What Can a Lack of Cooperation Affect in the Workplace?

by Jagg Xaxx; Updated September 26, 2017
Uncooperative people can make a workplace difficult.

An effective workplace requires employees who know how to work together to get the job done. When cooperation breaks down, the result is a dissatisfied staff and reduced productivity. Knowledgeable managers understand the importance of cooperation among employees and foster a cooperative work atmosphere.

Innovation

Businesses that are involved in competitive fields must consistently innovate to stay ahead of their competition. Exchanging ideas in a cooperative and mutually supportive way is a central aspect of effective innovation. If one or more employees cease to cooperate with others, whether because of interpersonal conflict or a desire to dominate the process of invention, this leads to a breakdown in development. The free flow of information is disrupted, and colleagues who are dependent on this information cease to be as productive. When everyone involved in the project understands the importance of working together, success is far more likely.

Job Satisfaction

Uncooperative people, unless they are working in totally isolated circumstances, have an impact on the people around them. Working with someone who is unwilling to cooperate is an unpleasant experience and has an impact on overall job satisfaction. Although people should ideally be focusing on their work rather than on the people around them, human beings are inherently social animals and are affected by the environment in which they work. Being surrounded by cooperative and accommodating people helps to make a workplace into a pleasant place to be.

Efficiency

Efficiency depends on cooperation in the same way that innovation does. In offices, manufacturing facilities and retail stores, staff members work together within a prearranged system for accomplishing tasks. These systems are dependent on the mutual effort of employees to achieve a common goal. Refusing to cooperate with others removes a link from this chain and causes the whole system to function less efficiently and, in extreme situations, to stop functioning altogether. Some tasks could be done by individuals, each working alone, but this is rarely as efficient as a group of people focusing on a particular aspect.

Safety

Safety in the workplace is a primary concern for workers, and communication is a central aspect of safety. Communication, which keeps everyone in the workplace aware of potential hazards, is an inherently cooperative process in which information is exchanged consistently and completely. In uncooperative environments, workers can be put at risk because they are unaware of potential hazards. This can be as simple as a worker not informing his coworkers that he has removed a bolt on a table saw for maintenance. In cooperative environments, all workers make an effort to remain aware of safety and to keep all of their coworkers apprised of the safety situation.

About the Author

Jagg Xaxx has been writing since 1983. His primary areas of writing include surrealism, Buddhist iconography and environmental issues. Xaxx worked as a cabinetmaker for 12 years, as well as building and renovating several houses. Xaxx holds a Doctor of Philosophy in art history from the University of Manchester in the U.K.

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