Hell is other people…working in department silos
Keep on reading to find out how teamwork can be transformed from chronic pain to actual productivity and motivation leverage.
Common office challenges: “Why is he asking me about this information, I gave it to him months ago?”, “Oh, there is a newer version of this presentation? But I’ve been working on this one for weeks…”, “Janice has this document on her computer but she is on holiday until next week”, “I have no idea who is in charge of this”, “Why is Steve working on this without letting me know?”, “Where did you store last year’s report? I want to have a look but I can’t find it.”
“Hell is – other people” said Jean-Paul Sartre. The famous French writer and philosopher may not have experienced teamwork within a corporation, nor struggled with modern-days communication technology, but he was still able to come up with this statement, that perfectly embraces our state of mind when we struggle working with colleagues or partners.
95% of those who have ever worked in a team believe teamwork serves a critical function in the workplace, whereas more than 3/4 of employees would rather work on their own (more infos here)
Actually, in daily teamwork situations, “hell” is not necessarily other people but the lack of communication or miscommunication between these people.
Communication is the golden key to everything, and especially in collaboration. How do you expect to work together with people from your department or from other departments of your company without properly communicating with them?
Separate departments, multiple locations, multiple resources, and the resulting communication silos are challenging – if not preventing the necessary information from flowing across departments.
Frequent problems such as duplication, sharing the wrong version, working on an outdated draft and/or getting lost in the shuffle, occur regularly.
Break down silos and improve teamwork
Companies need to break down department silos and build cross-departments collaboration. Information has to be shared across departments so that employees work in synch.
Beyond the question of access to information, the quality of the information is also crucial: workers need to be able to trust the information, to rely on it, so that they can stay focused and solve problems more quickly.
The best way to share information is to have it centralized in one place, accessible for whoever needs it. A central tool or platform to exchange data throughout the entire company and to secure that data is evenly distributed throughout the entire organization tremendously, enhances collaboration and teamwork efficiency.
From this single point of reference, information workflows can be set up for the whole organization but also for more specific groups or individuals – if relevant. In both cases, information is properly managed by the organization and people are informed about what they should be informed about. They are more efficient and more likely to achieve individual and team objectives as they are more productive and base their decisions on accurate data. Enriched by the insights of their coworkers, they will eventually prefer working as a team, rather than working on their own – and that’s where the magic happens!
So, we’ve proven that you need to distribute information – and especially quality information – across your entire organization. Here are 5 tips to do it:
- use one centralized tool (intranet, data management platform or other internal communication services) and appoint someone in charge of the project
- define which groups of your organization have access to what type of information depending on their general and specific needs
- structure the information accordingly, to simplify its access and usage (quality also mean relevance, and too much information kills information!)
- train employees to make sure they know how to use it and use it to its full potential
- regularly monitor the tool usage and take users feedback into consideration to improve it.