Cross departmental collaboration is an active process of information sharing amongst all the departments. This is a pillar stone aspect of a company culture, and it’s not just having people from different departments working together.
In this article we will be exploring the importance of cross-departmental collaboration and how to foster the willingness to collaborate between different departments in the company.
What is Cross Departmental Collaboration?
Collaboration is one of the most important factors of success in any company. Cross departmental collaboration brings teams from various divisions of a company to work towards a common goal. If departments are able to balance their interests with overall company goals, cross departmental projects can improve a company’s efficiency and effectiveness.
Why is Cross Departmental Collaboration Important?
Collaborative projects yield superior results, as experts in different fields in the company are able to ensure that any project aligns with their department’s goals, as well as the goals of the entire organization.
A 2016 Nielsen study found when teams of three or more people develop an idea, it has 156% more appeal to consumers than ideas that were developed by teams where only one or two people had a hands-on role. Interdepartmental collaboration provides opportunities for employees to build interpersonal relationships within the company and develop a sense of trust in their coworkers. These are all important elements in company success, job satisfaction, and employee retention.
Without a collaborative culture, project teams will quickly fall out of sync. A lack of collaboration can lead to oversights that result in a loss of profits and a poor customer experience. According to the Human Capital Institute, employee disengagement is estimated to cost the US economy as much as 350 billion dollars per year in lost productivity, accidents, theft, and turnover. Company success relies on your employees having a common vision and cross departmental collaboration brings them together.
How to Facilitate Cross Departmental Collaboration in Your Company
Facilitating cross departmental collaboration can be a complex task with many moving pieces. but it will pay high dividends for your team over time. While it might not be easy at first, there are some steps you can take to facilitate successful cross departmental collaboration in your company. It is important to set clear goals and objectives for any project, but this is especially important for collaboration across departments. Different departments tend to have different goals so ensuring that your team understands the end vision for your project will set them up for success.
Communication is paramount in cross departmental collaboration. Setting up general and specific communication channels, creating an indexed knowledge system, and providing your team with the support that they need to resolve any issues that come up will build a culture of collaboration at your company. It is important to understand that disagreements and difficult situations will happen, but good management and fair mediation will nurture healthy collaboration.
Problems in Virtual Cross Departmental Collaboration
The shift to the work-from-home model has had many benefits for companies and their employees. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platforms said “Working remotely has given me more space for long-term thinking and helped me spend more time with my family, which has made me happier and more productive at work”. This sentiment is echoed by work-from-home employees in a variety of positions and industries. The University of Chicago Booth School of Business found that 40% of employees think they are more productive at home while only 15% do not (chicagobooth.edu).
While the virtual work environment has advantages, normal communication levels have become much lower as employees work on flexible schedules with minimal planned meetings between project stakeholders. One poll even found that 17 percent of employees would rather watch paint dry than attend a meeting (csp.com). This means many project managers rely on email threads or messaging applications to keep a project timeline on track. In organizations with lots of employees and large project scopes, this often leads to poor collaboration.
Email is too inefficient
While email has been the pillar of collaboration between departments and colleagues for decades, it is extremely inefficient for the purpose of continuous communication. When an email is sent out to an entire team, many employees receive dozens of messages in a thread that had nothing to do with their job description. This leads to employees checking their email less often and increasing response times as they have to spend time sorting through irrelevant messages.
Files and documents get lost easily
Finding important files and documents should not mean scrolling through a week’s worth of chat messages or emails. Documents get misfiled and misplaced without a proper internal knowledge base. Losing track of files in your organization’s digital space has a negative impact on your employee’s productivity and can affect future projects as well.
Impossible to keep track of and monitor confidential information
In a collaborative environment, information can be accessible to the eyes of dozens, or even hundreds of employees. This makes it impossible to effectively manage confidential information. Controlling multiple cloud storage links can be a nightmare and the files get downloaded and shared anyways. Emails are stored as plain text, and not all emails are encrypted (google.com). This makes emails susceptible to hackers and third-party monitoring. Cyber security and law experts recommend that email should not be used as a confidential method of transmitting information (buffalo.edu). Sharing information is essential for successful collaboration but ensuring that only the right people can access your files is just as important.
How a Jetdocs can Streamline Cross Departmental Collaboration
A great way to improve cross departmental collaboration is by creating an online portal where your entire organization can access shared files, calendars, and important documents. Tools like project management software and internal workflow systems can streamline cross departmental collaboration to make effective collaboration easier. A good project management tool allows you to create a process that maps out all the steps of your workflows. Fully embracing internal collaboration tools could raise productivity by 25% (workzone.com).
Integrates with Teams and Slack
Jetdocs is a Microsoft Teams and Slack application that can be set up around your existing communications tools. Employees can access catalogs right from Teams and Slack. No new logins, just use your existing SSO authentication scheme. The Jetdocs intelligent routing bot automatically routes messages to the appropriate person. This allows your company to avoid bottlenecks by allocating resources to ensure that the right request is being fulfilled by the best employee for the job. Finding which employees are available is made easy with automatic roster fetch, the feature makes your entire team easily accessible when you need them.
Implementing a workflow system doesn’t have to waste valuable time. Jetdocs comes with over 80 no-code templates that will have you up and running in minutes. Jetdocs has workflows for the entire organization to make cross-functional collaboration a breeze. If you can’t nd exactly what you’re looking for, the custom workflow maker is your tool to create a bespoke solution that checks every box.
Everything is logged
Jetdocs lets you keep tracking of everything going on in your company so you can always stay on top of business activities. All of your submitted requests are displayed in a dedicated dashboard while responders can see related tickets, general queues, and tickets with high priority. Ticket priority sorts and assigns tickets to ensure that important issues get handled in an efficient manner. Jetdocs makes quality assurance and compliance easy by enhancing traceability and creating audit logs so you can track every step. This means your team can get valuable insight and understanding into your company’s network of requests.
No Paperwork in the Cloud
Employees should never be unable to complete work because files are on an office desktop or inaccessible to them. With Jetdocs, all of your information is stored in secure cloud-based servers. Going paperless saves space, time, and money and reduces your company’s carbon footprint, all while boosting data security. Jetdocs is your company’s single source of truth for your entire project team. This means that your employees can access the information they need whenever they need it, no matter where they are.
Avoid Long Email Chains
Jetdocs promotes efficient communication by only sending alerts to the required team members. This means your employee’s productivity does not pause every couple of minutes to look at notifications. With Jetdocs adding or removing access for your employees is as easy as can be. Adding new members to a project team will not mean forwarding massive email chains, leaving them lost and confused. Adding new information at any stage of a workflow is also simple in Jetdocs. This removed the black box issue where files or tickets can lock you out and important information is not included. You can also easily check the progress of any workflow so you always know what step your team is on. Lastly, the built-in self-service catalogue means that you get your issues solved fast without wasting time writing long emails or waiting for someone to be available to talk to you. Avoiding long email chains saves valuable time that can drastically reduce resolution times in the short term and save plenty of money in the long run.
Cross departmental collaboration can make a noticeable improvement for every key performance indicator in your company. Challenges like communication breakdowns and access to information should not be the factors that hold your company back. Jetdocs is designed to help your company break free from these obstacles and set you up for success. Jetdocs’ fully integrated apps make communicating with your team more efficient than ever while our intelligent routing bot gets issues resolved fast. The secure cloud-based storage system keeps everything organized and the no-code templates mean everything can be set up in minutes. Get started today to empower your cross-functional teams, create happier employees and improve your bottom line. For more information visit jetdocs.io or get a demo.