MyPage is a personalized page based on your interests.The page is customized to help you to find content that matters you the most.


I'm not curious

What’s a Collaboration Overload and What’s the Problem with It?

Published on 28 August 17
1004
0
2
What’s a Collaboration Overload and What’s the Problem with It? - Image 1

Every employer and employee out there knows just how much things like good chemistry, company culture and team collaboration are important in the modern workplace…

Seeing how in the past, according to statistics compiled by the Queens University, almost 40% of people believed that their company doesn’t collaborate enough, employers did everything in their power to encourage a more collaborative culture in their workplace.

So naturally, collaboration has been encouraged as much as possible in the last couple of years, and on the surface, things seemed to improve for both the workers and the companies around the country…

But as it turns out – collaboration can actually be a huge hassle for today’s workers, and this Economist article explains, it can also sometimes lead to diminishing returns… When everybody needs to be in contact with everybody else at all times, a certain projects will definitely suffer…

The Collaboration Overload Problem

While you surely understand the basics of this concept, let’s go a bit deeper. Although we’re not sure how or when the phrase collaboration overload coined, it was certainly popularized by a recent Harvard Business Article on the matter...

The writers used the phrase to describe the overwhelming magnitude of messages, emails, meetings and other workplace interactions that could really disrupt the work of employees. And as the article notes, a number of studies has shown that people who are most valuable collaborators in their organizations have clearly the lowest levels of job satisfaction and engagement.

Constant feedback they have to give and receive simply takes up too much of their time, obstructs their work and consequently, does serious harm to their home life. As a matter of fact, according to a recent survey of more than 2,000 working adults by Workfront, roughly 39% of employees in the US have missed an important family event in the past 12 months, due to bad work/life balance…

Simply put, most organizations are forcing their top – or star – workers, who are in most cases best sources of information under too much pressure to collaborate with their colleagues, which is why they the lowest satisfaction and engagement scores…

Relying Too Much on Extra Millers

There’s a wide variety of factors that influence this culture of collaboration overload however, before you start thinking about the big picture, you first need to address the biggest problem in your organization and stop relying on your extra milers to relieve them from too much pressure.

What’s exactly an extra miler you might be wondering… According to research from the University of Iowa, this is essentially a great and dedicated employee that most often goes above and beyond his or her role in the organization…

You of course need these guys and gals in your company if you want to have any success at all. They need to be on your top teams as well… However, when it comes to team collaboration, you’re probably putting too much weight on their shoulders…

As the University of Iowa researchers explain, in most cases, around 35% of value-added collaborations come from 5% of your employees. And those 5% are the extra milers in your company. But how this happens in the first place? In most companies, when employees do a good job on a project, their reputation grow and they organically become an integral part of the next 3, 4 or 5 big projects…

You don’t want your top employees to remain unsatisfied in the long run, because if they do, they will eventually start looking for a new company. So if you don’t want to over-burden that important group, here’s what you need to do…

You first need to redefine the roles of your top employees in the organization and relieve them of a portion of their draining tasks. Next, you need to either resign others to handle those tasks or hire some specific people to manage those less important takes…

How to Solve This Problem?

Once you deal with the top employees, you need to look at the problem as a whole… Now, the thing is, you shouldn’t actually discourage collaboration, because that will have a negative effect on your team, but you probably know that already.

So what can you do instead? Basically, you need to do a couple of things that will allow your employees to collaborate more efficiently. And in order to help you improve team collaboration, bellow we have a couple of potential questions for your questions concerning this subject…

· Start having less meetings

As The Muse reports, there are more than three billion business meetings every year. That’s a huge number. What’s more, recent research has shown that more than 34% of these meetings are nothing more than time-wasters… So if an employee spends 24 hours in meetings every week, he wastes more than 8 hours on a weekly basis…

So you need to start looking objectively just how many of your projects and decisions really need a big committee. Meetings, are naturally a requirement if you’re doing any kind of business, but if you’re always cleat about your expectations and business objects and if you trust your employees, the work will be done on time, without all of those time-consuming meetings…

· Engage in some cross-training

If your current approach to project management involves too many people, you should consider engaging in cross-training. This approach allows a small number of workers to handle a task that usually requires a big team… You just have to be careful about who you train…

In some cases, this means hiring a professional consultant to train your staff, but considering how you can easily find a user-friendly project management web application these days, you can just ask some of your experienced employees to teach the rest how to use them in a couple of days…

· Give feedback on regular occasion

Out last tip for efficient collaborations concerns giving proper and timely feedback to your employees. The first thing you need to understand is – you can’t keep your employees waiting for feedback on their work before they can move forward. Your inbox can’t be stacked with emails asking for your approval too long. Therefore, you should make sure to answer these emails as quickly as possible.

And don’t ruminate on it for too long, try to provide feedback in the moment if you can. Lastly, you shouldn’t worry about coming off too harsh if something doesn’t go according to plan. According to research conducted by Zenger and Folkman, more than 90% of employees agree that both negative and positive will improve their personal performance, if you manage do deliver it properly.
What’s a Collaboration Overload and What’s the Problem with It? - Image 1

Every employer and employee out there knows just how much things like good chemistry, company culture and team collaboration are important in the modern workplace…

Seeing how in the past, according to statistics compiled by the Queens University, almost 40% of people believed that their company doesn’t collaborate enough, employers did everything in their power to encourage a more collaborative culture in their workplace.

So naturally, collaboration has been encouraged as much as possible in the last couple of years, and on the surface, things seemed to improve for both the workers and the companies around the country…

But as it turns out – collaboration can actually be a huge hassle for today’s workers, and this Economist article explains, it can also sometimes lead to diminishing returns… When everybody needs to be in contact with everybody else at all times, a certain projects will definitely suffer…

The Collaboration Overload Problem

While you surely understand the basics of this concept, let’s go a bit deeper. Although we’re not sure how or when the phrase collaboration overload coined, it was certainly popularized by a recent Harvard Business Article on the matter...

The writers used the phrase to describe the overwhelming magnitude of messages, emails, meetings and other workplace interactions that could really disrupt the work of employees. And as the article notes, a number of studies has shown that people who are most valuable collaborators in their organizations have clearly the lowest levels of job satisfaction and engagement.

Constant feedback they have to give and receive simply takes up too much of their time, obstructs their work and consequently, does serious harm to their home life. As a matter of fact, according to a recent survey of more than 2,000 working adults by Workfront, roughly 39% of employees in the US have missed an important family event in the past 12 months, due to bad work/life balance…

Simply put, most organizations are forcing their top – or star – workers, who are in most cases best sources of information under too much pressure to collaborate with their colleagues, which is why they the lowest satisfaction and engagement scores…

Relying Too Much on Extra Millers

There’s a wide variety of factors that influence this culture of collaboration overload however, before you start thinking about the big picture, you first need to address the biggest problem in your organization and stop relying on your extra milers to relieve them from too much pressure.

What’s exactly an extra miler you might be wondering… According to research from the University of Iowa, this is essentially a great and dedicated employee that most often goes above and beyond his or her role in the organization…

You of course need these guys and gals in your company if you want to have any success at all. They need to be on your top teams as well… However, when it comes to team collaboration, you’re probably putting too much weight on their shoulders…

As the University of Iowa researchers explain, in most cases, around 35% of value-added collaborations come from 5% of your employees. And those 5% are the extra milers in your company. But how this happens in the first place? In most companies, when employees do a good job on a project, their reputation grow and they organically become an integral part of the next 3, 4 or 5 big projects…

You don’t want your top employees to remain unsatisfied in the long run, because if they do, they will eventually start looking for a new company. So if you don’t want to over-burden that important group, here’s what you need to do…

You first need to redefine the roles of your top employees in the organization and relieve them of a portion of their draining tasks. Next, you need to either resign others to handle those tasks or hire some specific people to manage those less important takes…

How to Solve This Problem?

Once you deal with the top employees, you need to look at the problem as a whole… Now, the thing is, you shouldn’t actually discourage collaboration, because that will have a negative effect on your team, but you probably know that already.

So what can you do instead? Basically, you need to do a couple of things that will allow your employees to collaborate more efficiently. And in order to help you improve team collaboration, bellow we have a couple of potential questions for your questions concerning this subject…

· Start having less meetings

As The Muse reports, there are more than three billion business meetings every year. That’s a huge number. What’s more, recent research has shown that more than 34% of these meetings are nothing more than time-wasters… So if an employee spends 24 hours in meetings every week, he wastes more than 8 hours on a weekly basis…

So you need to start looking objectively just how many of your projects and decisions really need a big committee. Meetings, are naturally a requirement if you’re doing any kind of business, but if you’re always cleat about your expectations and business objects and if you trust your employees, the work will be done on time, without all of those time-consuming meetings…

· Engage in some cross-training

If your current approach to project management involves too many people, you should consider engaging in cross-training. This approach allows a small number of workers to handle a task that usually requires a big team… You just have to be careful about who you train…

In some cases, this means hiring a professional consultant to train your staff, but considering how you can easily find a user-friendly project management web application these days, you can just ask some of your experienced employees to teach the rest how to use them in a couple of days…

· Give feedback on regular occasion

Out last tip for efficient collaborations concerns giving proper and timely feedback to your employees. The first thing you need to understand is – you can’t keep your employees waiting for feedback on their work before they can move forward. Your inbox can’t be stacked with emails asking for your approval too long. Therefore, you should make sure to answer these emails as quickly as possible.

And don’t ruminate on it for too long, try to provide feedback in the moment if you can. Lastly, you shouldn’t worry about coming off too harsh if something doesn’t go according to plan. According to research conducted by Zenger and Folkman, more than 90% of employees agree that both negative and positive will improve their personal performance, if you manage do deliver it properly.

Related Posts:
Post a Comment

Please notify me the replies via email.

Important:
  • We hope the conversations that take place on MyTechLogy.com will be constructive and thought-provoking.
  • To ensure the quality of the discussion, our moderators may review/edit the comments for clarity and relevance.
  • Comments that are promotional, mean-spirited, or off-topic may be deleted per the moderators' judgment.
You may also be interested in
 
Awards & Accolades for MyTechLogy
Winner of
REDHERRING
Top 100 Asia
Finalist at SiTF Awards 2014 under the category Best Social & Community Product
Finalist at HR Vendor of the Year 2015 Awards under the category Best Learning Management System
Finalist at HR Vendor of the Year 2015 Awards under the category Best Talent Management Software
Hidden Image Url

Back to Top