How to Improve Cross-Department Communication at Your Business
By Erica Francis
Poor interdepartmental communication can negatively impact all areas of your business. Workplace communication statistics reveal that 86% of working professionals point to inadequate communication and collaboration as the main causes of workplace failures. By encouraging effective communication between departments, you can increase productivity significantly. Here are some tips from New Jersey Job Market to help your business avoid departmental silos and get your teams working together productively!
Why Business Leaders Should Care
Good cross-department communication and collaboration are critical to the performance of your business. Efficient communication improves employee engagement, increases employee retention, fosters trust in employers, and helps teams work more productively. When you enhance cross-team collaboration, your employees will better understand their role in the bigger picture and how their work has a direct impact on the success of your business.
Poor communication, on the other hand, leads to costly issues like low morale, missed performance goals, and lost sales. Search Engine Land reports that American businesses lose an average of $12,506 per employee each year due to poor communication! Departmental silos can also inhibit innovation at your company by limiting the spread of ideas between teams.
Using Data to Identify Communication Failure Points
Businesses deal with a variety of different communication failures. One of the most common failure points is when departments focus solely on their own objectives and lose sight of common business objectives. Isolated business departments can also suffer from poor information flow, hostile interactions, and toxic groupthink.
Data analysis can help you identify communication issues at your business and create new workflows that better facilitate collaboration. Process mining is the practice of exposing all of the steps involved in a certain business process and pointing out issues that might be causing workflow friction. Essentially, process mining uses data to improve business workflows. Not only can this improve collaboration between business departments, but process mining will also help you manage risk and uncover hidden opportunities. Spend some time doing your own research to learn how process mapping can help improve communication and collaboration at your business.
Leverage Tools for Better Collaboration
Many tools exist to help teams communicate and collaborate better at work. For example, Google Docs includes valuable collaboration features like in-document annotations and the option to work together on documents simultaneously. Trello is another great collaboration tool, offering task management features and opportunities for members to see what other people are working on. Instant messaging tools like slack are also useful for team-wide communication and encouraging information sharing between departments. Look for digital tools designed to solve your biggest collaboration issues and see what they can do for your business.
Creating Collaborative Reports
Often, departments need to collaborate on reports to present to investors or people in company leadership positions. This is where good communication is essential. Help your teams get set up with collaborative work strategies that enable efficient report preparation. For example, show your teams how to use online PDF editing tools to combine separate documents, graphics, and charts into a single file for easier organization. These tools make it easy to add, delete, and reorder pages to minimize the time it takes to prepare collaborative reports.
You may want to create a cross-functional team for preparing these reports, combining your top talent from different departments. You can help members feel at home in a cross-functional team by establishing mutual values and goals that align with those of their individual departments. Make sure members are invested in the success of cross-departmental projects!
Encouraging your departments to work together effectively is one of the most impactful ways to boost productivity at your business. Use process mining to uncover opportunities for improvement, take advantage of tools to improve collaboration, and implement strategies to ensure cross-functional team projects go smoothly. Strong cross-department communication will help take your business to the next level!
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