Most people are familiar with the old adage, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” In organizational psychology, the phrase refers to the synergy created when individuals work together collaboratively. When executed well, collaboration can have myriad positive benefits on a business, from increased productivity to greater employee satisfaction, innovation, and more. As a result, effective collaboration can contribute to employee success, improved employee retention, and even greater customer satisfaction, improving overall business performance.
With remote and hybrid work settings becoming more viable alternatives to in-office work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, collaboration is the key to keeping your employees engaged and productive — no matter where employees work from. Effective collaboration fosters a sense of belonging, drives innovation, makes employees feel like valued contributors, and motivates them to perform at their best. And because it helps to boost productivity, collaboration also plays a role in both performance and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
To learn more about the specific benefits businesses can derive from effective collaboration, we reached out to a panel of business executives and HR leaders and asked them to answer this question:
“What’s the single biggest positive impact collaboration can have on a business?”
Meet Our Panel of Business Executives & HR Leaders:
Keep reading to learn what our experts had to say about the biggest positive impacts collaboration can have on your business and the importance of improving collaboration in the workplace.
Will Cannon is the CEO of Signaturely.
“The single biggest, positive impact collaboration can have on a business is…”
Boosting employee engagement.
Employees who are deliberately working to support their staff and organization are said to be engaged. Increased efficiency, retention rates, and customer loyalty can all be attributed to a highly motivated workforce. What drives workers to get involved and stay involved? It all boils down to the environment in which they work. In diverse units, where workers have the most opportunity to cooperate and face new challenges, the highest levels of interaction occur.
Charles McMillan is a businessman and founder of Stand With Main Street.
“It encourages employee skills development…”
When employees and members of the organization interact and exchange ideas, it becomes easier for everyone in the team to communicate, operate, work, and even negotiate. Seeing your colleagues excel in such areas will drive you to do better in the field. Fellow team members may even ask each other for suggestions on how they can improve without feeling awkward since they are well aware that the point of collaboration is to make the job more efficient. Employee skill retention can cultivate and nurture new perspectives and enhancements for the benefit of both the company and employees.
Julian Goldie is the CEO of Goldie Agency.
“You will get goods to market quicker if the company has a collaborative community…”
Teamwork and communication help to speed up the whole project and make producing something simpler. As a consequence, the whole organization’s capacity to generate value accelerates. We have reduced our scrum periods by 80%, essentially converting a week-long scrum cycle into a single day. We also are able to monitor the progress of different tasks online whenever we want to by introducing a task management tool, which helps us to move on to the next stage faster.
As a green/social entrepreneurship profitability consultant, speaker, and author of Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World (endorsed by Seth Godin and Chicken Soup’s Jack Canfield), Shel Horowitz takes businesses beyond mere sustainability (status quo) to regenerativity (improving). He helps develop and market profitable products/services that turn hunger/poverty into abundance, war into peace, and catastrophic climate change into planetary balance.
“When you collaborate, you borrow the prestige AND the audience of your collaborator…”
As an example, I did two Guerrilla Marketing books with series founder Jay Conrad Levinson. I did nearly all the writing, but his name was bigger on the first cover. People kept asking me why I did it. I pointed out that I was forever part of the biggest marketing brand in history, that I had multiple access points to his list of 84,000 (at the time we released the first book — it’s grown since then). Meanwhile, I brought the credibility of my subject knowledge in green business and social entrepreneurship, where Jay was unknown. He also got half the advance, but I was able to negotiate a double-sized advance based on his star power that netted me exactly what I would have gotten on my own.
Tony Mariotti is a licensed real estate agent and the CEO of RubyHome, a real estate platform for homes in Los Angeles.
“The #1 resulting win from a collaborative business model is…”
An increase in overall productivity.
Individual productivity, team productivity, and business productivity all increase. The thing is that a collaborative culture encourages the contribution and value of each member of the team. The result is a team that is motivated, empowered, and communicative, making a much more productive environment overall.
Yvonne Morriss is the Co-Founder and CEO at IP ToolWorks. She has worked dynamically across topics spanning detailed market analysis, strategic planning, and creative content creation.
“People who work together grow together…”
Working together and interacting will help us understand how others work, think, negotiate, and operate. It gives us multiple perspectives and approaches to a problem and provides us with a chance to learn skills from our teammates.
It will directly affect the business, and your employees will constantly be upskilling themselves, which is necessary for an organization to upscale.
Devin is the founder of SERP, a digital marketing agency.
“Collaboration cultivates new ideas…”
A work environment is always better when you empower people to speak their minds and collaborate. While a combative workforce might be oriented around internal competition and workplace toxicity, a collaborative workforce seeks to work together, turning new ideas into exciting opportunities.
Collaboration also brings the best out of people.
Everybody has a unique set of strengths. People are given the most opportunity to showcase these strengths when they work together and solve a common problem. Every member of a team should bring a unique quality to the table — for example, one individual might be an excellent copywriter, and another might be a stellar project manager. Through collaboration, each person gets a chance to shine, share their unique experience, and invest their skillset. In doing so, a mere idea with promise can become a profitable reality with enormous potential.
Luciana Nitu is the Content Marketing Manager at Planable.
“Over the past 5 years, here at Planable, we researched the way social media teams collaborate on their content…”
Our conclusion is they save up to 30 hours a month when collaborating effectively, leaving space for more creative tasks. When doing it the old way (via emails, phone calls, and spreadsheets), social media managers spend 33% of their work hours just to get their content approved.
The positive impact collaboration has on a business is it saves a ton of time and money by simply creating a workflow that works. This way, employees get the chance to focus on real meaningful work, easily beating their competitors with more strategic, creative, and effective work.
Mark Hayes is the Head of Marketing at Kintell.
“Without collaboration, teams don’t work to their maximum potential…”
Collaboration is the process of multiple people working together to achieve a common goal. It’s a prerequisite in any successful workplace to ensure that employees feel motivated to work and find value in what they do. In contrast, employees feel isolated and unfulfilled with their work when they don’t have the support of those around them. Eventually, businesses that proliferate such practices will develop a negative reputation, dissuading customers and candidates alike from making contact. This is damaging for all parties involved, and employee turnover leaves businesses like this grinding to a standstill.
Collaboration sets a precedent for a warm, inviting workplace atmosphere.
Any leader should be invested in the well-being of their team. And by cultivating a united, synergistic team that celebrates teamwork, employee satisfaction will skyrocket. People want to feel as though they’re a part of something important; it’s human nature to want your work to mean something. And by creating a collaborative workplace environment, employees will readily pour their hearts into what they do. The difference in output quality is night and day. It’s a positive cycle of reinforcement that will enrich your team and encourage the completion of projects to a higher standard.
Remember that customers are receptive. If your team loves what they do, your customers will feel it too.
Brian Turner is the Chief Technology Officer at ConvertBinary.
“Collaboration isn’t just great for growth; it’s necessary for growth…”
Collaboration is not only more engaging for your team, but it’s also an educational experience. For your team to work to the best of their ability, they need to realize that they can’t do everything on their own. People come from all walks of life with a variety of different skills and experiences. Where you might be strong, someone else may be weak. In such cases, collaboration is not only beneficial for accomplishing a common goal, but it also acts to educate, upskill, and lift up your team alongside you. In asking questions, creating a discussion, and receiving feedback, the entire process is streamlined. This is both beneficial for the completion of a task and for the fulfillment you feel as a leader or employee.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com.
“The biggest impact collaboration has on a business is…”
Feeling comfortable collaborating in the workplace allows employees to share ideas and strategize on how to bring these initiatives to life. It renews their sense of purpose and allows them to feel excited about each workday and the contributions they bring to the company. This kind of positivity is infectious within a business and draws more talent to come and be part of the great work the company is doing.
Sharon Van Donkelaar
Sharon van Donkelaar is the CMO at Expandi.
“The biggest impact that collaboration has on a business is that…”
It boosts the efficiency of the company as a whole.
Just about any task or role in a business requires collaboration, so it benefits the business in just about every possible way. Businesses that foster a mentality of cooperation and positivity have great chemistry among employees, allowing them to work more efficiently. Company cultures with excellent collaboration operate like a well-oiled machine, whereas if there is too much individualism and selfishness, it tends to stall.
Dave is the Founder and Director of ConvertedClick, a digital marketing company that helps businesses cement online success. As a digital entrepreneur, he wishes to transform the online landscape through his expertise. He’s a sucker for innovation and creativity with an emphasis on creating meaningful relationships in business.
“Business collaboration contributes to…”
More innovations and creative prowess.
I’ve always been a fan of collaboration because it brings together different ideas and varied perspectives. This ensures each decision is anchored by a sound strategy that comes from the collaborative thoughts of different people with varied experiences. So, it helps you create a business that’s blessed with ideas. Plus, the idea of shared responsibility reduces the financial burden and maximizes growth. So, it allows you to operate without any mental friction and with increased creativity, leading to better results.
Daniel Gibson is a partner at NiceDay, a creative marketing studio in Charlotte, NC helping businesses become brands. With nearly 12 years of professional experience in sales, marketing, consulting, and business operations in the CPG space at Fortune 500 companies and startups, Daniel helps ensure NiceDay brings more to their clients than just best-in-class creative.
“The single biggest positive impact collaboration can have on a business is unquestionably…”
Generating new business.
For context, I am a partner at NiceDay, a creative studio in Charlotte, NC helping businesses become brands. For those that may not know much about the creative landscape/professional service industry, we are selling our ability to both capture the creative expectations of our clients and move the needle as it relates to their business results. To do so successfully, collaboration is not just helpful but required (at least at NiceDay).
We often reference the saying, ‘If you don’t know where you are going, how are you going to get there?’ with our clients. Collaboration acts as the roadmap by which we are able to get to where the client is expecting to be. Consistent collaboration, then, ensures we not only meet but also exceed the expectations of our clients. Coming full circle, by exceeding expectations we create trust with our clients, who in turn take pride in recommending us to other potential clients because of the results they received which, as you now know, were derived from our focus on collaboration.
Michael Alexis is the CEO of Team Building.
“The #1 impact of collaboration is that…”
Teams can achieve more than individuals.
For example, the landing of the Mars Rover on a planet 168 million miles away was an achievement that came with the work and passion of thousands of people working together. It’s conceivable that one person could have the capacity to learn everything from interplanetary physics to rocket chemistry and more, but not that one person could execute on everything all at once. And you don’t have to be building rockets — whatever your team does will be better with teamwork. This guideline is even true when there is a star in an organization. Bon Jovi without a band or even a road crew wouldn’t be nearly as effective. A McDonald’s with only one employee would struggle to serve you.
Monica Eaton-Cardone is the Co-Founder and COO of Chargebacks911. This risk mitigation firm protects more than 2 billion transactions annually to help online merchants optimize profitability through dispute management. Monica has more than two decades of experience in the fields of eCommerce, payments, fintech, and fraud prevention.
“Collaboration in the workplace is a powerful tool because it encourages…”
Diversity and celebrates unique strengths.
A team working together on a project is more likely to share new ideas, foster creativity, and efficiently complete the task. In my opinion, collaboration creates a healthy workplace because the focus isn’t on any one individual or position, but instead on recognizing the importance of every unit working together for the good of the company.
Doug C. Brown
Doug C. Brown is the CEO of Business Success, international best-selling author of the book Win-Win Selling: Unlocking Your Power for Profitability by Resolving Objections, and a nationally recognized business revenue growth expert, coach, and consultant.
“Collaboration is not only helpful, but it’s a must in any organization or business that wants to grow and scale…”
Collaboration is the power of a mastermind that gives a person a compounding interest of the mind (just like in finance). Napoleon Hill wrote a book called The Law of Success in 1925 which described this process in detail, and it’s fantastic advice for any business to this day.
Ana Casic works in Media Relations at the workplace learning platform, TalentLMS.
“A collaborative workplace creates a positive employee experience…”
Collaboration is a secret ingredient that creates a positive work environment. It differentiates a company as an extraordinary, culture-led workplace we all admire and want to belong to. In such an environment, teams are no longer just teams but communities, managers are tribe leaders, and people feel safe to express themselves. Everyone is given an opportunity to thrive and is inspired to show their best selves. Positive company culture, openness, and collegiality are the sweet fruits of collaboration, which boost employee experience and overall satisfaction at work.
Jessica Wise is a Customer Experience Blogger and the Creative Marketing Manager for HelpSquad, a live chat software company.
“When a team works toward a common goal together, everyone wants the project to be a success…”
The single biggest, positive impact that results from that is motivation: Motivation to do your best, motivation to not let your teammates down, and motivation to make the collaboration a win for everyone involved.
Simon Elkjær is the Chief Marketing Officer of avXperten, home of Denmark’s most affordable electronics.
“The biggest and best impact that collaboration has on businesses is that…”
It allows us to look at the bigger picture, become more united, and work towards one goal. If done right, a united workforce can not only make work more efficient, but it can also promote a positive work culture in which everyone is valued.
Ravi Parikh is the CEO of RoverPass.
“In my experience, the biggest positive impact of collaboration on a business is that…”
It basically provides free training and cross-training to your employees. When employees work together on a project, they learn and grow from one another. This is especially helpful in situations where a junior employee is working with a more senior person. On my team, we’ve saved a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on formal training by being strategic about how we set up collaboration for projects. Plus, collaboration gives people hands-on experience, feedback, and the ability to talk through problems as they come up. Training is often based on explaining, while collaboration is based on doing.
Seth Price is a partner and business backbone at Price Benowitz LLP, as well as the founder and CEO of BluShark Digital. Seth transformed a two-person law firm into a 40-person firm and now uses that same energy to grow a digital agency focused on the legal sector.
“Collaboration always equals a better product…”
Think about a time you were in a conversation and after the other person said something, you replied, ‘Wow, I’ve never thought about it like that before.’ You probably have a lot of experiences that you can pull from for this example. That is what collaboration does for us. No matter how hard we try to look at things from different perspectives and vantage points, we are limited by our experiences, knowledge, and biases.
Collaboration forces us to look at things in a way we never would have if it weren’t for someone else and their perspective. With more minds working toward the same goal, we are able to fill in holes and refine the product into its best possible version. While nothing is perfect and the group is still limited, they are far closer to perfection than they would be if someone were working at it alone. When I say product, all I mean by that is the goal of your company. So yes, a product could be a physical thing that the company makes, but in our business, it is an argument for legal cases. Whether you’re talking about the next iPhone or the next argument in court, the principal remains the same: the result is better when people collaborate.
Chris Vaughn is the CEO of Saucey. He is a seasoned entrepreneur and leader in the tech, beverage alcohol, and cannabis industries. He’s the CEO of Pacific Consolidated Holdings (PCH), which owns and operates businesses across the Cannabis and BevAlc industries.
“Balancing collaborative work with individual work is always important, but with remote work, it’s even more important to…”
Implement team collaboration.
Everyone is missing the community that the in-person work experience brings. The way to work out solutions to fix any burnout or productivity issues is to communicate with your employees. See what works best for everyone, and run with that. They will have the best insight into what works best for your company and for them.
Jim Beard has 15+ years in the printing, manufacturing, and eCommerce spaces. He is currently COO of BoxGenie.com and Vanguard Companies and has worked with many of the largest retailers in the USA. As a direct supplier of Wal-Mart, Jim prides himself on his company’s 99% plus on-time delivery record and quality conformance successes.
“You can innovate your team by encouraging collaboration and…”
Training them to be great at it.
Working as a team to come up with creative and unique solutions isn’t something that everyone can execute well. A great leader will put together a team composed of members that all have their own unique ideas and opinions to bring to the table.
Daivat Dholakia is the Director of Operations at Force by Mojio. Force by Mojio provides the best in class GPS fleet tracking for small businesses.
“In my company, collaboration is key to…”
Our culture. It’s been especially important over the past year when we’ve been all working remotely. Collaboration reminds our employees of each other’s values: what everyone has to offer the team, what we can accomplish when we work together, and why we need one another.
I always encourage collaboration because the end result is that our workers have a stake in each other’s success. They get to like each other more, and the general mood is better. I’m always attuned to how employees are handling the interpersonal end of their job duties. Consistent collaboration definitely helps to work those muscles and build stronger employees all around.
Cody Miles is an Austin, TX-based entrepreneur and UX designer. After years of struggling to collaborate with his clients, Cody founded Ashore, the proofing and approval software used by creatives worldwide. Today, Cody utilizes his background to run both Ashore and his digital marketing agency, Brandcave.
“While the way they present may vary, miscommunications, passed deadlines, and poor time management are all symptomatic of the same fatal flaw…”
A lack of collaboration (or more accurately, a lack of quality collaboration). Finding a collaborative groove is a company’s greatest solution to falling behind; when teamwork runs smoothly, the momentum is unstoppable.
We’ve seen this play out with our company’s proofing and approval platform, Ashoreapp.com. When our clients have the tools they need to work together effectively, such as contextual commenting and instant notifications, their proofs get approved 50% faster. What this showed us was simple: our clients didn’t need a massive overhaul of their company procedures — all they needed to build momentum was a better way to collaborate. When everyone knows their role, when they need to approve a design, and can articulate their feedback clearly, projects can actually be finished on schedule.
John Berry is the CEO of Berry Law, a team of aggressive and experienced VA disability attorneys that will fight for you.
“It’s no secret that teamwork offers an added set of eyes, ears, and brains to the puzzle, which can help fuel…”
Better vantage points in the courtroom and the office.
Although some may argue there can be conflicting ideas in this type of work setting, solid collaboration, more often than not, will stimulate innovative thinking and provide the needed ingenuity to overcome any hurdle. It’s called synergy and can only be achieved in a group setting, increasing a company’s overall potential by providing new creative ideas.
Ryan Salomon is the CEO of Kissmetrics. Originally from New Orleans, LA, he has Bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Psychology from Louisiana State University. Ryan learned to program while attending Dev Bootcamp in 2013.
“Collaboration is the gateway to a positive work environment…”
If everyone feels like their opinion matters and that the suggestions they give to the company allow for feasible results, your company’s culture will grow in an extremely positive way. A lot of employees get stuck in this feeling that their productivity is all that they are with a company for, but it is your job to shift this premise. Tell everyone that their opinions matter to better the company and that they are an individual rather than just a number. If everyone feels like they are advocates for the company and themselves, then people will get a new sense of pride when coming to work. Give everyone a seat at the table to make an impact on overall morale.
Growing up as the son of a veterinarian, Brandon has a deep understanding of the life of a veterinarian and the challenges pet parents face. His passion for helping pet parents get access to quality care and creating efficiencies for veterinarians led him to partner with his father, Dr. Jeff Werber, to create Airvet.
“A culture driven by collaboration creates…”
A value-based organization.
Through teamwork, you can mitigate high stress and increase a sense of purpose, leading to a healthier work environment. We use Slack to increase communication between our team members. Everyone on our team can contribute feedback and voice their opinion on a range of topics that impact our growth and strategy.
Naomi Assaraf is the Founder and CMO of cloudHQ.
“For us, the biggest benefit of collaboration is its positive impact on…”
Our team is small, but we work very well together, and that collaboration brings out a host of new product ideas every time we collaborate. Collaboration and innovation have been the driving force in the growth of our business for years now, which is why they are such a big part of our strategy.
The founder of Hyfit and an entrepreneur with a strong background in fitness, Guy Bar is passionate about creating solutions to problems facing the world today and building a better future.
“It allows for innovative ideas…”
The conflicting personalities and work styles can create new ideas and solutions to problems. Businesses thrive on innovative ideas, and collaboration can bring that out.
Chelsea Cohen is the Co-Founder of SoStocked.
“Collaboration creates an atmosphere of…”
Teamwork, rather than one of competition.
You want the team to work together, share information, and educate one another rather than work separately, withhold information, and not grow from each other.
You want to finish tasks as quickly and effectively as possible. Having team collaboration can speed up productivity. This will also help promote a healthier environment for employee communication.
Dave is a nationally recognized trainer, facilitator, and speaker. He is the founder and CEO of Oak and Reeds, which offers practical business training to its clients including CBRE, PayPal, and the Kellogg School of Management.
“Increased team collaboration has many business benefits…”
Not only does it produce better results, but it can also increase employee happiness, productivity, and retention. In my opinion, however, the biggest positive impact of collaboration on a business is its ability to foster a company culture that supports bold ideas.
Collaboration means creating a safe environment where all ideas are treated with respect. When you ‘turn off the censor’ and defer judgment, your team members will be able to speak freely and continue to share ideas more openly, thus promoting creativity.
This culture that collaboration creates allows teams to identify valuable potential connections between ideas and initiate conversations with a positive, growth-minded approach. Collaboration turns negative interactions into constructive opportunities and allows teams to build on each other’s ideas to move a conversation forward towards its goal. The products of collaboration are powerful and bold ideas and solutions to even the most difficult and entrenched challenges.
Laura Handrick is a certified professional in Human Resources and Project Management and an International Franchise Executive. She is an owner of an HR & Business Consulting Agency as well as a contributing writer for Choosing Therapy.
“A collaborative environment is…”
Just plain fun to work in.
When employees are having fun at work, the customers feel it and it draws them in, earning loyalty. They feel like part of the family, and you’ll find that NPS scores go up.
Collaboration can have many positive impacts on a business, but getting collaboration right requires careful analysis of your people, processes, and technologies. As the era of remote work and hybrid work continues alongside in-office work, it’s critical for companies to implement effective collaboration solutions and proactively manage communication and collaboration to enhance employee satisfaction and facilitate high-performing teams.