5 Ways to Break Down Silos

Farm silos are designed to store large amounts of grain while keeping different materials completely separated. In business, organizational silos have the same effect: They prevent resources and information from being shared among departments and teams.

No company sets out with the intention of building organizational silos. But by becoming familiar with the warning signs and taking action quickly when they start to form, you can help your company keep information and resources flowing freely.

What Are Organizational Silos?

For a business to be successful, it’s important for employees to share ideas and work well together. Organizational silos can affect how employees interact with one another. As a manager, understanding the pros and cons of organizational silos can enable you to communicate effectively with every member of your team. In this article, we discuss the definition of organizational silos and how you can dismantle them.

How To Break Down Team Silos At Work

As organizations have grown bigger and bigger, so have their divisions— both literally and figuratively. Specific functions have become decentralized and delegated. As such, the individual components of these organizations have become increasingly specialized and discrete in the form of team silos. Sounds good, right? Not exactly.

There’s one thing that organizations need more than specialization: collaboration and team building.

The hallmark of all successful organizations is effective communication and an atmosphere of collaboration. But team silos, or isolated teams, are formed when the groups work alone rather than together. This reduces productivity and efficiency and slows down progress. 

Team building is vital to increasing operational efficiency. If individual silos are not broken down, a unified, productive, and communicative team can’t be built. We know it’s hard to bring teams together and break down team silos across an org, so here are some tips to help. 

Breaking down silos

A successful organization often encourages collaboration across its various departments. However, the concept of organizational silos can hinder interaction and communication amongst these groups.

Understanding silos and the steps you can take to break down these barriers can help organizations and employees thrive. In this article, we discuss the importance of breaking down silos within an organization and offer steps and tips to conduct this process.

Harvard Information for Employees

A strong communication plan will help managers set expectations and successfully orchestrate a diverse group of distributed employees. A thorough plan ensures that employees get what they need to stay connected with their team, customers, stakeholders, and the University.

Discussions about communication tools, protocols, and the ways in which people use these to interact with one another are ideal at the onset of a team approach to flexwork; however, anytime is a good time to establish or revisit a communication plan. A successful plan requires shared understanding and commitment so it’s important for all team members to participate when writing or revising a team communication plan.

Please also see CWD’s “Leading and Managing in a Hybrid Work Environment Toolkit” which includes more in-depth and how-to advice for building skills for a culture of fluid communication in the context of flexwork. Teams should develop a communication plan that addresses:

3 Situations Where Cross-Cultural Communication Breaks Down

The strength of cross-cultural teams is their diversity of experience, perspective, and insight. But to capture those riches, colleagues must commit to open communication; they must dare to share. Unfortunately, this is rarely easy. In the 25 years we’ve spent researching global work groups, we’ve found that challenges typically arise in three areas.

Why Data Is The Lifeblood Of Modern Organizations

Intelligent organizations, these are organizations where the flow of data is harnessed to achieve core business objectives, such as improving customer experience, developing better products and services, and driving efficiency in internal operations.

This involves developing a level of data maturity. This means understanding what data is available to an organization, what can be done with it, and what tools and technologies are needed to put it to use.

But perhaps most vitally, it involves building a culture of data literacy throughout the entirety of an organization. From the boardroom to the shop floor, every individual and area of operation should be aware of the value of data, its power to drive innovation and efficiency, and best practices when it comes to collecting, storing, and using it.

Five Strategies To Improve Communication With Team Members

Even though almost 75% of employers rate collaboration and teamwork as “very important,” according to data from Queens University of Charlotte, 39% of employees think that people in their organization don’t collaborate enough.

Improved communication between team members in the workplace often brings fantastic results, including:

• Smoother team building

• Greater agility

• Enhanced focus

• Efficient performance

• Reduced workload

In light of those benefits, it’s easy to agree that workplace collaboration is critical. But achieving these results can be difficult. Here are five tips to streamline communications in the digital age:

The importance of teamwork

Healthy teams enjoy benefits that go far beyond the company’s bottom line.

Anyone who thought the rise of remote and hybrid work would would be the downfall of teamwork has probably changed their tune by now. The truth is, teamwork is more important than ever. 

“The use of teams and collaboration expectations have been consistently rising,” says Dr. Scott Tannenbaum, a researcher and president of the Group for Organizational Effectiveness. “And when I say teams, I’m talking about all types of teams, whether it’s stable work teams [or] whether it’s teams that now, in the current environment, are operating virtually.”