Keeping different parts of your company in regular communication is a real challenge for growing businesses. This has been exacerbated by COVID-19 and the necessity for staff to work remotely. The challenge is that when communication between departments doesn’t run smoothly, this can lead to mixed messages and unpredictable outcomes. This can occur in various areas like shared projects, inventory adjustments, order completion and even marketing campaigns. Making it so important to implement strong communication channels through, WhatsApp, newsletters and in meetings. Whatever way it happens, it is so important to communicate across the entire organisation to ensure that everyone is in the loop and all departments are up to date and informed. This is not only an issue in larger businesses, but even in small companies, this can be a real challenge.
Benefits of good cross-communication
Strong customer service
When everyone is talking to each other, customer service immediately improves. For example, when your communication is streamlined between marketing and sales, the marketing team informs the sales staff of a new deal, and then the floor staff will then effectively communicate this to the customer. This results in a satisfied customer, a confident staff member and highly effective customer service.
When a team is talking to each other, they will instinctively work towards the same goals. This promotes good communication, and shared objectives and ensures that company expectations are met.
It stands to reason that transparent communication builds trust between staff members. By informing everyone about important company information, there will be less chance of mishaps and inefficiencies.
Five tips for good inter-departmental communication
1. Connect the dots
When you have siloed departments, there is no clear vision for the business. Everyone is only looking to fulfil their part of the puzzle, but no one is connecting the dots to how this informs the company’s bigger picture. This is why it's so vital that everyone is aware of what is happening at a macro level, even if it doesn’t affect them all directly. This could take place in various ways, like monthly virtual meetings, weekly bulletins or newsletters. This will also build camaraderie and help the company feel unified around the greater vision of the company.
2. Connect team goals and performance
An effective way of building collaboration between departments is by tying team goals and performance together. So for example you could unify the goals between sales and marketing teams or those in lead generation can work together with customer service to ensure successful upsell opportunities. In this way, both teams now have a strong incentive to work in closer collaboration and they will naturally pull together in their strategies.
3. Use less jargon
Talking in specialized jargon can alienate those in departments who are not skilled in that particular area. In other words, when whole teams are meeting together, it's important that everyone is approached as equals and that terminology doesn't exclude or alienate. This will result in a boost in engagement as everyone will be on the same page and will be able to confidently participate in the conversation.
4. Embrace communication tools
In order to communicate effectively, teams should have access to tools and spaces that encourage collaboration. Starting with a conference room where staff can congregate. Of course, the pandemic also introduced the world to a host of online resources to encourage online charts, video conferencing and other digital exchanges.
5. Reconsider office layout
It can make a huge difference to have an office space which encourages discussion and collaboration. Office layouts can be re-designed with this exact goal in mind in order for the team to have good access to each other and promote opportunities to get involved across departments. This can be done by removing unnecessary divides in the workspace, having many departments working on the same floor and providing inviting common areas to meet and work informally.
The bottom line
Interdepartmental communication is a vital component of any growing business. Often businesses grow quite quickly and so their departments lose track of one another, or systems lose alignment. The good news is that this can be remedied with careful consideration, practical tools and a bit of effort. While this can be a pricey business, it is important to invest in your business so that it can handle future growth. With this in mind, have you considered a Merchant Cash Advance from Merchant Capital, a unique alternative funding solution tailored for retailers, with quick access to working capital in under 48 hours. This could be just the opportunity you need to fund your interdepartmental strategy without putting pressure on your bottom line and empowering you to future-proof your business.