Collaboration and Co-operation versus conflict.

Charles Darwin stated, “In the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”

The modern workplace generally has policies and procedures aimed at achieving collaboration and cooperation. However, the law lists in the Australian jurisdiction would suggest the outcome is conflict. The American experience is another aspect as their society is highly litigious in general and class actions against employers are all too common, take Google for example. These cases are public relations nightmares for the companies concerned as it is difficult to defend yourself publicly while a matter is before the Courts. With experienced and focused observation of the history regarding several of these matters it was clear that the management processes were flawed. While non-discriminatory in their consultative approach, the effect and outcome was such that a culture developed. A culture whereby the opposite occurred. The time and expenditure in dealing with these matters is extensive.

The consultative approach from an experienced viewer, reflects reality television culture as distinct from a Management driven consultative mechanism.

Performance Reviews are not popularity contests. They are outcome assessments based on the criteria for the position being reviewed as per the terms and conditions of the contract of employment.

In order to achieve the collaboration and cooperation required for continuous growth, the company should implement a consultative model that reflects a structure where employees speak and are listened to. Listened being the key word as “I hear you “does not suffice’ or the American term “doesn’t cut it.” Listening requires discipline and empathy towards the speaker considering all factors of their employment. Information gathered during the consultative process should then be acted upon by managers in a cohesive manner, demonstrating an outcome consistent with Company Policies and Procedures. Consultation is a management driven process and is based on the Duty of Care for all employees not a free for all where people snipe and gossip under the pretence of being open and transparent. What is done with the information gathered and how it is stored is as important as the gathering and process used.

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