Silos are a type of mindset wherein teams and departments either refuse or have no ways to share information with other groups, thus putting dents on the overall business processes and operations.
Despite its corrosive effect, it is hard for employees to notice or become aware that they are working in a siloed organization. Whether or not you think you are in one, here are three signs that you should watch out for and ways how to break away from it.
- Us VS Them – This kind of mentality can be difficult to recognize as a warning sign as it can take the appearance of friendly rivalries and competitiveness. This thinking leads to the withholding of information and suffering from the lack of communication, which then again branches out to other bigger problems. In addition, certain tasks are not done on time and often left abandoned with claims of “that’s not my job.”
The absence of data sharing and communication affects customer service and sales operations. These responsibilities require data accuracy and information completeness to analyze customer data and deliver the best solutions needed.
Avoiding the Us VS Them mentality starts with good leadership. Team leaders and heads are the ones who can steer their members towards a direction and goal. By having good leaders who are open to collaboration and coordination, the rest of the teams can follow suit in working to achieve a common goal without trying to one-up or point fingers at the other.
- Redundancy – Because of poor communication and coordination, there will be many times when tasks are duplicated. This means that multiple persons or teams are working on a single project without the other knowing, thus potentially causing a delay to other tasks that could have been done already by another group. This affects efficiency and can cause organizations failure to meet deadlines.
The lack of coordination will easily reflect on poor customer service experience as some would address old queries like they are new ones and the whole processing would always go back to Step 1 instead of moving on. To avoid these kinds of conflict, proper task delegation should be practiced. Nowadays, there are many tools and customer data management that can help teams organize tasks where everyone can see who is working on a project and which ones are still unattended.
- Unfamiliarity – Having little to no interaction between different teams causes unfamiliarity and detachment, whether it is about the person, responsibilities, and roles. Employees who are not aware of other people’s roles in an organization might give tasks to the wrong person or even ask for information from them, in which they do not have as they are not the one who is handling it. Unfamiliarity with others and the workplace will lead to confusion, which again affects the rest of the workflow.
This is what team meetings and group activities are for. Employees should be properly introduced to each other and be clear about what tasks are delegated for each individual and team. This way, we can enjoy seamless work operations as everyone is aware of who is the best person for a task.
Organizational silos continue to be a destructive threat to many companies and businesses as the divide it causes hinders productivity and could even affect team morale. However, it is not entirely a hopeless case and there are plenty of ways to address it.
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