Whether your company has five employees or 500 employees, communication is a key factor for success. While each department within a company handles different tasks, they all must be able to work together to help the company grow and thrive.
Interdepartmental communication must be ongoing and clear to avoid miscommunication or confusion. If your team works remotely, this will require the use of messaging software, email, and video conferencing. If your team is onsite, then communication may take the form of interdepartmental meetings and briefings.
Interdepartmental communication can boost productivity and employee satisfaction in several ways, including creating efficient workflows, discovering internal talent, and avoiding conflicts.
Effective communication between departments can help employees to understand each other’s skills, synchronize their work, and improve the efficiency of regular company operations. By creating a kind of harmony between departments, there will be fewer delays and increased productivity and customer satisfaction.
For example, if a customer contacts the customer service department with a complaint about a billing issue, then several departments will need to work together at once. Both the customer service and billing departments will need to work together to address the customer’s concerns.
Once the issue is resolved, the marketing and sales teams need to be able to ensure that the customer continues to receive coupons and special deals that will help to improve their relationship with the company.
If there is clear communication between departments, then the customer will have their issue resolved promptly.
Data should not be separated and inaccessible to employees across different departments. This can include access to databases and various kinds of analytic software.
With the help of risk analytics software, you can provide hidden insights within your risk data to drive transformation within your organization. But that kind of transformation would require the cooperation of multiple departments. While one department may focus more on using risk data to predict outcomes, another department may focus more on planning the transformations needed to make those outcomes a reality.
To achieve a successful resolution, the data has to be available to everyone on the team, regardless of their department.
Improved Trust Between Teams
Improved interdepartmental communication can also create a more welcoming work environment. Employees that would otherwise not engage with one another will be able to work together and develop a rapport with one another. This will help to build trust and create a positive work environment.
This increase in trust and positivity can help improve morale in the workplace and can impact work efficiency. Since team members will already know how to work compatibly with one another, unexpected interdepartmental projects may run more smoothly.
Increased trust between employees can also increase cooperation and creative thinking. When team members feel more comfortable working together, they also feel more comfortable sharing their ideas and developing out-of-the-box solutions to the problems they are facing.
Effective Risk Management
Risk management is a key part of running a business. Modern companies often face a wide array of risks. But predicting these risks and making transformational changes requires a high level of communication.
Tools like a risk management information system integrate all of your internal and external risk data into one platform. This means that different departments can handle a variety of tasks simultaneously — whether that be cost allocation, claims and incident management, and insurance renewal data. Meanwhile, all of this information can be readily available and shareable with all departments.
When there is a lack of interdepartmental communication, there is an increase in employee conflicts. This can result from a misunderstanding about expectations, confusion about project deadlines, or avoidable errors that lead to delays.
By improving your systems of communication, and teaching employees best practices for ongoing communication, you can prevent the vast majority of conflicts in the workplace. If a conflict arises, improved communication skills will allow for a quick resolution and a lack of long-lasting consequences for employee relationships.
Discover Internal Talent
Just because someone was hired for a specific task or skill doesn’t mean that they don’t have more to offer. Interdepartmental communication provides you with an opportunity to discover internal talent and promote from within.
As team members become more familiar with each other’s roles and skills, they may be able to see potential in their teammates across departments that business leaders may not have the opportunity to witness. This will allow for you to promote employees to positions in management or offer employees opportunities in a suitable department
Implement New Policies
Change is a part of life, and in modern times, change often comes quickly. As your business grows, you will need to get rid of old policies and implement new ones. These changes must then be communicated to your entire staff. If you do not already have a reliable system of communication in place, then this task can prove to be difficult.
However, if you are working to improve your interdepartmental communication, then the implementation of new policies will be a much smoother process. There won’t be confusion between departments and their role in new policies. Instead, clear and speedy communication of new policies will create a smooth transition with minimal errors.
How Can Companies Promote Interdepartmental Communication?
Although there are plenty of benefits that interdepartmental communication can bring to your company, doing so is easier said than done. That being said, the sooner you can begin improvements, the sooner you can begin to reap the short-term and long-term benefits.
Create Opportunities for Interaction
Before people can learn to communicate with one another, they must first be presented with opportunities to communicate. Employees in different departments, especially if they are working remotely, might never organically have a chance to speak with one another or work together on a joint project.
There are several ways that these opportunities for interaction can be manufactured by leaders within a company. Hosting interdepartmental meetings can allow employees to learn more about their coworkers' responsibilities and skills. Group chat messaging tools can be used to promote communication throughout the standard workday. Company-wide activities can promote communication in a more relaxed environment.
Establish Common Goals
Common goals create bonds. If your employees are working towards a common goal, then they will be able to develop a deeper sense of community and comradery. Common goals also increase enthusiasm and motivation which can improve productivity.
The purpose of establishing a common goal is to put a sense of togetherness at the center of your company culture.
Utilize Integrated Systems
Regularly communicating with other departments can be difficult, especially for employees with busy schedules. However, by utilizing integrated systems, departments can share information easier and faster than ever before. These systems may include:
These systems create a shared space where data can be utilized by the employees that need it, no matter what department they work in.