Why Collaboration and Teamwork are Necessary to Succeed

The most successful companies I’ve seen during my many years working as a consultant are ones that value collaboration and teamwork, rather than companies with cutthroat, dysfunctional dynamics. This is the kind of value that becomes embedded at all levels of a company, from the president to the greenest intern, and the actions of each person are required to nurture it.

What’s powerful about this idea is that you create the kind of work environment you want to exist in. Every individual has the ability and the power to grow their community at work or let it shrink down. I know it’s easier to stay enclosed within your own department, but your team is better when you work together cross-functionally. Take the time and effort to understand what other teams do. Seek out opportunities for collaboration. And remind yourself, the goal is the success of the company as a whole.

“But I’m an introvert,” is a response I’ve heard from many in the past.

“I’m shy.”

“I’m socially awkward.”

“I’m here to work, not to make friends.

I’ve got bad news for you if you fall into one of the above categories. You’ve got to push past that discomfort if you want your team to become successful. The good news is, it’s not difficult to begin incorporating small steps into your everyday routine.

It really can be as simple as just smiling and saying hello to those around you. Take the time to look at your colleagues in the eye and greet them as you pass in the hall or the break room. Stop by new hires’ desks and introduce yourself, even if you’re not a high-level executive within the company. Invite someone from a different department out to lunch or coffee. Small actions make people feel welcome, and they make a big difference. And every person in your company has direct ownership in this notion.

The amazing thing about collaboration is, it doesn’t just make people feel better about where they work (although that’s important because it leads to higher employee morale.) You’ll actually find that productivity grows alongside collaboration. When you live this value, people learn who to reach out to if they have a question outside of their department. Not just you: your direct reports will too, so they’ll feel empowered to work on their own instead of coming to you with questions about who to contact. You’ll be able to exchange information more freely and efficiently, coming up with ideas and questions you didn’t know were out there.

But the spirit of collaboration goes even further than that. Respect your colleagues’ ideas and backgrounds. Make room in your mind for a variety of ideas and opinions, and not just that–champion the ideas others bring to the table. And for those times when you disagree? You must still do it in a way that’s respectful and mindful of the effect your words and actions have on others.

Need more advice about how to create a winning, collaborative team? Feel free to contact me here and we’ll discuss how to bring your team together.