When it comes to businesses--no matter the size--it's extremely important to have synergy in the workplace. If you're having a productivity or efficiency issue in your business, one way to address this is through the promotion of synergy. Having employees that work well together is one thing, but having employees that truly understand how to work well together is another.
What is synergy?
By definition, synergy is the interaction of different elements that, when combined, produce an effect that is greater than their individual sums or contributions (Dictionary.com). Having this happen in your workplace will speak volumes to your productivity. Simply put: your staff members will work more efficiently if they are able to learn to effectively work well with one another.
Why do I need synergy in my workplace?
We've already established that synergy is two or more elements coming together to create something that's bigger than what they are on their own. We can interpret this as 1+1=3. So, why is this important in the workplace? To put it simply, more work gets accomplished and at a higher level of efficiency.
How do I promote synergy in the workplace?
Telling employees about synergy is one thing, having them actually practice it at work is a whole other challenge, especially because achieving it is an ongoing, never-ending process. Here are some ways to get your staff on board:
Create a plan and share it
Creating a plan based around what changes you would like to see happen in your workplace is a must. However, more important than the plan itself is sharing it with your staff. They need to know what the end goal is. Synergy only works if each team member knows not only their own responsibilities and expectations, but what every other team member has on their plate. This will allow your staff to work collaboratively from the beginning of a project all the way to its completion.
Schedule a workshop
You can't just tell your staff members what you want and expect it to happen. You must also explain to them how they are to get there. By holding an interactive workshop or seminar, your employees will truly see what you expect, and why it's important. Be sure that activities clearly show the positives of synergy in the workplace.
Promote good leadership and followership
Good leadership and followership is essential to ensuring synergy in the workplace. Remember--there is no leader if no one follows. The value of a good leader relies on others being good followers. Encourage staff to allow themselves to be led, to listen and to embrace direction from leaders
In many workplaces, staff feel they cannot approach their supervisors, directors or other levels of upper management with issues they may be experiencing. Having a mutual level of trust and respect is extremely important in all work settings. If your employees feel they can't come to you with a question or concern, that level of trust dissipates.
Practice what you preach
This may be the most important point. If you expect your employees to change the way they do things in the workplace, you need to make sure you are doing the same. If you don't, your team will notice and be less inclined to make the effort themselves. Ensure you're updating the team on a regular basis with successes and opportunities--including your own.
What prevents synergy from happening?
If you feel your workplace lacks synergy, you're probably right. There are many contributing factors to this issue. Some of the factors you may be experiencing are:
- Ineffective communication
- Poor leadership and followership
- Staff members not being "team players"
- A difference in individual priorities
It's important to address these issues right away. Remember, a team is only as strong as its weakest link, so it's important that all of your team members are on the same page.
Another factor to consider that may prevent synergy in the workplace is having the wrong people working on tasks. Each of your employees (even you!) presents in one of four working styles: dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientious. Although they can demonstrate each of these at any given time, they normally prefer or gravitate to one style (Quantam Learning Solutions). It's vital for both you and your employees to understand which behavior style they favor in order to best make use of each team member's strengths.
How do I fix it?
Using the four behaviors discussed above, you'll want to first and foremost identify which behavior category you fall into. By doing this, it will help you more easily identify which categories your staff members fall into.
Naturally this will be your next step: determining which style each of your employees encompass. You'll then want to figure out how to best leverage the styles of your team. Ensure tasks given to team members allow them to embrace their strengths and use them to benefit the rest of the team.
Lastly, you'll want to alter your approach to best reflect the styles of your team. Since everyone is different, different approaches are needed. This will ensure minimal conflict and maximum efficiency and productivity.
By introducing and promoting synergy in the workplace to your staff, you'll see a difference in their productivity and efficiency. Moreover, the quality of work will naturally increase. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses; however, when teams work together properly, each person focuses on the task that is best for them--usually a strength. When tasks are completed this way, each part of the project is done at a high level of quality. Synergy is definitely a crucial work place tool.