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When you’re running an organization, communication breakdowns can lead to severe efficiency and productivity problems. While smaller teams may be able to quickly deal with the difficulties of communication inefficiency, this problem becomes harder to solve as the business grows and evolves.
Our founder and managing partner, Terry Tateossian, gives her take on the subject as well. You could read her opinion under number 6. Curate a Showreel
Cross-departmental communication is at the heart of a business’s ability to respond to issues effectively. Without proper communication channels, the business runs the risk of losing customers and appearing unprofessional. So how can a company make sure that all its departments are on the same page? Seven members of Young Entrepreneur Council recommend a few tips you can use to ensure your organization’s departments are communicating well.
1. Overcommunicate And Take Ownership
We ask the team to step up constantly to tackle issues that come up in their space. We make sure they have the confidence in their abilities to make decisions as necessary. Then, we have a process where we elevate solutions and discussions from each team level to the department head level and then the leadership team. There is a consolidation of information and it gets announced on our weekly all-company meetings, then down into the individual teams. – Marjorie Adams, Fourlane
2. Consolidate Issues Into A Single Meeting
In my opinion, the best way to ensure that departments are having regular communication is to consolidate all the issues into a single meeting either monthly or quarterly or as needed in your company. I know meetings often get a bad reputation for being overly bureaucratic and time-wasting. However, when run efficiently with a clear goal, they can be incredibly powerful in helping reduce email clutter and enhance communication. This way people are not randomly emailing each other and creating a cottage industry of ad hoc “best practice” rules or solutions to issues that should in fact be opened up to the wider group for discussion and resolution. Everyone saves up their talking points, which are then consolidated on the meeting agenda so that people can come prepared with solutions. – Maria Thimothy, OneIMS
3. Have Formal And Informal Conversations
Having frequent formal and informal conversations between departments and documenting the end results of these meetings can help mitigate miscommunication mishaps. By building up the relationships between departments through both formal and informal conversations, you’ll also be opening up the lines of communication because the two departments will be comfortable talking to each other. Comfort is key to success since neither party will hesitate to reach out for questions, suggestions or answers. – Diana Goodwin, MarketBox
4. Leverage The Right Technology
There is a huge responsibility to communicate and align through all departments, especially those that must be in constant contact. We utilize Microsoft Teams and have a channel for cross-functioning departments to share details in real time. This keeps communication streamlined and allows quick responses, which is a focal point for clients. We also have utilized our customer relationship management tool for all documentation and are able to include other internal users in our communications to keep transparency. Lastly, we have biweekly meetings with those departments together to discuss the biggest issues, highlights and what we’re focused on. Everyone is aware of each other’s goals. This has helped exponentially. – Nicole Smartt Serres, Star Staffing
5. Communicate Regularly And In Different Ways
We have a call before we start the day and in the middle of the shift. I don’t want certain things to fall through the cracks. Communication is vital in our team. We always communicate, ping and call each other with notes on Slack and Asana for backup or proof. Finally, for certain chats, we do voice messages to avoid miscommunication. – Daisy Jing, Banish
6. Implement The EOS Process
We use the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) process, which involves a once-a-week leadership meeting with every department head where we talk through issues, come up with solutions and decide what messages need to be cascaded throughout the company. This is one part of the puzzle. The other part is creating trust between different departments by helping them understand the other people’s roles and priorities so that they can have empathy when they are discussing issues, and then make it an expectation that people attempt to address issues with each other before ever bringing it to their direct support. – Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.
People who leave their ego at the door when they come to work have the ability to work well with others and create a common vision all team members can subscribe to. “Selling” your internal teams on the benefits of working together is as important as selling new customers or clients on hiring your company. Without the right attitude internally, it’s hard to impress anyone else. This also does not mean your team needs to be “babied.” Sometimes, the “iron fist, velvet glove” approach works best. – Terry Tateossian, Socialfix Media