Have you increased communication efforts among your teams yet?
The days of having the tech people separate from those working in other departments like communications, sales, marketing, HR, etc, are long gone. This just doesnít cut it today.
Silo tech initiatives are dead
Because of technological advancements, everyone in your business is using the Internet, email, social media, videos, cloud computing, and other forms of technology to conduct everyday business functions. You are all connected through technology, and it is an imperative part of communicating, selling, and keeping your business competitive. Because of this, itís essential to keep team communications top-of-mind, and develop systems to improve them regularly.
This is often easier said than done. After all, you're working with different personalities, skill sets, deadlines, experience, and more... so, where do you start? Try these three steps to start improving communications fast:
Meet your team members
Do you know what Sally in the accounting department does? How about Bob in marketing? How are these people using technology on a daily basis to meet their responsibilities? If you don't know how your fellow co-workers are using technology, it's time to find out:
- What are their short and long-term goals?
- What technologies are they using to reach these goals?
- What issues and successes are they having with the technologies they are using?
For IT, the issue is to get to know your team members and what they do. Then, take a look at the competition. How are they using technology to communicate
with their internal and external customers in a cost-effective way?
When you have a good understanding of how everyone is using technology, move on to the next step...
Take the time to set up a meeting and talk to all of your team members. Send out an agenda in advance and let people know that this will be a casual meeting to help improve communications and technology functions.
Everyone at the meeting should feel comfortable voicing their concerns, providing suggestions, and giving feedback. Take the time to listen to each person, and have an open brainstorming session to help solve problems and develop new ideas. This is your chance to find out what is working and fix the things that are not.
At the end of the meeting, set specific actions, responsibilities, and deadline dates so that things actually get accomplished. Also, schedule the next session so that team members know this will be a regular occurrence from now on.
Conduct a test
Once you've compiled all of your information and opened the lines of communication, have various team members develop a test project. This way, they will work together to accomplish a common goal. Have them monitor and document the entire process and then review end-results. This is data they can share with the organization during monthly meetings to get feedback.
Communication does not need to be difficult
Your business may be used to having separate departments and closed communications, so getting people talking may be a challenge. But don't let this stop you. Learn what your team members do, schedule time to talk to them, and open communications among teams with small test projects.
By building relationships, people will feel more comfortable working together, developing new ideas, and solving problems. And when they start to see positive results in the business (and their own paychecks) from their work, the communication lines will open further.
The days of departmental silos are over. Itís time to open the lines of communication in your business. If not, youíll lose customers to competitors who are collaborating and reaching goals effectively.
What are you going to do today to open the lines of communication in your business? Please continue to the conversation on the Enterprise Conversation message board and with me.