The shift to remote work poses an even greater need for collaboration and information sharing across teams. Without the proper protocols and technology in place, teams can often find themselves disconnected and disengaged from their organization. In fact, two-thirds of remote workers do not feel engaged and experience little to no facetime with their teammates. Here are a few strategies to prevent teams from working in silos and increase engagement and collaboration while working remotely.
Build Cross-Functional Teams
Silos occur when there is a lack of information sharing and effective communication across departments and teams. When silos exist, it’s likely that your organization isn’t functioning at its maximum efficiency. In fact, 39% of employees believe that people in their organization don’t collaborate enough. To combat this, leaders must step in and look for opportunities to create cross-functional teams and projects across departments. Cross-functional teams have many benefits. They can often achieve outcomes beyond the reach of individual existing departments and create opportunities for new leaders to emerge within an organization.Remote work can cause teams to feel disconnected from their organization. Read the @ClearCompany strategies for increasing workplace collaboration and preventing #remote teams from working in silos:
Each team has unique strengths and areas of expertise to leverage. The way teams work with one another may also vary substantially. Here are some ways to create collaboration across opposing departments and build on wins from existing strong partnerships:
- Schedule a brainstorming session with the department(s) you work best with and those you don’t work as well with.
- Assemble a joint task force between different department heads.
- Document the ways in which collaboration goes well with each department and get a clear view of each team’s exact collaborative needs.
- Have departments that work well together host a workshop to help build remote team relationships in real-time.
Learn how to identify the silos in your organization and implement the 5 step process to increase workplace collaboration by downloading the Workplace Collaboration Worksheet.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Establishing open lines of communication is key to keeping collaboration high among remote teams. 86% of employees and leaders cite a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. The lack of in-person conversations and team meetings makes effective communication methods even more vital for team productivity and engagement. Remote teams should aim to over-communicate so that expectations are easily understood. Using chat programs, such as Slack, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams, allow communication and information to flow instantly and continuously throughout the day.
Video calls should be used for team meetings, weekly check-ins, and daily stand-ups, as well as difficult conversations to address performance and productivity. Not being able to see someone’s face or body language impedes communication, which is why video calls should be used when possible. Having face-to-face conversations, even virtually, creates a greater feeling of connectedness across teams and is often more efficient when explaining a complex task or working through a problem. Here are some tips for running an effective video conference meeting:
- Designate a facilitator. Having one person facilitate the meeting guides the conversation and allows the other participants to focus on the content being discussed.
- Create an agenda. Set and communicate the objectives of your meeting. Share any necessary resources with your audience beforehand.
- Make sure you can see everyone’s face. Facial expressions and body language are key to gauging the pulse of your audience.
- Encourage participation. Call on people to answer questions and share their thoughts.
- Provide an audio dial-in option. Effective video conferencing requires a strong internet connection. Providing an audio dial-in option is important in the case individuals do not have a reliable connection.
Show Support and Appreciation
Working outside of the office can be a difficult change for employees. It’s common for remote employees to struggle to find a work-life balance and have concerns about productivity and visibility. That being said, showing support and appreciation for your employees is necessary for keeping them engaged in their work and with their team. Managers can show support by setting clear boundaries and inviting their employees to do the same. The line between work and life can easily get blurred when you’re at home all of the time, so setting boundaries lets others know what they can expect from you with regards to availability and respecting your space.86% of employees cite ineffective communication as the cause of workplace failures. Learn more about the @ClearCompany tools and mobile capabilities that support remote communication and collaboration across teams:
Some organizations are showing appreciation for their remote workers by providing budgets to spiff up home offices. However, appreciation doesn’t have to be monetary to be effective. Positive recognition can be a powerful tool to increase engagement and motivation from a distance. 85% of workers say they like to have their efforts recognized. When an employee meets a goal or goes above and beyond, you should highlight their accomplishments in front of the whole team. This will encourage continued performance and motivate other team members to do the same.
ClearCompany has the tools to make your remote employees feel valued. Social sharing capabilities allow employees to send public shoutouts and celebrate work anniversaries and birthdays. These features make it easy to promote peer appreciation and teamwork across your organization. Tools like Shout Outs and Celebrations help connect employees to one another, regardless of role or department. They provide a space for community and engagement across silos and bring individuals and teams together. ClearCompany also integrates with Slack, so your favorite Slack channels can be leveraged to further connect, engage, and bond across teams.
With ClearCompany’s built-in engagement and recognition tools, you can develop stronger, more collaborative teams and build a positive culture outside of your typical office setting. Reach out to our experts to learn more about how ClearCompany’s total Talent Management Software can help your organization thrive in today’s employment landscape.