Give interdepartmental teams a boost

In a large organization, it can be hard to get to know everyone, yet sometimes you need to support teams you don’t often work with. How can you get to know everyone across the organization better to make cooperating easier?

That’s what one reader asked recently on the Admin Pro Forum.

We reached out to Marian Thier, of Listening Im­­pact, a consulting firm that helps em­­ploy­­ees learn to listen and share information more effectively, to get some advice. She offered ideas about boosting collaboration among departments.

First, Thier suggests organizing a “bring your colleague to work” event, where people from other departments job shadow each other or even switch roles for half a day. After­­ward, everyone can discuss what they observed and learned. Col­­­­leagues may find getting a new perspective on what other departments do makes it easier to understand how they can work together.

Another tactic that can encourage departments to communicate and work together is to hold problem-solving meetings that tackle real-world business issues. In planning the meetings, ensure all departments and levels are represented, but try to keep the meetings manageable so people can communicate more effectively, Thier says. Consider hiring a professional to facilitate the meetings and keep them moving.

Tough Talks D

For these types of meetings, Thier says the problem to tackle together should be one facing the company, not just a single department. Ex­­am­­ples include looking at how to scale the business over the next two years or reviewing what the competition is doing and how your company might respond.