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Barriers to effective collaboration with the people you support

In any organisation, effective collaboration with the people you support is crucial for success. However, despite its importance, numerous barriers can hinder this collaboration, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities. From organisational to practical support, navigating these obstacles requires a deep understanding of the factors at play and strategic solutions to overcome them. 

In this article, we'll explore the key barriers to effective collaboration with the people you support and offer insights on how to address them to foster stronger partnerships and achieve shared goals.

Lack of Organisational Support

One of the biggest barriers to effective collaboration is a lack of support from leadership and the wider organisation. Training alone is not enough to shift culture and enable staff to meaningfully share decision making. Organisations must create dedicated space, time and resources for co-design projects. Leaders need to demonstrate authentic buy-in by providing realistic timeframes and investing in tools and templates. When collaboration is not easy to do as part of day-to-day work, it will not become embedded practice.

Insufficient Engagement Structures


Without pre-established engagement groups and advisory boards, your team members find it difficult to easily involve the people they support. Having to build these connections from scratch each time wastes valuable time. Well-structured engagement groups, with clear ownership and recruitment processes, remove this barrier by giving staff ready access to a diverse group of stakeholders. This early engagement also helps build confidence for staff new to co-design.

Lack of Practical Support

Unclear remuneration policies and an inability to pay participants present barriers to collaboration. Meaningful involvement requires appropriate compensation. Organisations must research lawfully fair rates, and establish payment systems before embarking on co-design. Guidelines on priority areas for engagement also help staff choose the right issues to focus on. With practical support like tools, templates and clear processes, organisations empower staff to overcome barriers and collaborate effectively.

Effective collaboration with the people you support is essential for achieving organisational goals and driving meaningful impact. By addressing these barriers through dedicated resources, clear engagement structures, and practical support, organisations can foster stronger partnerships and achieve shared goals. 

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