Tips to Foster Interdepartmental Communication
Businesses tend to function best when every department is fully aligned on goals, strategies, and standard operating procedures (SOPs). Neglecting to align these factors across departments can result in operational hiccups, conflict, and suboptimal efficiency. Improving interdepartmental communication involves cultivating effective professional relationships and providing a platform for team members to express their needs.
Workplace leaders often underestimate the importance of interdepartmental communication. Many assume that specific departments can operate independently, but cross-collaboration is often necessary to actualize higher-level goals. That's why providing a space for people to voice their concerns is paramount to success.
Ways To Improve Interdepartmental Communication
Effective departmental communication is one of the prime success-defining factors for businesses. Ironing out the kinks and creating smoother communication lines between departments takes time, intelligence, and leadership. Here are five effective ways of enriching cross-departmental communication for better business results.
1. Hosting Frequent Company-wide Meetings
Hosting company-wide meetings allow you to ensure that employees from all departments are aligned with SOPs even as they change. Without providing regular updates, the risk that employees will drift in opposing directions is heightened. Meetings give team members a platform to voice their concerns, which may lead to the development of a more efficient workflow.
Employees benefit greatly from being able to communicate with colleagues from other departments. This could result in increased productivity and an overall sense of being heard.
2. Using Platforms for Collaboration
Collaborative platforms have become the bread and butter of remote team communication. Platforms such as Slack, Trello, and Atlassian are designed to streamline workflow and encourage collaboration. Many of these platforms have project boards where multiple members can leave notes, add suggestions, or ask questions. While company meetings are great for general alignment, collaborative platforms are there for working together on minute details.
3. Creating Cross-departmental Teams
Sometimes it takes talent from two or three departments to get a particular job done. Being aware of this and using the opportunity to create cross-departmental teams will get your departments used to collaborating together.
4. Cultivating Closer Cooperation
If your company employs people to work physically in the office, it might be optimal to have one shared office space. Segregated departments can often turn into echo chambers where new ideas come few and far between. Shared office space means a more diverse pool of ideas bouncing off each other and is ideal for enhancing interdepartmental communication.
Collaborating on shared files can be a great way to build out ideas together or report to leadership and other departments. You might have several documents that you'd like to add to an existing shared file. Luckily, there are great online tools you can use to insert pages to a PDF. These tools also allow you to reorder, rotate, and delete pages as needed.
Communication Is Everything
All too often, companies segregate departments and limit cross-departmental communication by default. This can result in productivity blockages, staleness, and low innovation. Finding ways to foster interdepartmental communication will likely result in more streamlined productivity where employees feel good about their role. If you enjoy these topics, consider joining your local chamber of commerce.