Beyond Work: Finding Synergy at The Workplace
Who do you rely on when it’s all falling apart at work? I negotiated the most precarious time of my career when my healthcare technology company Edifecs was on the verge of bankruptcy. I leaned heavily on my colleagues and their contributions to reclaim the loss. However, I soon realized we were all in the same boat; it was a sobering reminder of the irrelevance of workplace hierarchy.
In that difficult moment of abject adversity, my team came together and optimized our resources. That was true collaboration. We anticipated each other’s thoughts and ideas. No question was uninvited or too small. Making mistakes was part of the learning curve, and every success was celebrated together. We changed the way we worked — with synergy.
A synergistic workplace encourages creativity and enables introverted individuals to share their ideas without fear of judgement, giving them opportunities for continued growth and contribution. This, in turn, makes for more engaged employees, enhancing productivity and the company’s bottom line.
Synergy has long informed the way that I lead teams and manage business. I see true synergy in the workplace when employees with different complementary skills cooperate in an effective way so that the work takes on a life of its own and the business’s best interests as well as employee needs are met.
Synergy in times of COVID-19
As the world learns to live with the pandemic, there is a prevalent sense of employee disengagement across industries and geographies, evident in the Great Resignation. With the boundaries between work and play, office and home, being increasingly blurred since the pandemic began, the role of the employer has now expanded to a social wellbeing provider as well. And workplace synergy and camaraderie are critical components of this.
Companies can no longer treat employees as just productive resources at work. They need to view them as ‘whole’ persons, whose efficiency at work is determined by an interplay of personal, professional, and social factors. Every individual has Wholistic Wellbeing needs across eight pillars, and it is the responsibility of the employer to address them in parts. In fact, people are increasingly selecting or rejecting employers based on how much they are willing to do to ensure employee wellbeing.
Even the notion of rank in a company is being called into question as a growing number of businesses replace hierarchical models with a more holacratic style of management. The world of work is changing, and the need for synergy in the workplace is critical.
To retain and attract talent, businesses need to address employee wellbeing needs wholistically, with a focus on social wellbeing, and provide them with wellbeing resources. They also need to adapt to changing employee demands, including a more flexible approach to remote working.
The work family
After two years of work invading the personal space and having shared the common reality of the pandemic, people have increasingly come to think of their colleagues as family and the office as an extension of their homes. Colleagues are no longer just professional acquaintances we work with. They’re closer to our personal lives than ever before — they’re friends we share our fears and anxieties with; come up with solutions together; have a coffee with, in person or virtually; enjoy an online yoga class with; and share laughs with in virtual meetings while still in our pajamas.
Companies need to identify opportunities to enhance synergy among individuals, teams, and functions and put in enablers to meet the social wellbeing needs of employees. This means enhancing both professional collaboration and personal interaction through virtual events and tools, and in-person meetings and get-togethers once offices reopen.
Synergy in the workplace is not just the key to a successful, post-pandemic business: it’s the key to a successful life outside of business. As a seeker of Wholistic Wellbeing and a CEO in the era of COVID-19, I am committed to enhancing my business through synergy and invite all other leaders to do the same.