Photo (file) - Jasmin Kaur, Director, Randstad Malaysia.
According to recruitment and HR specialist Randstad's Q3 Workmonitor, 95 percent of Malaysian employees reported that the advancement of technology is making collaboration in the workplace increasingly important.
Randstad Malaysia director Jasmine Kaur said that as a result of these latest findings, 82 percent of employees have asked for their organisations to spend more time promoting collaboration among employees.
Results from the global quarterly survey of 33 countries also showed that more than three-quarters (79 percent) of employees in Malaysia believe they are collaborating with their colleagues more now than five years ago, said Kaur.
She said that today's globally connected world was changing the way employers work and communicate with each other, "and that it is not surprising employees now find themselves working with diverse teams more frequently."
"Advancements in technology such as cloud computing and video conferencing allow employees to work with those working from home, on the road, or even in another country," said Kaur. "It's important that employers provide their staff members with the relevant training and tools that enable effective workplace collaboration, This can include Skype accounts to communicate with colleagues who work remotely, or Google Drive to review and amend documents in real-time."
"Effective collaboration is not only about providing the necessary digital tools," she said. "To ensure employees perform optimally in teams, each team member needs to understand their respective roles and responsibilities, and engage in open dialogue. This can prevent duplication of work and workplace conflict, which can sometimes emerge with increased collaboration."
Kaur added that eight in 10 employees surveyed said that they perform better in teams than individually, that diverse teams tend to outperform those with similar members (80 percent), and 93 percent believe that working in teams requires specific social skills.
"With the workforce becoming more diverse, employees need to learn how to work and communicate with colleagues of different ages, genders and cultural backgrounds. Not everyone has the same working style, and using highly developed social skills and the art of compromise ensure that teams can work more cohesively together," she said.
"Employers can help by organising social gatherings outside working hours to give employees more opportunities to interact with one another and form better relationships," said Kaur. "There are many benefits to organisations who invest in stronger collaboration. Working in a diverse environment encourages innovation and can improve performance by exposing employees to a wider range of work experience and skills. This can fill skills gaps and drive productivity in the workplace."
She said other findings from the Q3 Randstad Workmonitor survey include:
- A majority (84 percent) of the employees expect to be working more with specialists outside their organisation, which will add specific knowledge and competencies;
- Eight in 10 (81 percent) employees are recognised and rewarded by their organisation for collaborating with colleagues;
- Only 32 percent of the employees believe that collaboration is not required in their line of work.
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