Leadership Inspires Collaboration:
Most people are familiar with how organizational silos can take shape and hold within the workplace. These silos lead to teams and departments that avoid sharing information and resources thus creating a “us vs. them” mindset. Therefore, it is important for leaders to ensure what they communicate and demonstrate through their leadership evokes collaboration between teams and individuals instead of conflict. This is especially important in remote workplace environments. There are a few steps leaders can take to inspire collaboration.
1. Emphasize the organization’s share purpose or vision – One of the most critical roles for today’s leaders is to communicate and exemplify an idea or purpose that unites people to dedicate their best efforts to make that vision a reality. Reminding employees of their shared purpose and vision helps to avoid the “us vs. them” mentality.
2. Communicate often, but also on a personal level – Leaders need to ensure that they’re creating virtual and physical environments that promotes and natures a personal connection amongst employees. This type of environment allows employees to feel more connected and like they are all in it together. Arranging gatherings that are not always focused on work-related matters is a great way to accomplish this goal. Different departments and teams should come together to discuss how they’re doing, any challenges recently faced, any concerns, etc. Encouraging honest conversations allows everyone to understand the challenges every department or team faces. It also helps all employees to view each other as partners and not competitors.
3. Create opportunities for shared learning – One of the biggest drives behind the polarization in workplaces is due to a lack of interest to listen to and understand each other. This is especially common amongst virtual working. Many virtual employees are limited to their exposure to other that can provide insights and challenging perspectives. Encouraging people to share their experiences is critical to success. However, it is important to create a safe space for sharing that makes everyone feel included and welcomed. One of the most damaging aspects of the “us vs. them” mindset is that it leads people to assign blame on others for whatever problems they face. It is a leader’s responsibility to ensure that every problem, every issue is treated as an opportunity not to highlight the difference, but to emphasize the commonalities in order to rally people around a common goal or objective.
If leaders truly want to encourage all employees to deliver their best, then they need to make sure their leadership inspires collaboration instead of conflict. This style will help a workplace have long term growth and success.
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