Workplace survey specialists JRA says many organisations are good at bu' />

To build a great workplace, organisations need to find their "one thing".

Workplace survey specialists JRA says many organisations are good at building strong teams.

Most people are used to working in a team environment and usually enjoy the support of the other members of their team.

"My Team" was the highest scoring section in the recently completed 2010 JRA Best Workplaces Survey with a score of 78.7 per cent.

But it seems to be a different story when it comes to getting different teams across the organisation working together.

The term "silos" is a metaphor for the fact many teams seem to work independently of each other and hence struggle to collaborate with other organisational teams or departments.

The JRA Best Workplaces Survey also includes a question "Teams in this organisation work well together" and that only scored 65.1 per cent.

So why the big gap between the satisfaction people get from their own team and the difficulty in getting teams working together? Perhaps a conversation from the classic film City Slickers can shed some light.

Searching for meaning in his life, city slicker Mitch (Billy Crystal) asks the brusque cowboy Curly (Jack Palance) what life's all about.

"One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don't mean ****." "That's great, but what's the one thing?" "That's what you've got to figure out."

JRA's research strongly suggests the organisations that have managed to figure out their "one thing" - their core purpose - are the ones that perform the best and often have the strongest inter-team collaboration.

JRA consultant Nicola Richmond says: "The top 25 per cent performers in this year's JRA Best Workplaces all have strong common purpose scores (83.2 per cent on average) and their scores on the question "Teams in this organisation work well together", at 74.9 per cent, are comparatively much stronger than lesser performing organisations."

So the challenge in breaking down silos and increasing collaboration and co-operation across the organisation, seems to rely on having the same sense of purpose. The 2010 JRA Best Workplaces Survey is run in association with the Herald and sponsored by the Department of Labour, HainesAttract, the NZ Chambers of Commerce and Kiwibank. Finalists in the 2010 programme will be honoured in November.

On the web:
www.bestworkplaces.co.nz