Engaged Employees Turn Productivity into Profitability - CollaborationPosted: 05/11/2015 12:00am
Andrew Carnegie once said “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” Collaboration is the most crucial element for developing engaged employees. Not only does it satisfy humanity’s innate need for interaction and development but it breeds inventive notions that cannot be obtained otherwise. Cooperation with peers builds and expands upon individual ideas to become inspiring and innovative concepts. These concepts are what drive productivity and creativity in the workplace.
So let’s look more closely at the second of three factors that develop strong employee engagement:
The most effective way of facilitating participation between employees is by encouraging group discussions. They allow employees to explore ideas in greater depth and learn from each other in order to create better products and services. That being said, it’s not necessary to include half of the company in a single meeting as it can lead to conflicting goals, but by opening discussions up to several departments you may be delighted to see how engaged employees become and how that engagement can turn to inspiration. For example, Cortex provides regular ‘Town Hall Meetings’ and brainstorming sessions. Not only does it encourage active participation but is a great means of acquiring valuable insight towards several different aspects of the business. We also recently hosted a build session for the corporate vision/mission. Employees were encouraged to attend and contribute their ideas on what they believe the Cortex brand to be. Cortex employees were essentially the foundation upon which the business will begin to mature. By showing employees that you trust and value their opinions, you provide an open forum for innovation and growth.
With nearly 71% of Fortune 500 companies providing them, mentoring programs is one of the strongest ways to develop collaborative teams (Lydell Bridgeford, 2007). Giving your employees a strong professional role model can be a less costly means of providing training and also develop a positive and productive working relationship. A study, conducted by Gartner, a research and advisory firm, and Capital Analytics, a software and services company, used statistical analysis to examine the financial impact of mentoring and how a client could target its spending in this area. Findings from the study include that mentors were promoted six times more than those not in the program and mentees were promoted five times more often. Retention rates for employees were also significantly higher for mentors and mentees than those not in the program. Mentoring programs provide employees with the opportunity to learn and gain support in their careers and, when encouraged by a mentor, your employees can help your business adapt to changes and reach new levels of success. Mentoring also benefits the organization by reducing turnover, increasing organizational commitment, promoting knowledge sharing and retention, and enabling early identification of top talent (C. Gibb, 1999, and G.L. Lewis 1996). However, mentoring is a joint venture. Successful mentoring requires that both parties share responsibility for learning and sustaining the relationship. Developing a mutually beneficial and respectful program is important. Formal corporate programs are worthwhile, but they can flounder if the mentor and protege do not hit it off.
Ultimately, cooperation in the workplace can increase productivity and improve job satisfaction. In a survey conducted by ClearCompany, 97% of employees and executives surveyed believe that lack of alignment within a team directly impacts the outcome of the task or project. With your employees working together you can expect things to be done more quickly and efficiently. By increasing cooperation among employees, managers can make their workplaces more welcoming and inviting, which increases workers’ enjoyment of time spent on the job. In workplaces that lack cooperation, workers commonly divide themselves into factions. When a workplace is divided in this fashion, misunderstandings prevail. If management actively promotes workplace cooperation and prevents workers from placing barriers between themselves and their colleagues, they foster understanding and communication.