Silos are a natural part of any organization. Every company is divided into different departments and even teams within departments. However, company silos can quickly lead to challenges. When departments fail to interact with one another, work can become repetitive, business opportunities can be lost, and an organization can quickly fall behind their competitors.
Employees can easily fall into the trap of consulting only those close to them geographically or those who are at the same level in the organization. The key to avoiding this challenge is simple: cross-team communication and collaboration.
Silos cut off clear communication between different departments or managerial levels. For example, closed-door activities create a barrier to communication and an overall feeling that management is not interested in interacting with employees. As a leader, this causes you to fall out of touch with your employees. When there is little communication between management and employees, trust erodes. Without trust, an organization suffers significantly and cannot possibly thrive.
To avoid this, company leadership must lead by example. An open door policy breaks down silos, encourages engagement, and deepens relationships. Executives that share their knowledge, ask questions and engage in a universal dialogue model best practices. Once a culture of trust is established, employees will feel more comfortable asking questions and seeking feedback from those outside their department. This cross-team communication enables companies to better align their goals, increase efficiency, and boost productivity.
Each company department has a different focus and a set of goals, but at the end of the day, everyone is on the same team. No department is truly independent; the company succeeds when each business unit works closely together. Collaboration does far more than break down silos; it is key to the spread and development of ideas in the pursuit of innovation. According to a Gensler U.S. Workplace Survey, effective companies balance focus and collaboration. Ultimately, workplaces designed to enable collaboration without sacrificing an employee’s ability to focus are more successful.
Companies can naturally incorporate collaboration into the daily activity of their employees with
collaboration software. With the right technology, companies can build an online community that facilitates shared knowledge and ideation across the organization and creates engagement within and between departments.
Organizational silos can quickly become barriers to efficiency, productivity, and profitability. However, through cross-team communication and collaboration, companies can break down these barriers and create a work environment that facilitates engagement, empowerment, ideation, and innovation.