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“Ultimately collaboration is about different people, practices and perspectives coming together,” says Lisa Grocott, a design researcher working on the future of work and learning as a professor in the Emerging Technologies Research Lab at Monash University.
Grocott says evidence-based research around collaboration, innovation and success can be hard to translate into action for organisations as it depends on the unique context of each organisation, team and culture.
“But what research can tell us is that cognitive diversity matters when it comes to complex problem solving and innovation.”
The challenge? “How might we create workplaces as places of learning where peoples’ diverse lived experiences, mental models, and cultural values expand our collective thinking?”
Grocott says the value of collaboration comes from “the new ways of seeing that emerge from a kaleidoscope of perspectives”.
But she cautions that simply focusing on diversity is not enough.
“With greater diversity, there is more to bump up against. Just as the difference of perspectives can seed innovation, they also can lead to tensions and distrust,” she says.
“Collaboration won’t lead to innovation unless we create workplaces as learning environments where differences can be discussed, respected and accommodated.”
Truly collaborative workplaces are a driver of employee satisfaction, but Grocott warns that directives to collaborate can be counter-productive.
“I would trace the connection between employee satisfaction and intrinsic motivation. Dan Pink’s book Drive draws on the research into what motivates people, reminding us that autonomy, mastery and purpose are key,” she says.
“Directives to collaborate will become transactional and fail if we cannot work out how to align the organisational goals with employees’ individual aspirations.”
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To be eligible for the World’s Best Workplaces list, a company must apply and be named to a minimum of 5 national Best Workplaces lists within our current 58 countries, have 5,000 employees or more worldwide, and at least 40% of the company’s workforce (or 5,000 employees) must be based outside of the home country. Extra points are given based on the number of countries where a company surveys employees with the Great Place to Work Trust Index©, and the percentage of a company’s workforce represented by all Great Place to Work surveys globally. Candidates for the 2017 Worlds Best Workplaces list will have appeared on national workplaces lists published in September 2016 through August 2017.
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The Best Workplaces in Asia List
Great Place to Work® identifies the top organizations that create great workplaces in the Asian and Middle Eastern regions with the publication of the annual Best Workplaces in Asia list. The list recognizes companies in three size categories:
To be considered for inclusion, companies must appear on one or more of our national lists in the region, which includes Greater China (covering China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau), India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka and UAE. For the 2021 Asia List, companies ranked on the national list in the Philippines will also be included. Multinational organizations must meet the following requirements:
Multinationals also receive additional credit for their efforts to successfully create an excellent workplace culture in multiple countries in the region. The data used in the calculation of the regional list comes from national lists published in 2019 and early 2020.