have the tools and opportunities to connect with one another. Silos form when people don’t see the value in involving others in their work – diverse perspectives are crucial to coming up with creative solutions. Best Workplaces have many different practices and programs that promote collaboration, but what they have in common is that they believe in the power of coming together to achieve great things as a team. And let it be that believe that gives them an advantage in uncertain times.