4 Reasons Companies Need to Invest in Workplace Collaboration
Blog: Solutions Review - Business Process Management
The editors at Solutions Review, in partnership with Cloudfresh, have analyzed The Anatomy of Work Global Index from Asana to highlight some of the most important reasons companies should invest in workplace collaboration.
Workplace collaboration is under greater scrutiny than ever before. Now that most companies are far from their pre-pandemic routines, workers are better equipped to identify and call out bottlenecks. As a result, the speed and efficiency leaders use when responding to cross-functional collaboration (sometimes shortened to “XFN collaboration”) problems can play a significant role in the continued success of their companies.
This reality drove the team at Asana to survey nearly 10,000 global knowledge workers in late 2022 to attempt to uncover the effects of cross-functional collaboration on business. The Anatomy of Work Global Index results revealed several insights that reinforce the value optimized workplace collaboration can have. In the sections below, we’ll spotlight a few of the insights in Asana’s report, explain why they’re valuable, and outline how companies can use them to improve workplace collaboration.
The Top Reasons Companies Need to Invest in Workplace Collaboration
1) Collaboration Improves Efficiency
When a team has consistent collaboration, individual workers are better prepared to do their jobs effectively. Collaboration allows them to work together to solve problems without wasting time identifying which employees are responsible for what. Instead, everyone knows their role, who they should work alongside, and what they must do to accomplish a goal.
According to the Anatomy of Work report, collaborating isn’t only a “nice to have” feature for companies—it’s crucial to succeed. Asana’s research shows that fifty-five percent of “workers at collaborative organizations report revenue growth over the past three years,” nearly double that of companies with less robust collaboration initiatives. The director of one department meeting with the head of another to set goals is the first step. For cross-functional collaboration to make a difference, it must be effective deep into the org chart.
2) Cross-Functional Collaboration Helps Employees Respond to Challenges
Cross-functional collaboration makes it easier for employees to pool their resources and tackle mission-critical challenges more efficiently. This enables individual workers to focus on tasks that are most aligned with their skills, which, in turn, makes their work feel more valuable, brings more value to the overall business, and maximizes productivity across the project. The data in Asana’s report backs this up: over ninety percent of workers at collaborative organizations feel their work has value, whereas only fifty percent of employees at companies with weaker XFN collaboration say the same.
When roadblocks occur (and they will), companies with stronger collaboration will be better equipped to respond effectively. For example, seventy-nine percent of workers who reported feeling like their organization collaborates effectively also said they were well-prepared to adapt to emergent challenges.
3) Better Employee Engagement Drives Progress Toward Business Goals
When employees are genuinely engaged in their work, they exhibit heightened commitment, enthusiasm, and a sense of ownership over their role in a company. This translates into increased productivity, improved teamwork, and a proactive attitude toward individual and collective problem-solving. By establishing a culture of employee engagement, an organization can harness the complete potential of their teams, resulting in better efficiency, performance, and, ultimately, the realization of strategic goals.
For example, consider the following statistic: People at companies with clear goals report that they understand how their work supports their teammates substantially more (over one hundred percent higher, to be more accurate) than those without clear objectives. These workers were likelier than the average employee to say their work would help their future careers. This reinforces that employees who can see how they contribute to their company will be more engaged and productive, as company performance can (and will) directly affect personal performance and growth.
4) Teams with Connected Goals are More Confident in Their Business
Teams that share connected goals with each other and the company at large tend to experience a heightened sense of confidence and cohesion within their business endeavors. For example, the Anatomy of Work report says that eighty-seven percent of workers with individual goals tied to company-wide goals believe their company is well-equipped to meet customer expectations. That percentage is more than double that of workers who don’t think their company has clear goals.
When team members are aligned with a common purpose and vision, they develop a collective understanding of their roles and responsibilities, fostering a sense of unity and mutual support. This shared direction enables them to collaborate seamlessly, leveraging each member’s strengths to tackle challenges and capitalize on opportunities. This synergy boosts individual morale and enhances the overall team dynamics, allowing for open communication, effective decision-making, and a greater willingness to take calculated risks that pay off in the short and long term.
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