Teamwork is imperative in the workplace and it’s not always confined to one department.
For example, if you are updating features in accounting software, it is wise to have the IT and the accounting departments work together.
There are always opportunities for cross-collaboration within departments, and managers must have the skills to delegate tasks to other departments in an effective manner.
Challenges to working with other departments:
- Different management styles
- Different internal cultures
- Different communication preferences
- Different personalities
- Different jargon
- Managing various deadlines
- Managing stress
Here are tips on the best ways to do this:
In most companies, employees’ workstations are placed according to their departments.
It’s fairly easy for team members to walk over to another person’s desk, ask a question or make a suggestion.
Communication is a little trickier when it comes to interacting with members of different departments, who can be on another side of the hallway or in a completely different level or building.
When delegating work to another department, managers have to make effective communication a goal within both departments.
Making sure that the other department clearly understands the task at hand, as well as the overall vision for the project, is essential as the other workers may not be as familiar with the project as your team is.
Use Collaboration Software
Modern day technology has made it easier than ever for people to work on documents and files together regardless of their physical proximity.
Options such as Asana and Google Docs allow colleagues from different departments to stay on the same page, literally.
Colleagues can leave notes and ask questions, make edits and set due dates to streamline productivity.
To limit some of the challenges to inter-departmental work, it is advantageous to cross train employees.
This helps individuals learn more about how the whole company functions, rather than just their team.
It provides a more cohesive view of the organisation, its values and goals.
By role sharing or job shadowing, employees can learn to work with different bosses to learn their management styles and learn more about the cultures of other departments.
This will promote understanding and collaboration, and make assigning difficult tasks across the company easier.
Each department has its own objectives, deadlines and challenges; as such, when supervisors assign tasks to other teams, they must follow up to make sure everything is being done correctly.
Having regular in person or virtual meetings can help all parties involved discuss progress and possible issues along the way, and will allow managers to make sure the process is going by smoothly.