Success Through Collaboration
Collaboration is key to any job for employees at every point in their career. Whether you’re in business, engineering or legal from an entry-level to a managerial position, you have to be able to work with people who are different from you.
Collaborating creates a platform for a team to work together toward common goals and to achieve objectives that can benefit an entire company. It provides a brainstorming opportunity to uncover diverse perspectives. And, it creates a unique chance to draw on special skillsets from colleagues across functions.
But how can you be more collaborative?
In order to start the process of collaborating, you have to build a welcoming environment so that colleagues feel they can freely share their experiences, expertise and ideas. By including people with different skillsets, such as creative, technical, legal and so on, there is a greater chance that innovative ideas will be formed.
Diversity comes in different forms, for example, previous work experience, cultural backgrounds, tenure at the company, and this can benefit a team or an entire organization. One example of this from my experience was when I worked on a team here at Jabil to create a new code of conduct training.
On that team, there was a colleague from Europe, who brought unique cultural viewpoints to certain elements of the training including adding diverse names in the scenarios, as well as, a non-attorney team member, helping to ensure the training could be understood by the majority of our employees who have no legal training. Their efforts along with others attributed to this past year’s training surpassing previous years’ completion rates and deadlines.
Along with making everyone feel welcome to share their unique insights, it’s vital that you communicate your vision, ideas and questions – as the project lead and as a team member. Be authentic in how you interact with your colleagues, as this will help you to gain their trust and to continue to build an inclusive environment.
Set measurable goals and clearly define them to the group. Once everyone is on the same page, then you can efficiently and successfully collaborate. Communicating with a diverse team gives you the opportunity to improve your communication skills as you may be fortunate enough to work with global team members from a variety of cultural backgrounds. It is important to take the time to understand and be respectful of the different communication styles of your team members.
Collaborating with communication experts is also a great way to make your project more impactful. I had the opportunity to work on the current Partner Lifecycle project, specifically being tasked to draft the Jabil Supplier Code of Conduct. I worked with some great employees in supply chain marketing and corporate communications who made an otherwise ordinary document look interesting and engaging. The Jabil Supplier Code of Conduct was successfully rolled out in July 2019 to our current suppliers setting forth Jabil’s expectations that they adhere to the applicable laws and regulations that apply to electronic manufacturers. The Supplier Code of Conduct was a “quick win” for the Partner Lifecycle project and was achieved by effective collaboration.
Respect the viewpoints of others; remember you may have to compromise at times and be the team cheerleader. It’s a waste of energy to focus on what didn’t work or what things won’t help make the project successful.
Promoting positivity is another way to communicate an inclusive environment for the team because people will feel more willing to share and be proud of their ideas. Project leads or managers can accomplish this easily by recognizing “quick wins” or accomplishments during regular staff meetings or in department newsletters. This simple positive reinforcement can go a long way in being inclusive and retaining diverse employees.
Ready, Set, Collaborate
Having a diverse and inclusive work environment is essential to making collaboration work and ultimately, makes the deliverables more impactful. To do that, be genuine, respectful and focus on the results. The results are measurable!
These skills will help carry you through your career and provide you a solid foundation of skills for any role or level of position you may have. Plus, it’s part of the Jabil culture!