7 Tips to achieve cross-functional collaboration

For any company to perform, it is of paramount importance that it functions like a well-oiled machine.

All departments need to collaborate effectively and work in harmony with each other. However, in reality it is easier said than done.

A lot of timeline lapses and delivery delays in companies take place not because employees are incapable but because of cross functional conflicts.

A lot of managers spend valuable time firefighting instead of working towards the growth and progress of the company.

In my career as a professional coach, I have observed various companies and complied a few points that will help you achieve cross-functional harmony and collaboration. Well, at least to an extent.

1. Lead by example

Your employees are more likely to take efforts to collaborate cross-functionally if they see you making efforts to collaborate with your cross-functional counterparts. 

2. Hire and promote employees with a collaborative mindset

Be smart while hiring. Look for a collaborative mindset while hiring and promoting employees.

In my career as a professional coach, I have seen multiple managers fail because they lacked a collaborative mindset and were promoted only based on their individual contributions.

3. Show them the bigger picture

Make sure your employees understand both the vision and the mission of the company.

A lot of times I have seen employees who are only aware of their job description and their KRAs as opposed to employees who generally care about the company's vision.

Make your employees understand the importance of having a diverse workforce and the benefits that it brings with it. 

In one of the companies where I was a consultant, they started their day by reciting the company pledge. This brought about a sense of uniformity, unity and belongingness among the employees.

4. Set clear shared values and goals

Often teams adapt working mechanisms that suit their team leaders and managers. However, while working cross-functionally, different teams need to come together and define some shared values and goals as well as some operating procedures that they will follow to ensure smooth flow of work.

5. Define roles and responsibilities clearly

It is very critical that roles and responsibilities are defined very clearly to avoid the blame game when something goes wrong.

Each employee must have a clear list of tasks that he or she will be held accountable for.

6. Establish a clear communication framework

Establish a clear and transparent communication framework to ensure trust and openness among cross-functional collaborators. Encourage team members to have constructive conversations which will help them trust each other over time. 

7. Encourage cross-functional bonding activities

Encourage cross-functional activities such as picnics, dinners, games to reduce the silo mentality and strengthen the bond between cross-functional teams.

All these tips may seem simple, however, each one of them requires careful planning and execution.

If you require any further guidance or help implementing these tips, feel free to reach out to us on www.search4excellence.com.

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