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Employees Need Coworker Input, but Still Need to Meet Deadlines: A Performance Paradox

Collaboration-ParadoxWe’ve looked at the competition paradox and the empowerment paradox within the first two posts of the Performance Paradox series.   But as you may recall there are 4 paradoxes standing in the way of employees becoming true enterprise contributors, and achieving that breakthrough performance organizations want.  The third is the collaboration paradox, balancing input from teams with speed of execution.

On the One Hand…

While employees find collaborating with others valuable, and collaboration is simply table stakes for operating in the new work environment.  Truly high employee performance requires collaboration while working with and through others, and 68% of employees find their coworkers’ input valuable.

…And on the Other Hand

More than half of employees also find collaboration confusing, and only a third of employees indicate they’re effective at improving one another’s performance.   Fifty-four percent also find working with more people too time-consuming.

The Results

Most organizations address collaboration challenges through structural solutions and management tools and rules.  More than 50% of employees report being part of an organizational redesign to better define relationships and authority in increasingly complex and matrixed environments.   In addition, most employees, 80%, receive management tools and rules (such as RACI models, org charts and job descriptions) to help define relationships and authority.

In spite of organizations’ best efforts to define relationships and decision-making authority, work is too complex to be managed effectively by the organization.  Most employees, 52%, actually report working around organization structures, rules, and tools to get their jobs done. 

Worth Managing?

Absolutely.  The organization that’s execution- focused and collaborative can realize a 14 percentile increase in their level of Enterprise Contribution.  

What to Do

HR teams should look to improve execution through team accountability, not just organizational governance.

CEB can help HR managers and their teams:

  • Analyze the work, not the people to maintain quality and speed
  • Equip teams to evaluate their own work for quick course corrections
  • Equip teams to filter contributions

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