Although all of the employees of a company are considered a team, it’s not uncommon for cross department conflicts and barriers to prevent effective communication.
In fact, two thirds of all staff members think that communication across departments is poor, according to a survey.
This leads to declines in productivity, efficiency, and, ultimately, sales.
Follow these three tips to improve cross-departmental communication.
The truth is that most employees spend the majority of their working day at their desks, and only communicate with others immediately around them.
This presents a big problem when individuals need to work with others to get a project done.
It can be uncomfortable to approach a person you don’t know to ask a question or work together on a project, and problems ensue due to this lack of interaction or bond.
To prevent this, managers must promote interaction between departments on a regular basis.
This can be achieved by having inter-departments lunches, after hours drinks or work get togethers.
The more you encourage members of different teams to get together and start a conversation, the easier it will be for them to collaborate when the need arises.
Encourage Cross-Departmental Interaction In Real Time
Another big deterrent of effective cross-departmental communication is the time lag it takes for news to travel from one team to another.
The truth is that most individuals have absolutely no idea what anyone outside of their team is working on.
When one department encounters an issue that can potentially affect other teams, they usually bring it up to their supervisor.
This individual will then try and contact the leader of another department, who then will announce the news to their employees.
When you consider that managers are often busy and likely can’t accomplish all of this quickly, it’s understandable why there are huge time gaps that prevent communication.
A way to correct this problem is to set up regular staff meetings where representatives from various departments discuss important topics so everyone is in the know of what’s going on.
Additionally, creating an email directory will allow employees to easily and quickly communicate with those outside of their own team.
Create A Communication Channel
To improve the flow of communication across your organisation, create a communication channel!
This can be a website, a social media page or an internally set up bsite.
You can use it to post new information and developments from every department, ask questions and promote collaboration!
This is also a great space to ask for feedback from your staff members to gain ideas about improving the status quo in your company.
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 25 August, 2017