The world is rapidly changing, and the same applies to the way people are working. As a result, companies globally have grown much more complex. Most work now demands more team cooperation rather than individual performances. For example, the Harvard Business Review published a study and found that the time spent by managers and employees in collaborative activities has ballooned by 50% or more over the last two decades. At many companies, more than three-quarters of an employee’s day is spent communicating with colleagues. This is an indication that collaborating in the workplace has become a necessity.
In this article, Cahoot Learning will discuss how organisations can inject a collaborative learning culture into their work structures and dynamics.
Innovations Left, Right, and Centre
The term “teamwork makes the dream work” couldn’t be more apt in depicting how collaborating and communicating provides benefits that far outweigh its deficits. One of the ways organisations can innovate effectively is by conducting collaborative learning scenarios, such as team-solving exercises. Start by creating problem-solving assignments between different departments, and let them work, cross-pollinate ideas and find solutions together. These exercises will ensure an effective collaboration through collaborative decision-making.
The Protiviti Consulting Firm has done an example of this as they host a Global Innovation Challenge – each of its local offices conducts a working session to answer a question from the leadership team. Then the ideas generated are logged into the company’s internal idea-sharing platform and reviewed by the company’s Innovation Task Force. This method assists companies in leveraging the distinct perspectives of their employees, generating innovations at a faster rate, identifying mistakes more quickly, and finding more unique solutions to problems rather than working at them alone.
Building A Buddy System
Deploying a buddy system at the workplace is a great way to promote collaboration. Employees cross-share knowledge which contributes to their personal development.
According to research published by Harvard Business Review, teams often benefit from having a mix of cosmopolitan and local members, with the cosmopolitan members bringing technical know-how and expertise that applies to many different situations. In contrast, the locals get in-depth knowledge and insight into an area’s politics, culture, and tastes.
Sharing A Common Goal
A successful collaboration will produce a team of employees that have formed social networks and are working towards the same goal with a strong sense of purpose, with the capabilities of filling in each other’s skill gaps to then divide the work to each person’s strengths. A great example of this comes from the HR tech company, Workday, which developed a New Connections program to help new employees establish strong bonds with their colleagues. Employees get to spend half of the day learning about the value of connections.
The second half works on a community project to deepen their ties inside and outside the organisation. This kind of program encourages employees to establish deep connections with their colleagues, resulting in a cohesive team that carries a sense of ownership for the organisation.
There is no doubt that collaboration is a necessity, but how you can promote collaboration in the workplace varies. One of the better ways to do it is through a collaborative learning process. In learning, an organisation can promote such collaboration and gauge how well their employees perform. Collaboration also fills in the gap in capabilities among the employees, making the team a better-oiled machine to tackle various tasks at hand.
Cahoot Learning uses a cohort-based learning model that can help an organisation promote such collaboration. Look into our blended learning model—using hybrid learning methods and start learning with us!