When it comes to collaborating with your own team, it can often seem like a no-brainer. You know everyone’s role and communication style, your meetings are fairly predictable and everything seems like it’s just humming along. But when you add another department or organization into the mix, it can really throw you for a loop. The dynamics are different, you don’t know everyone’s work style and communication can seem like a struggle. It can test both your team members and your leadership skills. However, if you build the foundation for strong cross department collaboration at the beginning of a project, it can make all the difference.
In our last article, we looked at the benefits of effective collaboration among departments, as well as the biggest offenders that lead to communication breakdown. What are some ways to enhance collaboration and avoid any pitfalls? Here’s a look at the top 6:
- Make sure everyone understands the overall objective and their role in it: We touched on this in our last article. If team members don’t understand their role and the common goal they’re working towards, it can really derail a project. Clear communication from the top is so important and it starts with strong leadership and transparency.
- Encourage consistent communication and feedback: Communication comes from the top. Leaders must create clear systems to make this happen and build a culture where team members feel comfortable providing feedback.
- Create a culture of collaboration and community: Casual get-togethers and other team-building opportunities are an important part of the collaboration process. More and more teams and departments are working remotely or on a hybrid schedule, adding another layer of challenges. Leading teams that are both remote and in-person work best when remote workers are encouraged to see and interact with the larger department teams.
- Get to know the way other departments work: Team members can’t collaborate effectively with other departments if they don’t understand what they do and their work style. Make sure your team members aren’t working in a bubble and have opportunities to job shadow if needed, get involved in other departments’ processes, etc.
- Share technology and information: Make sure each team has access to the same types of data, people, tools, etc. This keeps the lines of communication open and makes it easy for teams to approach one another if they have access to the same information.
- Celebrate successes: Taking time out to recognize team members’ contributions goes a long way towards building morale. And it doesn’t have to be at the end of the project. Celebrating milestones throughout the process is a great way to keep everyone motivated.
Collaborating across departments or organizations can seem like an uphill battle, but with the right coach by your side, it doesn’t have to be. Leah M Joppy and Associates can work with you to improve your collaboration efforts and ensure that there’s transparent communication, efficient processes and strong leadership at the helm. When collaborative efforts are working effectively, team members feel that their voice is valued, they’re more engaged, more receptive to ideas and more likely to do their best work. And who doesn’t want that?
Are you ready to learn more? Call us at 301-670-0051 or email us at email@example.com.