Cross-functional collaboration is essentially a process in which a group of people from various job functions or with different functional expertise get together to work toward a common goal. When we talk about cross-functional teams in the workplace, we’re simply talking to a group of people from several departments who work together to solve an issue.
During less chaotic times, there are relatively few tasks that can be completed by one individual or a group of persons with similar abilities, expertise, and experience. To solve problems or implement innovative solutions, employees from various disciplines must work together.
Employee and team collaboration has never been more crucial. COVID-19, for example, has ramifications throughout the organization. As a result, the solution demands cross-departmental collaboration. Every company is different, but most will need its HR, legal, IC, marketing, corporate communications, crisis communication, and change management departments to come up with a solid plan to cope with the COVID-19 issue.
Despite the fact that businesses emphasize collaboration and cooperation, few employers test and evaluate their employees’ communication skills and ability to effectively engage. As a result of the outbreak, things may shift once more.
There are challenges to be conquered. When you only have a few people reporting to you, how can you lead a team? What’s the most efficient approach for multiple supervisors to exchange duties and challenges? In a quarrel, who has the final say?
Cross-functional projects are notorious for failing if not managed or executed properly. Ownership of processes and information is fragmented and fiercely defended, roles are established around parochial requirements, and the resulting internal complexity precludes much needed cross-business collaboration, according to McKinsey. Businesses, on the other hand, will have a major impact on their bottom line if they solve this issue.
Because these people come from a variety of experiences, their individual contributions are crucial because they may approach problems from different perspectives. Despite the fact that cross-functional and team collaboration can be linked to a variety of issues, most employers have recognized the need of improving cross-functional collaboration in their workplaces, especially these days
1. Better Communication skills.
Communication skills are one of the most sought-after soft talents in today’s workforce. Most of the time, these skills are assessed during the candidate selection process. For any team to be successful, effective communication is essential. It’s a skill that can make or shatter a group.
Clear, frequent, and succinct communication promotes cross-functional teams to share ideas. Cross-functional collaboration is thus an excellent opportunity for employees to develop their communication skills.
2. Be innovative!
Cross-functional teams are more likely to come up with innovative solutions than single-team projects since each employee approaches a problem from their own unique perspective. Because businesses tend to form different cross-functional teams, brainstorming and idea creation techniques are frequently successful.
3. Sharing of information.
Companies are increasingly attempting to close skill gaps in the workplace. That is, they are attempting to teach employees internally in the new skills required to deliver digital transformation projects. This is due to the importance of knowledge sharing within cross-functional teams. Creating cross-functional teams is a terrific method to help people grow and learn new skills that are required for a company to remain competitive.
When everyone in a group offers diverse skill sets, they will naturally learn from one another and expand their own skill set and knowledge base. Consider a group of people from diverse parts of the organization, such as a human resources manager and a marketing specialist.
4. Team spirit and organizational culture.
When it comes to teamwork, many employers are attempting to instill new employee practices. Not only do cross-functional teams have a better chance of completing tasks, but they also get to know colleagues from different departments that they might not have met previously. As a result, cross-functional collaboration brings together people from multiple functions, improving the overall corporate culture.
Because it brings more of your team members together, regardless of department, cross-functional cooperation naturally fosters a collaborative atmosphere. Communication skills are improved at every level of the organization through shared decision-making, regular team building, and working toward a common goal.
5. Employee engagement is boosted.
When team members have a motive to work together, they are more likely to engage and communicate with one another. People who love their coworkers’ company are more engaged and content with their professions – and are less inclined to leave.
Employee involvement is vital to any company’s success. Despite this, according to a Gallup poll, only 33% of employees are engaged. Cross-functional teams feel more linked when they work together, especially across departments. Team members are better at problem-solving and conflict resolution when they feel linked, share common goals, and trust one another.
Stay tuned for my next post on how to form cross functional teams!
Check out my related post: Do you inspire collaboration in the organization?