Best Practices to Encourage Cross-Departmental Collaboration in a Hybrid/Remote Environment

Cross-team collaboration, also known as “cross-functional collaboration,” refers to a group of individuals from various teams cooperating to accomplish a single objective. It might be to finish a one-time job (like redesigning a website) or a longer-term task that requires time (like increasing the number of inbound leads we’re getting).

Today’s businesses and job seekers may all agree that a collaborative workplace is essential to growth. The capacity to work well with others (including cross-team collaboration) is a highly coveted trait when hiring new staff, second only to dependability.

Data on the efficacy of this new workplace paradigm have increased along with the use of remote and hybrid work schedules.

The positive news is that when firms commit to efficiently managing remote workers, remote workers frequently outperform their onsite counterparts in terms of productivity. Even inside teams, remote work can enhance collaboration.

The bad news is that remote teams are more likely to isolate themselves and lose contact with other teams and departments.

The following tactics can empower your workforce’s employees with a variety of talents and functions which may help forge deeper connections and improve virtual collaboration.

Make the Most of Tech Tools:

Abe Breuer, founder of VIP To Go explains why you should be making the most of certain tools: “Employers can hire the top people from all around the world or the region by forming hybrid and remote teams. It might be challenging to coordinate communication among work teams in different time zones.

Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Trello are a few examples of asynchronous collaborative communication and workflow applications that can be helpful. These tools not only keep workers connected, but they can also help them feel like they’re still a vital part of the team and are serving the true objective of your business.”

Check-in with Team Members Frequently:

Make sure you’re not just using workflow software and virtual meetings to communicate with your staff. To ensure that your employees have access to the resources, education, and development opportunities they require, one-on-one check-ins remain essential.

Working remotely can quickly result in emotions of loneliness, isolation, and separation from management and other employees. Research indicates that these emotions may also have a detrimental impact on your employees’ health in addition to having a bad impact on performance.

The expenses associated with this type of disengagement can be reduced by training managers to recognize and handle employee burnout among remote workers.

Create a Shared Sense of Purpose:

Carl Jensen, founder of Compare Banks recommends: “Ensure that you are also effectively conveying your values. Today’s workers and job searchers want to work for companies that are driven by a goal and want to know how their work fits into that vision.

Core objectives, such as providing care for patients, discovering treatments for diseases, or creating answers to societal problems, are frequently crucial recruitment and motivational factors in industries like healthcare and education.

However, any business can include value-driven principles into its main mission, such as community service, sustainability, or DEI. From there, creating opportunities for them to actively participate in those facets of your goal becomes the key to strategizing how to inspire employees in a way that promotes cross-team collaboration.”

Have a team charter:

One of the best things you can do as a manager when you join a new team or organization is to introduce yourself to possible collaborators and provide a team charter as well.

Not only does it give others context about what your team’s goals are, but it also starts the conversation so you can start getting buy-in on future projects and figuring out how to best work together. An organizational charter could include the following:

  1. Mission/Objectives: What task has your team been given? What are your objectives? Consider the “big picture” when talking about this; how do your aims sit about those of the other teams?
  2. Team Roles: Who are the members of your team? What does each individual do?
  3. Teamwork: How do you envision your teams collaborating? What kind of procedure do you believe might enable this partnership to proceed more effectively?

Get executive buy-in and support:

What is one of the simplest strategies to guarantee that several departments are diligently collaborating to meet your project goals? Obtain executive support.

Although it’s not always essential and certainly not always feasible—executives are busy and can’t be the driving force behind our assistance with decision-making on every little thing you’re working on—still, it’s worthwhile to see if you can gain executive backing if it’s a significant project.

Just bear in mind that they might not have the flexibility with their schedules to attend all sessions (though they should ideally be present for weekly or monthly project status reports and other high-level progress meetings).

Embrace employee autonomy:

According to Sam Underwood, founder of Bingo Card Creator: “It’s critical to keep in mind that each member of a cross-functional team has a unique area of expertise, which is why they were selected for the team in the first place. This requires managers to respect employee autonomy, recognize the value of knowing their staff members and their skills, and have faith in them to complete the tasks for which they were hired.

Otherwise, you run the risk of micromanaging them, which is a major cause of employee turnover.

Living up to your potential as an employee requires doing your part as an individual contributor. You may be the only member of a cross-functional team who can speak for your department, thus it’s crucial to your success that you embrace your independence.”

Lead with empathy:

According to Isla Sibanda, founder of Privacy Australia: “A strong cross-functional team requires a great leader. A leader who respects employee liberty maintains the team’s alignment with its goals, and communicates openly is necessary for cross-functional teamwork.

There is no longer any normalcy. There is no finish line since employment is flexible and will stay that way until employees decide it isn’t. Employees who recognize that their best interests are being considered will respect leaders who remain flexible and sympathetic to these developments.”

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