“It takes both sides to build a bridge.”
The importance of collaboration and teamwork cannot be described more aptly as through these words of wisdom by Federik Nael. Think about it, what holds a bridge together? What would happen if one side of a bridge falls down? The bridge would collapse right?
Now let’s apply this quote on a model of a business organization. What would happen if the employees- the building blocks of an organization- are divided and are not working in unison? Just like a bridge would fall if it is not connected on both sides, an organization is doomed to fail if its employees are not connected with each other.
For any organization to be successful, it is important that its employees are working together as a team. In an ideal world, all the employees in an organization should be working as a team striving to achieve a common goal. But, we don’t live in an ideal world do we? Unfortunately, silos mentality is one of the most common problems faced by an organization. Many companies struggle to keep their employees on the same page resulting in division amongst employees as well as different departments of that organization.
While having a united workforce is indeed a challenge that many organizations face, it is not unattainable. With appropriate strategies and use of an effective platform such as Collaborative, you can unite your workforce through effective communication and collaboration.
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What is silos mentality and what can it do?
Literally, the word ‘Silos’ is defined as tall structures that are used to store grains separately in farms. In business terms, it has the same connotation and refers to the division of workforce. It means that the employees in a workplace have different agendas and are not working towards the same goal. It also refers to a lack of unity between different departments in an organization. Mostly in organizations where silos mentality persists, different departments and teams run independently from each other and there are communication barriers between them. Silos may also refer to the act of withholding information from your colleagues or inability to share knowledge intentionally or unintentionally.
Here is an example of silos mentality in a workplace: let’s say that there are different departments in an organization such as finance, human resources, marketing, etc. All these departments running smoothly on their own but are disconnected from each other represents ‘silos’.
In farming, silos are advantageous, in business however a silo mentality is a slow poison or a ticking bomb that eventually destroys an organization. While having a hierarchy in a workplace has its own sets of benefits, it is when different branches of that hierarchy are not interconnected the real problem starts.
Having silos mentality and lack of cohesive teams creates disparity amongst employees. Moreover, it creates discordance between different teams and departments, leading to turf wars and havoc within an organization.
How can collaboration and effective communication help?
‘Silos’ is no doubt a detrimental phenomenon, but it is also quite natural for it to occur. You may have the most talented or the most competent employees, they will be of little use to you in a larger picture if there is a lack of teamwork and collaboration at your workplace. According to a study, 86% of employees believe that a lack of collaboration in their workplace is responsible for failed work and projects. Such a huge percentage shows how important teamwork is for the success of any organization.
To make sure that your employees are working in harmony, you need to employ different collaborative solutions. First and foremost, to improve teamwork, there needs to be an effective channel of communication amongst your employees. What makes or breaks collaboration is communication. Putting your employees together in a team just for the sake of collaboration will take you nowhere. In fact if you don’t have the right strategies and communication tools it will have the opposite effect.
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Good leadership and teamwork actually go hand in hand. As a leader of an organization, you need to make sure that your employees, irrespective of the department they work for, share a similar goal. Their purpose should not be to benefit only themselves or their teams but to work towards the greater good of the company. To make sure that this happens you need to communicate with your employees and share the vision of your organization. They should be reminded that they are working together as a team rather than individual forces. Once strong cross team communication at your workplace is established, collaboration can be easily practiced.
Effective collaboration can do wonders for your organization. It efficiently breaks down silos at your workplace by:
- Breaking down communication barriers and allowing employees to get in touch with others.
- Bringing all the employees down to one platform where they share similar goals that are targeted towards the betterment of the organization.
- Forcing employees to share information not only within their departments but with other departments as well. Because of this they cannot withhold information for their benefits.
- Reducing turf wars by bringing all the departments together and making them work as a team.
- Making cross functional teams where employees with different areas of expertise work together to achieve various targets.
- Creating a sense of community between different departments of the organization. Cross team communication can greatly reduce animosity between departments hence breaking down silos and turf wars.
Apart from all that, collaboration has proven to increase employee performance by making them more productive and responsible.
‘Silos’ is a dangerous yet common phenomenon that can occur in any organization. In fact, it is one of the biggest challenges that organizations face at their workplace. By improving communication amongst the employees and making them work in collaboration, the silos mentality can be eliminated. However, bringing all the employees together is quite a task and despite having numerous online channels, many companies struggle with it. By using Collaborative, employers can efficiently breakdown ‘silos’ at their workplace. It is an all in one platform where all the departments in an organization can connect with each other and share information. It has features such as newsfeed, group chats, video conference etc. that make communication between employees easy and seamless. So, break the barriers and fight silos with Collaborative and see how it can do wonders for your business.