Realizing the benefits of collaborative leadership in manufacturing

February 25, 2022

When it comes to leadership, no two styles are exactly the same. Although some bosses favor a more authoritarian style, others might delegate leadership entirely. Collaborative leadership, on the other hand, is more of a mix of the two together.

In any case, how you decide to manage employees will leave a lasting impression on the workforce. That's why it's important to know what you're in for before making a decision. To help you out, let's take a look at the ins and outs of collaborative leadership.

What is collaborative leadership?
Collaborative leaders aim to break down barriers between disparate groups – executives, staff and management – to work together as a team. Simply put, they embrace participation. By pulling employees out of their silos and soliciting input, they collect a diversity of opinions in the decision-making process.

In turn, collaborative leadership provides wide-ranging benefits to your organization:

1. Unifies the workforce under a common purpose
Embracing a collaborative approach to leadership not only keeps everybody on the same page, but also supports a more cohesive workforce. By placing an emphasis on working together as a team, you also reinforce your company's shared set of values. According to SHRM, establishing that shared purpose is vital to building the positive workplace culture that successful organizations are built upon.

2. Strengthens relationships between coworkers and management
Interpersonal work relationships, according to McKinsey, are the biggest driver of job satisfaction. Yet, 75% of employees agree that their relationship with their boss is the most stressful aspect of their job. With a collaborative style of leadership, managers can alleviate this undue stress and, in turn, create deeper, more meaningful relationships with their employees.

3. Increases employee satisfaction
Employees that work in a collaborative environment are up to 20% more satisfied with their workplace culture, according to Deloitte research. And the best part? Job satisfaction leads to increased employee loyalty – a major benefit to talent retention.

4. Minimizes weaknesses by focusing on strengths
Collaborative leaders empower workers to harness their best abilities. In other words, they allow employees to bring their strengths to the table. As a result, the quality of work improves while inefficiencies are kept to a minimum.

5. Inspires employees to be their most creative
Think about it: Collaboration demands participation. Consequently, your workforce needs to be able to think on their feet and pitch ideas, make suggestions and provide feedback. The result? Inspired employees that deliver more creative solutions and streamline productivity.

6. Improves workplace morale
Collaborative leadership is all about working together to make improvements as a unit. By soliciting feedback and allowing open participation in a project, you can create a more inviting and inclusive workplace. In doing so, employees feel like their input is valued by management and will appreciate the opportunity to be heard.