Cooperation is not always an easy thing to achieve in the workplace, but the effort is worth it because it leads to a harmonious and productive space. Cooperation can make the difference between success and failure for many businesses. When employees dedicate more time to their duties in a cooperative workplace, they are more productive and things get done more quickly and efficiently. Valuable time is not lost resolving bickering and conflict between employees and management when there is cooperation at the workplace.
Teamwork is a mark of cooperation at the workplace. ‘Teamwork makes the dream work” says author John C. Maxwell. In a cooperation-rich workplace, individuals will voluntarily engage in open discussion. Management and employees work together and try to keep arguments to a minimum.
It takes empathy and skill, to bring a group of employees to cooperate and come together as a team. The basic role of a leader is to inspire. If you are a leader, in any sense, never forget the influence you have on others. As a boss, supervisor or leader, your attitude affects your employees and co-workers. Remember, that as your attitude affects your employees, in turn their attitudes affect your customers. And, as we all know, your customers are the lifeblood of your business.
A lot of people don’t know how to build a highly effective team. It is cooperation which is the pillar of teamwork. It has to be a part of any team that hopes to be successful. So what does it mean? And how do you get it? Cooperation means a group of employees working together for everyone’s benefit.
In other words, no one has to lose for you to win. And yet it’s the opposite in so many organizations. There is more strife within the organization and amongst the members than there is from the outside. That is not a sign of healthy teamwork.
You might take a look at your own team to see if it passes the first test. Is everyone working together? In a healthy team, you realize that everything is connected. Success depends on your ability to create interpersonal partnerships where everyone takes responsibility for positive results.
The Importance of Cooperation to Teamwork
Discussion is healthy but workplaces are not enjoyable places when there are arguments and bickering. Managers can make the workplace more welcoming by working to foster cooperation between employees and management and reduce problems that can leave employees dissatisfied or eager to quit their jobs.
Cooperation also means taking turns and helping each other out. The two most important ingredients to get along in this world are sharing and taking turns. Effective teams take time to take turns, to learn from each other. Ineffective teams are too busy for they have their work to do and can’t waste their time on connecting with other team members.
In healthy teams there is no passing of the buck but an actual helping of one another. Do you see the members of your team helping each other out? Listen to the way people talk in your group or team. Do you here more comments showing willingness to help, or more we’s or me’s? Do you see people holding back; hoping somebody else will do it? You need to discuss how you are going to get past this roadblock.
Ways to Gain Cooperation and Increase Engagement
If you want to increase your employees’ engagement and commitment and encourage teamwork there are a few things you can do to make them feel valuable which will lead to committed employees.
It is easy for workers to feel like cogs in a big machine and having no real impact when they are not shown recognition. In cooperative workplaces, where employees are treated like a valuable part of the organization, management commonly reaches out to lower-leval employees seeking their input as to what should be done or how a task should be completed. When employees are afforded the opportunity to provide this input, they feel they have a voice in the organization and a stake in its success.
Engaging Your Employees
If you want employee engagement you have to find a way to make them part of the process. There is a difference between commitment and compliance. Compliant employees do what is required and no more. Committed employees become part of a team, looking for ways to benefit the company with their expertise, their ideas and their energy. Employees buy in to what they help to create. Once you have built a platform of trust with them, you can go to the next level and get their active participation. The way to make this happen is tell them the reasons for the decisions that are being made. When possible ask for their input, opinions, ideas and feedback, and publicly acknowledge employee ideas and contributions.
In a cooperative workplace employees feel like valuable components when management reaches out to employees seeking input as to what should be done or how a task should be completed. When employees are afforded the opportunity to provide input, they feel involved in the company and have a stake in its success.
If you ever had a boss who did not show much respect, but, now being on the other side of the fence, perhaps you do understand that leaders get tired of employee complaints, and frequently talk about how drama in the workplace hampers productivity. As a leader, you must set the tone of how complaints are registered, and you must develop the wisdom to respond appropriately instead of reacting to an employee’s negativity. You would be surprised at how you can shift an employee’s attitude simply by using good listening skills.
Listening to your Employees
The worst thing that a manager can do when an employee comes to him/her with a problem is to criticize or ignore. Do not make your employee feel insignificant. Pretending to listen or be sympathetic is even worse. Even if you hear what is being said, if you are distracted by checking e-mail, or looking at a message on your phone, you are unintentionally communicating that the person in front of you is not important enough to give your full attention.
Even if you feel distracted or are otherwise unavailable, to show you are listening, stop what you are doing, and look the person in the eye. Then acknowledge what he or she just said. This does not mean you agree with what was said; just that you heard what was being communicated. The solution is to set an appointment for a time later in the day when you will be free of distractions.
Magnify Peoples Strengths
The benefits of developing existing staff more than outweigh the cost of the time and money required to find new workers. The best companies make their employees even better and the least of them become better than what they thought they would ever be! In today’s competitive business economy, Managers are pushed towards minimizing labour costs rather than developing the long terms goal of increasing employees’ potential.
Recent research shows that employees who feel welcome to express their authentic selves at work exhibit higher levels of organizational commitment, individual performance, and a tendency to help others.
Set out to create a new culture of honesty. The facilitation of the flow of honest information. Some managers see parceling out information on a need-to-know basis as important to maintaining efficiency. Others practice a more benign fatherly approach, reluctant to worry their flock with certain information or to identify a problem before having a solution. Some feel an obligation to put a positive spin on even the most negative situations out of a best-foot-forward sense of loyalty to the organization.
When employees were asked the question, what could your boss do to become a better boss? Unequivocally two answers overshadowed every other answer show respect and listen. A good way to know if you are successful as a leader is not only by their performance, but by their engagement.