The world of business at the moment is in a huge state of flux. New technologies, the reduction in employee loyalty and the rise of the gig economy are all changing the world of business as we know it. In this modern world, it is becoming more and more difficult for companies to compete and every bit of help is welcome. One of the practices that has been identified as beneficial is enhancing collaboration within a company.
By doing so, business owners like you are removing the silos that keep departments separated from each other and it makes it easier for your employees to work together and come up with solutions and practices they wouldn’t come up with if not for this improved sense of collaboration.
Explain the Reasons
People do not like doing things just because they are told to do them. No one likes that. If you come out simply stating how your sales and your marketing departments have to work better together in the future, you will meet resistance. They will think that you are just throwing out ideas, seeing what will stick.
It is important that you put your silo destruction into context. Organize a meeting with your sales and marketing people and give them reasons why you want them to work together. Perhaps there is a discord between what customers are being told and what the sales are doing? Perhaps your sales people know something about your product that your marketing people don’t and vice versa? Perhaps you think that spending a few day shadowing sales might help your marketing people get new insights?
As long as you are conveying why you are doing this, you will not encounter too much opposition.
Go from Top to Bottom
When trying foster interdepartmental collaboration, you simply have to start from the top and get the managers to realize why you are doing this. You might think that, being managers, they will be more receptive of this novel idea than the employees, but you will be wrong.
Managers can get set in their ways and they might actually see the new practices as encroaching on their turf. Their concerns need to be taken into consideration and you need to explain it to them that their job will remain the same, albeit with a few more things to keep their eye on.
You should also try and get the managers of different departments to meet regularly and to come up with ways in which they can promote collaboration between their sections.
Managers often need a bit of managing.
Use New Technologies
While interdepartmental collaboration will always be about the people involved, we should not ignore the fact that we live in the 21st century and that we have numerous tools at our disposal. These tools can go a long way towards enabling better communication and collaboration between company departments.
These tools will range from simply communication tools like Skype and Slack to more comprehensive solutions such as Interact Intranet where the entire company can collaborate on projects with spectacular efficacy and ease, sharing assets and giving input on every part of the collaborative process.
Put out Fires
Problems will arise. People’s egos will get hurt. Misunderstandings will raise their ugly heads and lead to lost time and money.
It is important that you do not despair and that you take the bad with the good. There has never been a company whose operations went flawless from day one. When you tear down silos and encourage collaboration in your company, this increases the chances of problems arising.
The good news is that so many great people working together, you will also discover exactly what your employees can do and how well they can represent your company.
That being said, if you notice problems that can escalate into something bigger and potentially devastating, you will want to step in and ensure that things do not get out of hand.