If and when you get it right, cross-team collaboration will give your business a massive competitive edge. It boosts company-wide productivity and innovation and, in turn, incoming revenue.
But there are many challenges to overcome on the road to effective cross-team communication. It requires precise management, widespread employee involvement and sufficient tools.
Let's go through six possible cross-team collaboration challenges so that your organisation can overcome them.
1. Misaligned goals
It can be easy for individual teams to focus on the individual goals most important to their department. The emphasis that is placed on these team goals can often overshadow some of the larger company goals.
Continually revisit the idea of company-wide achievement rather than team-based achievement. This is the best way for all teams to align their goals, strategies, priorities, roles, and organisational awareness.
2. Threshold of communication
Cross-team collaboration requires employees to work with individuals they might not know well. This can come with a lack of trust.
Create spaces and projects that require collaboration and mingling between teams. Start small and work towards larger projects.
3. Different culture
Different teams have different specialities, and, often, a unique form of communication. This can make it harder to share information across teams.
Collaboration without communication is impossible. Regularly encourage and promote spaces in which your teams come together and practise sharing the importance of their work within the organisation.
4. Interpersonal friction
Short and simple, we are all different, so personalities can clash sometimes.
Practise regular, cross-departmental team-building activities, identify conflict points and work towards conflict resolution as soon as possible.
5. Information silos
Different teams might have different collaboration tools and practices, which makes it difficult to share information. This leads to information silos, which are a huge obstacle to effective cross-team collaboration.
To overcome this, instead of having function specific but functionally overlapping tools in use, introduce ones that can be used throughout the whole organisation to promote effective information sharing. The increased clarity highlights working towards the same goals and nurtures a positive change in your organisational culture.
6. Insufficient management
Cross-team collaboration requires huge support from both upper and middle management. If your management culture isn't guiding towards collaboration, it is more than likely that you won’t get anywhere.
To drive this change organisation change, the core messages in your internal communication need to highlight the goals. Ensure that your management is clued up on conflict resolution and effective communication, as these will be their greatest assets.
As we can see, there are many obstacles in the way of successful cross-team collaboration. However, if your business can get it right and work to overcome these challenges, you will be a cut above the rest.
If your organisation is looking for a tool to increase cross-team collaboration regarding HSEQ matters, have a look at incy.io. It involves your staff in day-to-day matters, breaks down information silos, and gives every team member a voice.
Are you interested to hear more? Let's discuss this topic in a demo or start a 30-Day FREE Trial to see how incy.io can help your organisation:
We're a tech company with a passion for helping our customers adapt to the fast changing VUCA world. We're doing that by developing easy-to-use SaaS products that make gathering, managing and analysing field information as easy as possible for the end users. Remove gatekeepers, go horizontal and learn from your mistakes before they actually happen. More info at planbrothers.io