In our world of constant disruption where we see business models evolve continuously, there is a proliferation of the gig economy and a shift towards a co-working mindset. This has further emphasized the importance of collaboration and teamwork, with connectivity, communication and collaboration being three main pillars required to stay relevant.
In the Indian context, this poses a particularly interesting challenge given our competitive educational framework, an emphasis on grades and marks rather than learning, as well as family ecosystems that promote the achievements of an individual over the collective.
A survey on Indian executives that compared them to their global counterparts conducted in 2015 found that Indian executives featured lower on teamwork at 17per cent compared to their Chinese and American counterparts at 30per cent and 28per cent respectively. The survey further highlighted the difference when it came to Indian leaders who scored far lower on collaborative abilities with 24per cent demonstrating a weakness versus just 5per cent and 6per cent in their Chinese and American counterparts.
In fact, most future skills reports such as the World Economic Forum (WEF) have identified the ability to work collaboratively and people management as important skills for the 2020 workplace.
As we continue to adopt collaborative technologies, we can have diversified teams and work across geographies, it becomes equally important for us to build organizational cultures that truly embody the spirit of teamwork and collaboration. While most of us understand the need for improved teamwork, are a part of a team and appreciate the opportunity to leverage a collaborative culture, here are some benefits of honing our team working capabilities:
A Support Infrastructure: Enhanced cooperation leads to greater workplace synergy by providing a greater sense of belonging that encourages the development of an ecosystem over a standalone person or team.
Retention and Motivation: While most people leave a role on account of people, a culture that fosters collaboration, mutual respect and empathy serves to motivate its team members, while retaining them as well.
Increased Ownership: A shared vision is important as it creates a sense of responsibility towards a larger goal. It encourages people to work cohesively and feel a sense of achievement when milestones are accomplished as a team. It is imperative that management focuses on aligned teams to the organization’s goals.
Fuels Trust: Developing a culture of open and honest communication, predicated on increased collaboration and transparency, is key to developing trust among team members.
Alternative Viewpoints: As teams get more diverse in their composition, it is important to create a culture that accepts a variety of viewpoints. This will help stimulate innovation and enhance creative across all tasks!
Defines roles and responsibilities: A clear understanding of roles and responsibilities is key to ensuring effective collaboration by leveraging the skills sets of various team members and enabling prioritization of tasks. This will also contribute to increased accountability and shared responsibility.
Encourages individual development: Working closely as a team creates an environment of shared learning, mentorship and guidance. Team members can learn from each other’s mistakes, get different perspectives on tasks, and build better workplace relationships. Driving a culture of guidance and a conversation around failure will only serve to deepen the personal development of each individual on the team.