Why Collaboration is Key in Human Services
No one likes a know-it-all
While that phrase refers to people not liking others who talk and behave as if they know everything, the truth is, no one knows everything.
Especially not when it comes to their work. There is always more to be gained from others.
The Constant Change in Life and Therefore Work
Certainly, people who have worked in a job or a career for a long time know a lot about their job and the organization they work for, but they still have gaps in their knowledge where others can help. Life is constantly changing. New information is discovered, people begin thinking differently and new products or technologies are created. All of this contributes to changes in the world and in a job.
As things change, education institutions like Ashton College work to deliver new information to both an experienced work force and to those who are new to a career. This is a primary reason why collaboration is key in so many occupations. No one person will have all the experience or education they need to answer the questions and challenges that arise in the workplace.
The Need for Collaboration in Human Services
Human services is one of the areas where people need to work together to answer those questions and address challenges. Because this field is based in helping people, and every single person helped by someone in human services is unique, there will always be a need to bring others in to share information.
Consider an education assistant. They have likely taken an education assistant course in BC and have learned many important skills to do their job. After a number of years, they’ve found a groove and are really making a difference. However, imagine if they were paired up with a new student with Autism and all of their existing skills weren’t helping. While they might take online autism courses to get more knowledge, in the short term, they are more likely to reach out to someone who already has that recent and more advanced information. This will allow them to help the student now.
The same may be true for a student with dyslexia, where the education assistant might bring in someone with newly taken dyslexia training. If the education assistant has run out of ideas, reaching out to a colleague with current training can make a big difference.
More Brain-power Creates Synergy
Another benefit of collaboration is synergy. Meaning the result of the interaction of people will be greater than the sum of each of them on their own. Through the power of multiple brains, different approaches and varied backgrounds, together they will come up with suggestions that build on other ideas or involve a whole new take on solving a problem.
Imagine a health care worker in a senior’s independent living facility. They have taken a gerontology course and know how important physical movement is to the residents, but there are some individuals who live in the building who don’t want to participate. One of the new team members has taken some online recreational therapy programs. They decide to involve another new hire who has completed their RBT training (Registered Behavior Technician) in a brainstorming session with the health care worker.
Together the three of them consider ways they can involve certain seniors in various activities. Because their meeting is fun and involves a lot of ideas being discussed, they are able to really dive into what they know about the individuals, some of their mobility challenges and activities that might be a better fit than what is currently offered.
It takes all three of them working together to develop a plan and find ways to bring more enjoyment to the people they help and care about.
In any job, working together can create better results. In human services, because the job involves helping individuals who are unique, creating a collaborative environment to solve problems is essential. No matter how long someone has been in a job or organization, there will always be benefits from gaining new and different ideas.