It is best when a company encourages teamwork as well as letting people work alone without interference when necessary. This requires a delicate balance between forming HR policies that support individuality as well as ones that promote collaboration.
Create a collaborative culture
Collaboration within companies is essential. Yet, McKinsey and Company has found that companies often struggle to encourage employees to work together across hierarchical, functional and departmental boundaries. This is a problem because collaboration is becoming increasingly important with the rise of specialisation in knowledge. Departments can't be completely cut off from each other because, at the end of the day, they all need to collaborate towards one unified purpose.
How should HR go about resolving this issue? McKinsey and Company suggests that HR should train employees to engage in collaborative behaviours, build an informal community, encourage frequent meetings and rework performance metrics so that they reflect group efforts rather than just an individual's accomplishment.
Collaboration is crucial for productivity and creativity in a company. It's important that business leaders don't lose sight of what great things can come with meetings of the minds.
Freedom for the individual not ruled by hierarchy
While collaboration is well and good, companies should also give individuals the freedom to go off and do their own thing when the time feels right. Sometimes, individuals have a better idea, but their thoughts can be stifled by louder voices in the group. Plus, higher-ups don't always know what's best in a particular department because they're not directly involved in its activities.
Making a company less hierarchical can have enormous creative benefits.
KISSmetrics cites Google as a company that sometimes allows individuals to take control of particular projects if they feel capable of doing so. Google News was a product of this policy. It was created by a research scientist at Google named Krishna Bharat who, after 9/11, got the idea. Bharat thought "it would be useful to see news reporting from multiple sources on a given topic assembled in one place."
He saw a problem and fixed it accordingly. And only he could've done so because he dealt with this particular area of research every day. Someone higher up in the hierarchy didn't tell him to do it – he acted on his own volition. This goes to show that letting individuals veer off on their own course can have enormous creative benefits.
Flexi Personnel knows how important company culture is. Our HR consultants can guide you on ways to support both collaboration and individual creativity to improve your business operations.