As I continue in my new role within the field of Knowledge Management, the topic of collaboration in the workplace has been increasingly important on my “radar”.
I have just read an article by Shawn Callahan from the Sydney Morning Herald, in which he emphasised the importance of collaboration in the workplace. With the use of the Cochlear Corporation as an example, Callahan argues that Team-based collaboration (made up of a tight-knit group who work to deliver a new idea) can provide organisations with real benefits.
One of the major benefits of collaboration within an organisation is that it increases employee job satisfaction. When people are encouraged to communicate their ideas, and have those ideas being valued and implemented within the organisation; employees feel more fulfilled and satisfied with their jobs. This benefit can then be directly related to an organisations profit margins, “…simply because happy staff provide better services to customers.”
On the Headshift Wiki, there is also an interesting viewpoint that collaboration and knowledge sharing is no longer so much about “knowing about”, but more about “knowing who”. The success of online social networking sites such as Facebook, enables organisations to consider how capturing data about a persons capabilities can increase collaboration within the workplace. In capturing this data, employees will find it easier in finding the ‘right’ person with the required knowledge and experience to collaborate with on a project.
The use of cheap social networking technologies such as blogs, wikis and forums allow employees to exchange and construct ideas that could really benefit both the organisation and the people who work for them.