By Neuza Chaves, senior advisor at FALCONI
Many companies call employees “colaboradores” (another word for employee in Portuguese, translated literally as ‘collaborator’), but do not have collaborative environments. To contextualize this topic and inspire companies to become more collaborative, management consultant, Neuza Chaves, senior advisor at FALCONI, highlighted the challenges surrounding this concept in a talk given at the 30th Super Rio Expofood, mediated by João Sanzovo, president of ABRAS.
Neuza emphasizes that collaborative environments do not emerge spontaneously, but need to be built. “What’s needed for an environment to be collaborative is the transformation of the boss into a leader. Traditional bosses give orders and require people follow their script. Leaders are only legitimized when they have results, and results come from the people they lead. This transformation may be obvious to us, but an obvious need is often not perceived, and this causes harm, such as loss of productivity, quality and motivation, and leads to turnover, which has a strong impact on business,” she says.
According to the consultant, today’s managers must understand that they need to become leaders to create collaborative environments. “Managers have to have a vision for interdependence, and not let go of the old idea that everyone is directly dependent on them. Some of our work is focused on collaborative leadership. Nowadays, changes are taking place rapidly, and increasingly more is expected of leaders, resources are increasingly fewer, and products and services can quickly become outdated. Therefore, this is a challenge for leaders — to have people helping them to tackle these challenges,” she stresses.
Challenges and solutions
Neuza argues that people like to collaborate and it is important to motivate them. She points out that working collaboratively involves giving ideas, cooperating with other colleagues and helping managers. “There are people in leadership who do not develop good interpersonal relationships with the people on their team. Such leaders encourage and ask people to collaborate, but the way the message is transmitted causes fear, and fear does not draw people closer. There are various companies that are considered examples that have managed to reduce failures and increase productivity because they gave employees this type of environment, enabling teams to participate and give ideas, without fear,” she says.
A growing number of organizations — including IBM, Citibank, Nasa and Kaiser Permanente — are reaping the fruits of collaborative environments in the form of higher margins. Through knowledge-based work, they have reduced error rates by 75% in six years and achieved an annual increase in productivity of 10%, while also making products more innovative and technologically sophisticated.
Source: Super Negócio magazine– May 2018