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Collaborative Leadership for the Future Workforce

Editor’s Note: Lauren Gray and Amy Bishop are presenting Leading & Inspiring Employees in the Collaborative Economy at the PRSA 2014 International Conference on Sunday, Oct. 12, from 4:45–6 p.m. The following is a guest post previewing their session.

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In today’s new economy, the nature of communications and leadership has forever changed. According to Gallup, more than 72 percent of workers are not engaged in their work and each year lost productivity of disengaged employees costs the economy $370 billion. The workplace is changing and the future is collaborative.

What is the Collaborative Economy?

The Collaborative Economy is a term for the new economic model where there is shared ownership and access among people, startups, corporations and governments. In this new model, people are empowered to get what they need from each other and will begin to bypass inefficient processes or businesses. Businesses must harness the same collaborative tools and strategies to retain relevancy and empower their employees and customers.

Jeremiah Owyang, Founder of Crowd Companies, explains that companies that utilize collaborative trends will achieve resiliency. They’ll be agile, innovative, connected and profitable.

Adapting for the Future of Work In a Collaborative Economy

Businesses will succeed when they embed a collaborative mindset into their core business processes. This dramatic change alters both the structure of organizations and the opportunities they choose to pursue. Collaboration increases workforce productivity, boosts effectiveness and accelerates innovation. But many companies still wrestle with the organizational and cultural challenges posed by these new ways of work. The consumerization of work has changed employee expectations and introduced an age of radical transparency.

Smart organizations will recalibrate their entire enterprise to connect, communicate and collaborate with employees. This requires communications departments to harness trends of the collaborative economy to build a connected, engaged company. When you integrate collaborative business processes within the core of your business, you secure a competitive advantage and pioneer new ways of doing business.

Tangible benefits of a collaborative mindset in your company include:

  • Innovation and trust: When more minds work together, ideas improve as employees build on each other and trust each other with completed concepts.
  • Productivity and diversity: A team with diverse strengths accomplishes not only more tasks, but a variety of tasks. These team members accomplish more than any others traditionally could by focusing strengths on various aspects of the project at hand.
  • Support and retention: A key trait of the incoming workforce comprised of millennials is the need for support team from fellow employees and management. When employees work together, they achieve more personal and professional goals and feel supported and comfort, which also improves company retention.

The collaborative economy brings better results in market efficiency that bears new products, services and business growth.  When you integrate collaborative business processes within the core of your business, you secure a competitive advantage and pioneer new ways of doing business. The collaborative workspace environment gives employees the flexibility to be where they need to be to do the best work they can.

Join Lauren Gray and Amy Bishop’s session Leading & Inspiring Employees in the Collaborative Economy at the PRSA 2014 International Conference for an in-depth look at how businesses can inspire and motivate employees to collaborate for improved employee engagement and productivity.

Lauren Gray is a Project Manager at The Visual Brand in Westport, CT and also serves as the PRSA New Professionals Section blog co-chair and PRSA New York new professionals co-chair. Follow her on Twitter @Laurenkgray.

Amy Bishop is a Digital Marketing & PR Lead at DigitalRelevance in Indianapolis, IN and also serves as the PRSA New Professionals Section social strategy co-chair. Follow her on Twitter @AmyL_Bishop.

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