Why is cross-functional teamwork so important?

Why is cross-functional teamwork so important?
Description: Introducing cross-functional teamwork can not only help to promote a sense of cohesion across your business but also optimise your efforts Keywords: crm training courses, human factors, cross-functional teamwork short workshops.

Have you ever felt like your organisation works in silos with each department working on their own tasks, and not considering other teams’ requirements. things?

Does it seem as if one of your teams does not fully understand the needs and challenges of another team, and vice versa?

Obviously, each department will have their own function but they should all be working towards the same goal – otherwise you will find that your resources are spread too thinly and this will have a negative impact on your business. Introducing cross-functional teamwork can not only help to promote a sense of cohesion across your business but also optimise your efforts to achieve all of your goals faster with less waste. Read on to discover more about cross-functional teamwork and how it could benefit your business:

What is cross-functional teamwork?
Cross-functional teamworking, is how different teams and departments work together, and this can often be the weak link within an organisation. Individual teams or departments may be working effectively, but your organisation’s efficiency and profitability will be greatly diminished if:
The channels and links that enable communication and collaboration between teams and departments are weak, non-existent or not used effectively.

  • There is lack of mutual understanding and appreciation of the needs and requirements of other teams and departments.
  • Your teams do not understand and appreciate the need for effective cross-functional teamworking.

Why do we need cross-functional teamworking?
If your company is not cross-functional then this can be frustrating for both your own personnel and, perhaps more importantly, for your customers. Whatever your organisation is, its sole purpose is to serve the customer – and so all departments should work together to provide a comprehensive and positive customer experience.

Cross-functional teamworking helps with this by encouraging each team to communicate effectively with other teams. Bringing teams together in this way can also help with problem solving and lead to smarter decision making. Instead of teams operating independently, they will collaborate to make optimal use of time and resources, making more of an effort to improve customer satisfaction while also helping to meet your organisation goals.

Why should you build cross-functional teams?
Central to cross-functional teamworking is a model of corporate effectiveness which identifies management and worker inputs to the workplace and identifies strategies which reduce the probability of inefficient behaviour. The model applies the principle of Threat and Error Management to the corporate level of operations.

What are the key aspects of cross-functional teamworking?

  • Introducing cross-functional teamworking. When developing cross-functional teamworking the key areas on which to focus are on linking attitudes to performance, using goal-setting and other behavioural modification approaches to develop positive change, and also shaping attitudes in order to sustain workplace change.
  • Encourage a collaborative culture. Bringing together the different teams within your business to create cross-functional teamworking means you will have access to a collective knowledge base made up of people with different backgrounds and skills which can be harnessed to drive your business forwards.
  • Encourage continuous learning. Bringing people from different areas of the business together means there will no doubt be some learning and development going on, which will help with both worker satisfaction and autonomy.
  • Learn new tools. Coming together with other teams, and seeing how they do things differently is a great way to discover what tools everyone is using and whether you could benefit from using those tools as well.
  • Exercise communication skills. Communication can make or break corporate effectiveness – and it is not just about listening. You need to think about agreed upon communication channels, constructive feedback and have an understanding of human diversity.
  • Honing management skills. Placing people together and expecting them to gel immediately is not wise, especially when you take human factors into account. Managing cross-functional teams will really put your management skills to the test, and is something you definitely need to prepare for.
  • Practising conflict resolution. There are always conflicts within team, especially cross-functional ones. Conflicts can arise from differences in educational backgrounds and training, differences in work processes and tools used, and also a lack of understanding of the purpose of their role. Once you have recognised the conflict though, you can work together to overcome it.
  • Mixes things up a bit. Cross-functional teamworking will shake up your work routine a little, providing a different perspective on the operation. It can be a good way to revitalise people in your company as well, giving them a chance to break free from their mental roadblocks and daily habits as well.
  • Spark innovation. Having different team members mix with people from other teams can be a great way to spark innovation by showing them how to think a little differently. Grouping new people together will help them to think outside of the box.

Here at ITS Academy you can not only learn more about cross-functional teams but what benefits they can bring to your organisation as well. In addition, we offer a number of short workshops covering a wide range of subjects, so whatever type of business you are in, we can help you to maximise your profits by improving teamwork and minimising error. Contact us for more information, or to discuss how we might support you.

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