The importance of collaboration in the public sector
Collaboration is important in every organisation. True collaboration in the public sector involves employees communicating with each other and building on each other’s ideas to innovate or do something differently.
Collaborative public sector organisations leverage the capabilities of all employees for generating value in many ways. Here are 6 benefits of collaboration in the public sector:
1. Creates efficiency
For public sector organisations of significant scale and size, collaboration is essential for delivering projects in a timely way. Fortunately, collaboration allows public sector employees to leverage the work of other teams and agencies to complete tasks in a faster timeframe.
2. Drives quality services
Collaboration allows agencies with common clients to share expertise and ultimately deliver better customer experiences for the public. When designing a portal or a process for engaging with the public, they can leverage each other’s success and experience to create better services.
3. Fosters innovation
For public sector agencies who want to encourage iterative thinking and speed up the process of innovation, it’s important to encourage open-minded collaboration to achieve results. Surrounding an idea with people who can validate and encourage improvements leads to faster adoption of change and new ideas.
4. Generates employee engagement
It might be good for business but we love doing it too! Public sector employees are far more likely to be engaged and content in their working environment when they’re offered opportunities to share their ideas with other agencies and teams – it’s just human nature.
5. Ensures relevancy
Things move quickly in the digital world and it can be easy to get left behind when the technology landscape is constantly changing around you. Public sector agencies can stay ahead of the curve when they’re sharing the burden and learning the lessons of new technology implementations together.
6. Creates learning opportunities
By nature, collaboration unlocks the potential of the employees involved. Collaboration encourages the provision of discretionary effort, it provides employees in public sector organisations with greater opportunities to share knowledge and experience with other employees, sometimes well beyond the level they would within their individual pre-defined role.
Recognising the importance of collaboration in public sector organisations is the critical first step for taking advantage of the benefits of a collaborative workplace. Technology in the workplace is a strong driver of collaborative activities and agencies are encouraged to better leverage video conferencing and electronic document management systems. In terms of culture, recognition of collaboration in KPIs and promotion criteria is also important, as is workplace design with the availability of meeting rooms and common outdoor areas. Public sector agencies can change how they utilise collaboration by devising a strategy and linking it to tools, technology and other strategies for lifting the use of effective collaboration over time.
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