Cross-Team Collaboration Is Important! How To Make It Work In Your Organisation!
Cross-team collaboration is a group of people with different functional expertise coming together to work toward a common goal.
A cross functional team has the potential to implement significant improvements throughout the organization, and thus is a powerful tool in a culture of continuous improvement. In such a collaborative environment, employees take ownership of problems and work together to bring about solutions. This increases teamwork, improves communication and brings about a culture of positivity amongst the teams.
Why Is Cross-Team Collaboration Important?
According to statistics:
- 39% of employees believe that there isn’t enough collaboration between people in an organisation.
- 86% of employees blame a lack of collaboration or bad communication for team problems and failures.
Some of the areas where cross-teams can help are:
- To Gain Insight: Forming a team of people coming from different fields and different skills sets helps you look at the same problem from a fresh perspective. This results in the overall development of the employees and organisation.
- Innovation: Without innovation, an organisation cannot survive for long. Cross-team collaboration is a great way to foster creative minds to come together and bring out new ideas and help innovate.
- Enhance Skills: Cross-functional teams help to beat the boredom which many employees face by being stuck in the same routine every day. They challenge staff members to stay up to date, to come up with relevant suggestions and exercise their skills in a volatile environment.
- Team Spirit: There isn’t a better way to foster team spirit amongst employees than by forming a team consisting of people from different departments. The employees have a greater chance at interacting with one another and gaining experience.
Let’s look into some ways to make cross-team collaboration work in an organisation!
1. Establish Leadership
Only one person can lead the team as it prevents confusion and people know who to report to and who is accountable. Since good leadership is essential to a cross-functional team’s ability to meet goals, make sure the leaders of your cross team are both visible and accessible to team members. They should offer team members several ways to communicate with them about cross-team projects, from texting and email to video chats and office hours to be dedicated.
2. Promote Diversity
It is easy to grab one person from each department and develop a team, but if you really want to maximise the effectiveness of your team, you should create a group that is diverse across a number of areas – not just their work area. Some ideas of factors to look for when developing a cross-functional team could be experience, ability, skills, seniority, tenure, age, gender, location etc.
3. Help Team Members Connect
In order for a team to perform well, the people on that team need to be able to trust one another, which requires people to spend time getting to know each other. To avoid some of the awkwardness of people who don’t know each other well, coming together to work as a team, begin meetings with an ice-breaker question and have everyone share their answers. You can also use HD video-conferencing to ensure remote team members are able to see everyone face to face and communicate with them as if they were in the same room.
4. Centralize Communications
A good way to ensure everyone remains focused on cross-team goals and is up to date with regards to what others are doing and how things are progressing between meetings is to enlist the help of a project management app. This will enable everyone on the team to post messages, ask questions and share updates. Don’t overschedule meetings or constantly send emails. Instead stay on top of things in real time by tracking the team, sharing feedback and monitoring results.
5. Use Social Media
Social Media is not just for connecting with friends outside of workplaces. It is, in essence, a great tool for building your brand and promoting your product. The purpose of social media is to ‘connect’. Create a private group on Facebook and encourage your team to be active there. This will help in uniting the company across offices and with remote team members. It will also help drive engagement on company’s public social channels.
6. Reward Milestones:
Achieving targets can be challenging and a lot of hard work! To keep the team inspired and looking forward to achieving the next milestone, leaders should make a point of recognizing and rewarding team achievements. In fact, team members can appreciate a fellow member who helped achieve the particular milestone. Such peer to peer recognition helps build strong bonds and a feeling of goodwill between team members.