It’s nearly impossible for a business to thrive in today’s setting without having all departments within the company on the same page. Yet with all of the different tools, communication platforms, and technologies, it feels like it’s becoming more challenging to remain cohesive. Do you have a modernized plan of attack?
Helpful Ways to Become More Collaborative
The simple definition of collaboration is that it’s the process of multiple people or groups coming together to complete a task or achieve a goal. But what this explanation doesn’t touch on are the challenges that exist when you try to unite multiple parties around a singular vision or goal.
Whether your business consists of 10 people, each acting as their own “department” within the business, or 10,000 people spread out across multiple countries, dozens of offices, and hundreds of individual teams, establishing a more collaborative mindset within your organization will fundamentally enhance the value you offer customers.
Here are some strategic ideas for accomplishing this:
1. Introduce a Social Intranet Platform
Intranets have played an important role in business for many years. They’re like internal websites that are designed to help employees within an organization find information, access resources, and stay connected. But more recently, social intranets have exploded onto the marketplace and changed the game.
Whereas traditional intranet software has typically had limited features and harsh restrictions, social intranet software is designed with functionality and user-friendliness in mind. They often include features like personalized homepages and newsfeeds, document libraries, group pages, employee profiles, message boards, instant messaging, and video. Platforms like Happeo even work with Google’s G Suite, making it easy to naturally integrate into an existing workflow.
Don’t immediately write off a social intranet solution simply because your team is small. As intuitive and scalable as many of today’s platforms are, it’s much more practical than ever before.
2. Name Cross-Departmental Liaisons
There’s value in having departments within an organization. Creating some separation between sales, marketing, finance, HR, etc. makes sense. But you can’t completely shut one department off from another.
One way to maintain organization without isolation is to name cross-departmental liaisons who represent their departments and regularly meet with other liaisons to stay abreast of what’s happening and to share ideas.
3. Use Common Language and Processes
Jargon and technical language is unproductive, unless it’s shared by the entire organization. If you want to improve cross-functional communications, try developing a common language that everyone knows. This language needs to be introduced into the lexicon during the onboarding process and reiterated throughout all departments in the organization.
The same goes for processes. While the precise details of each process will differ from department to department, the overarching funnels and progressions should remain the same – regardless of whether it’s HR or marketing. This makes it easier for an employee to go into another area of the business and quickly understand how it functions.
4. Model the Right Behaviors
Researchers Lynda Gratton and Tamara J. Erickson have spent many years studying how corporations and teams collaborate and function. Throughout numerous studies, they’ve discovered modelling collaborative behavior from the top-down to be very important.
Interestingly enough, this seems to be true in both small businesses and large organizations. In companies with several thousand employees, relatively few employees have the opportunity to observe the behavior of senior team members and leaders on a daily basis. Despite this, the perceived behavior of senior execs plays a key role in determining how cooperate teams are willing to be.
Don’t expect your team members to do anything that you aren’t willing to do yourself. If you expect honest and transparent collaboration, be prepared to be honest and transparent in how you communicate with each of them. They’re watching!
Push Your Business Forward
It’s impossible for a business to be successful if every department and team within the organization is siloed, separated, and secluded. The only way to push your business towards growth is to enhance collaboration in every corner of the company.
Let the suggestions mentioned in this article serve as a springboard for proactive decision-making. You may be surprised by just how quickly you can instigate positive change when it’s approached from a strategic angle!