In practice, the workplace is an environment where a number of individuals are working together but with differing agenda and goals, a number of which can run contrary to each other. The challenge for a business is to try and meld these different views and approaches together to try to get everyone working collaboratively.
As the new coalition Government has shown sometimes it can be necessary to bring together individuals with very different views and try to form a cohesive plan that can be supported by all. In order for this to be successful it requires strong leadership and compromise. This is as true for business as it is for Government.
The fundamental basis for any harmonious relationship is respect. All people and departments need to believe that they are valued and listened to. If the appearance is given, rightly or wrongly, that the work of one team or department is valued above the others then it causes bad feeling within the workplace.
In general, an employee wants to know that they can come in, do their job and be paid for that work. If they do additional work for the company they would reasonably expect that any effort to go above and beyond would be recognised. They want to be able to do their job without interference and without getting caught up in office politics and someone else’s personal agenda. As importantly, they want to feel valued and know that their concerns are given proper consideration rather than just dismissed as unimportant.
There needs to be a recognition and understanding of how the different parts of the business work so that actions are taken in line with a wider commercial perspective. Where an individual is empire building or causing bad feeling through playing politics then they need to be brought under control. Where an employee is actively working in the spirit of collaboration then that should be recognised.
You need a realistic business strategy that takes into account the capabilities of all the different sections of the company. This can be developed by involving all the different sections in setting this strategy. Once this has been developed the managers of each section needs to get buy in from their employees to get this to work. Make sure that you are clear on what you want to achieve so that each employee can consider what they are doing and see how it contributes to achieving the company’s aims. This approach works in both large and small companies.
Once individuals know that they are valued, their concerns are given serious consideration, their hard work will be recognised and that the company will take steps to ensure that everyone is allowed to do their job without any unnecessary interference it will encourage a more collaborative environment which benefits the company.