Productivity

How to Promote Cross-Departmental Collaboration Across Remote Teams

Promote Cross-Departmental Collaboration in Remote Teams

Introduction

Facilitating cross-departmental collaboration in the workplace is critical to any successful organization.

In a remote world, teamwork is valued more than ever before, and businesses are searching for individuals who can be team players and effectively communicate with their peers.

More employees want to work remotely, and this is an increasing challenge for businesses to support their staff. But the ability of teams to communicate and interact will directly impact whether or not they succeed.

What is cross-departmental collaboration? 

Cross-departmental collaboration is a process in which a group of people from diverse departments or with distinct expertise come together to work towards a similar goal.

Only relatively few tasks can be accomplished by one person or a group of people with the same abilities, knowledge and experience. 

How to promote cross-departmental collaboration

Centralize communications & use tools that facilitate collaboration across remote teams

Teams are using project management applications such as platforms similar to Chatwork to stay abreast of how projects move forward. Without having to be in the same room, project management apps allow everyone on a team to share updates, send messages, and ask questions. 

Cross-team collaboration means that advanced digital solutions, like business process management software, are completely necessary when everyone is working from home. Collaboration occurs naturally when everyone within the team, and all teams within the organization, have access to a work platform that is useful for everyone. There are less misunderstandings, and employee engagement and speed are increased.

And when it comes to sharing process and training, you need everyone on the same page so that they can work async.

Use a process documentation tool like Scribe to turn any workflow into a step-by-step guide. In seconds you can create, share and store even the most complicated processes to:

  • Build a knowledge base.
  • Answer those "quick questions" that interrupt your flow state.
  • Create (and universally update) standard operating procedures, work instructions and so much more.

‎Here's how it works.

Plus, with Scribe Pages, you can combine your Scribes with video, images and more. It's a no brainer.

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New technology aims to provide users with real-time information access. It can be used to share data from tools that some teams don’t have access to, because it’s integrated with the organization’s digital ecosystem. 

Using the best group video calling app, creating collaborative projects, and providing status updates becomes simple and intuitive. And all members of the team will be aware of the goals, strategy, and progress. It also allows the company to have a single centralized communication system, which is critical for cross team collaboration.

Aligning business strategy & your team’s goals

Establishing a structure to facilitate cross-departmental collaboration while working remotely requires alignment. Team leaders must discuss goals, tactics, and KPIs in order to accomplish this. 

They can use the following questions as a springboard to stimulate discussion:

  • What is the responsibility of each team in achieving the overarching business strategy?
  • Is it possible to collaborate on particular objectives?
  • How can our teams work together more effectively?
  • What are the main objectives and KPIs for each team?
  • Have any team leaders had success using management apps that other managers might want to consider?
  • Are there any teams that have data that could be useful to others?
  • What processes are we able to borrow?
  • Is there a place where resources may be shared?
  • Are there any blockages in any of the teams, and can another team assist?

Create teamwork opportunities

When there aren’t any opportunities for teamwork, it's difficult to cross cooperate. Creating cross-collaboration opportunities for your teams and departments, such as organizing meetings and talks in advance, can make a great difference. The benefit of working with a remote team is that you have complete control over how you communicate.

Just as cloud contact center solutions unifies customer communications, teams can use business productivity software to help communicate efficiently. Virtual collaboration is extremely important, and social events such as drinks on a Friday can also be held in virtual spaces.

Set project signposts

Every new project is a new opportunity to generate and maintain cross-team momentum and help your teams move forward.

It can be a constant effort to keep a remote team on the same page once the day-to-day obstacles of a project are established and understood by the team. Team leaders should make a point of not only recognizing, but also rewarding, cross-collaborative efforts and achievements to keep everyone inspired and motivated to meet their goals.

Make sure that while you thank a team member for their accomplishments, you also ask colleagues to do so as well. Peer acknowledgment helps to strengthen and cement team relationships.

Highlight accountability & ownership

Employees who care about their team and their work will be more proactive and engaged in collaborative projects. 

Strategies to improve team responsibility include explicitly outlining expectations, developing measurable KPIs, and delivering regular reports on progress. Why not encourage your team to adopt a mindset that encourages accountability during joint initiatives by doing the following:

  • Making individual responsibilities more transparent. When others are watching, we all up our game. Each team member’s tasks and statuses can and should be made available to all other participants using remote cross-collaboration software. This not only improves communication clarity, but it also promotes accountability and efficiency.
  • Monitoring KPIs on a regular basis. When each team member is held accountable for reporting their KPIs, they obtain the insights needed to improve performance and become more motivated.
  • Continuing the conversation. Everyone involved in a cross-team endeavor benefits from regular communication because it helps each person assume personal responsibility.

Benefits of cross-departmental collaboration

Innovation

Cross-departmental teams are more likely to come up with innovative solutions than single-team projects. This is because each employee approaches a problem from their own unique perspective. 

Businesses that focus on promoting different cross-functional teams, brainstorming, and idea creation techniques are frequently successful.

Knowledge-sharing

Companies are increasingly attempting to close skill gaps in the workplace—they’re trying to teach employees new skills to deliver projects more successfully.

This is due to the importance of knowledge-sharing within cross-departmental teams. Creating cross-departmental teams helps people grow and learn new skills that make a company competitive. This can be anything from negotiating skills to how to use the new dialler software

Improved communication skills

Communication is one of the most sought-after and important soft skills in today’s workforce, and it will become even more critical in the future. Good communication can and will determine whether a team will triumph. Clear, frequent, and succinct communication promotes cross-departmental teams to share ideas.

Culture & team spirit

Employers are trying to encourage and promote new employee practices. Cross-departmental teams that share a remote culture and have a sense of togetherness have a better chance of completing tasks. 

This also leads to getting to know new colleagues from different departments. As a result, cross-functional collaboration brings people together and improves the overall corporate culture.

Conclusion

Building successful cross-departmental collaboration across remote teams requires time and effort.

Remote work is becoming more popular, and it is set to become more commonplace over the next decade. However, there are difficulties for different departments to work cohesively together when teams are remote. Companies that do not address these are far more likely to fail. 

Teams need a sound plan. Key features of promoting collaboration across remote teams include:

  • Frequent communication.
  • Encouraging contact.
  • Establishing clear goals that motivate team members.


About the Author

Alwayne Powell - Senior Digital Marketing Manager, 8x8

Alwayne Powell is an experienced performance marketing leader with an extensive background in the digital space, working client and agency side to provide paid search, SEO and CRO solutions in the B2B and B2C sectors. They are the current Senior Digital Marketing Manager at 8x8, one of the leading communication platform providers. You can find them on LinkedIn.