The study published in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology showed the idea that even the mere perception of working collectively on a task can supercharge our performance.
Participants in the research who were primed to act collaboratively stuck at their task 64% longer than their solitary peers, whilst also reporting higher engagement levels, lower fatigue levels and a higher success rate. What's more, this impact persisted for several weeks.
A few years later, Institute for Corporate Productivity, Rob Cross and Edward A. Madden conducted a study and they found out that the organizations which promoted the collaborative working were 5 times as likely to be high performing.
The study examined over 1,100 companies, many of whom claim to have open and collaborative cultures. Whilst many wanted to be collaborative however, a relative minority managed to achieve good results, with the authors suggesting that the key to efficient collaboration is purpose.
Once purpose has been set up, it's important to ensure that your work environment all works towards supporting and promoting collaborative working. There are a number of systemic factors that influence how we behave at work, whether it's how information flows through your organization, how decisions are made, the physical design of your workplace, or how you measure and reward employee behaviors.
“The lack of incentives and rewards is the most common and powerful barrier to effective collaboration. Yet, most talent management systems are designed to reward individual achievement, not team accomplishments,” said Kevin Martin, Chief Research Officer, i4cp. “Finding ways to recognize and reward individuals, leaders, and teams who engage in productive collaborative behaviors can pay off in a big way.”
In addition, another study conducted in 2013 showed that people tend not to collaborate when there is little incentive to do so. The research found that money had a profound impact on people willingness to collaborate.
Therefore, it is very important for the organizations to promote collaboration, but also to use the technology that will foster it.