In the study “Collaboration—Success Factor Cooperation,” the management consultancy Staufen and Staufen. Valuestreamer surveyed 326 companies in Germany in 2021, two-thirds of which were from the mechanical and plant engineering, automotive, and electrical industries.


It turned out that communication was already lacking before coronavirus. Around four out of ten companies (38 percent) had to recognize that the crisis had highlighted their weaknesses when it came to collaboration.

What can be done?

  1. Reflect regularly on your communication skills. How do you fulfil your role model function as a manager? Can your employees learn from you?
  2. Become versatile and have fewer decision-makers in the future.
  3. Provide orientation. Communicate your goals even more clearly and always give your employees a picture of where you want to go together.
  4. Learn to let go. Empower your team to find solutions themselves instead of imposing them. Don’t see working from home as a loss of authority but as an opportunity to develop your employees.
  5. Empower your employees and ensure smooth collaboration.
  6. Invest in digital communication without trying to compensate for existing communication deficits in the company with a “digital revolution.” Involve your employees as future users in the planning of digitalization to ensure effectiveness and motivation when using the tools later on.
  7. Make room for personal dialogue in communication. Even if efficiency seems to suffer at first glance, this will increase your employees’ commitment and loyalty to the company in the medium term.
  8. Hold regular discussions on how your employees are doing personally and what support they need from you.
  9. Take your time, especially during difficult conversations. Also, provide an appropriate, undisturbed setting in the virtual room.
  10. Promote the process competence of your employees in all aspects of collaboration (e.g., target tracking, structured procedures, and regular results and process reviews).
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