Cooperation is one of the most widely taught skills. At an early age, we are taught “united we stand, divided we fall.” Cooperation means to work together to achieve a common goal. In the workplace this means a healthy environment in which employees work side by side to achieve both personal and organizational objectives. They must work with others, instead of against each other, to be productive.
Aristotle defined man to be a social animal by nature. He cannot survive without working with others toward a common aim. The prime reason to cooperate in a working environment is to achieve synergy. Achieving this is only possible when the management allows staff members to work their best at their own level. Taking time to understanding the employees and their behavior toward their reporting line helps create this synergy in a work area.
A win-win attitude should be encouraged in organizations. Employees who cooperate with others and strive for mutual accomplishment should be encouraged because a win-win attitude leads to a favorable result for all involved parties and subsequently leads to organizational growth. Teamwork helps with conflict management and ensures that none of the employees holds grudges against another. This is a concept encouraged by progressive program trainers around the world. Author Ralph Charell said it is through cooperation, rather than conflict, that your greatest successes will be derived.
In “Building a High Morale Workplace,” Anne Bruce defines a working environment according to the morale its employees possess. A worker will only do as required of him and never exceed expectations in an organization where morale is low. Similarly, where employees' morale is high they participate with fervor and produce results. Just putting together a team of efficient and qualified employees is not enough. An environment where employees trust, assist and support each other produces the best results.
It might not always be easy to achieve cooperation at a workplace. It becomes harder where the nature of work is competitive. If cooperation is not instilled in such a system, a few individuals may flourish with time but the organization as a whole will suffer. It is thus imperative to make sure that the competition is healthy and active.
Instilling cooperation cannot be accomplished overnight. The key is not to let go. The top management needs to keep boosting cooperation by talking about it to the employees and setting examples. Collaborative behavior should be encouraged. Making teams, assigning them projects and giving rewards based on cumulative performances can work wonders.
- “Joy in the Workplace”; Chris Alexander; 2003
- “Building a High Morale Workplace”; Anne Bruce; 2002
- “Win/Win - The Art of Synergistic Communication”; B. E. Lute; 2002