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Removing Silos in the Workplace

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How can you reduce the friction between departments and lower the walls of those silos internally? 

In an organization, we can easily build up friction between different departments. It could be the front office and the production floor, engineering, and operations, or your purchasing department and production department.

Walls Within Departments

The reason walls get built up is that we have key objectives that we need to pursue. Those objectives are in conflict with one another. It becomes, “Hey, I’m going to look after my turf and you can look after yours”. 

You’ll notice it start to happen in your organization when team members begin making cynical and sarcastic comments about other departments and how they make their life more difficult.

If you’re in the management team and you’re observing this kind of squabbling, initially, you might just discard it. You might say, “Ah, they’re just kids being kids.” The reality is that you have a problem in your organization.
The reason walls get built up is that we have key objectives that we need to pursue, and those objectives are in conflict with one another. Click To Tweet

Avoid Sabotaging Your Customer Experience

There is only one thing that matters at the end of all of that squabbling, your customer. Ask yourself, “Is that how a good product or service is sent to our customer? Does the customer pay the bills?”.

That is what pays everyone along the way. When you have these departments at each other it does not maximum performance. 

Three Tips For Bringing Down Silos 

It’s about collaboration, but what can you do if you notice that there are these silos and you want to help bring them down? 

Here are a few tips to help you to do that.

Tip #1: Practice Empathy

Empathy is your ability to put yourself in the shoes of another person. At Unique Development and Training we have a workshop Walk A Mile In My Shoes.

Visualize yourself as being a member of the Quality Department. Consider for a moment, what is transpiring for those team members in production:

  • What is their key objective? 
  • What are their frustrations? 
  • How could I be of help? 

By taking part in an empathy-type activity you are forced to think of the perspective of the other person. That can be incredibly insightful. It can also aid you if you ever find yourself in conflict situations.

Can you put yourself in the shoes of the other person instead of just discarding their thoughts as being wild and out of touch?

Tip #2: Serve Others

Help them succeed.

The reality is if you’re service-oriented, you shouldn’t view the other department as your enemy. You should view it as, “Hey, I got to help these guys. What we deliver helps them achieve their results. In fact, us working together helps the customer get what they need on time and on budget.”.

Why not serve others and have this Service Mindset? 

You wouldn’t go to a coffee shop and hope to receive rude treatment. That is why it’s important for you to reflect on how you should treat the other departments that you deliver information or product.
You wouldn't go to a coffee shop and hope to receive rude treatment. That is why it’s important for you to reflect on how you should treat the other departments that you deliver information or product. Click To Tweet

Tip #3: Remove Frustrations 

Inevitably in the empathy exercise, you’ll identify some of the things that cause other departments more grief. It could be a specific thing that you do, or how you deliver the information, that causes your team more work.

If you could just reduce the frustration that you cause those other departments you would build up the relationship between the departments.

Creating this One Team type of atmosphere and environment will help maximize your performance. As an added bonus, it will lift morale and attitude, not only in your team but across the company or the organization.

Each leader needs to take responsibility for reducing silos and increasing collaboration. By doing just that, you can start to reduce those silo walls. 

Deliver Maximum Results 

Now once you’ve done that, you might want to work on some other leadership tools and techniques. You can begin to address the things that make people want to work for your organization and give their maximum output. 

It all starts with a visit to our website at uniquedevelopment.com, and you can start a conversation with us there and check out our courses.

After we do that, we can come either onsite to deliver in person or use the technology in our virtual training studio, or we can deliver engaging training right to your desktop/into your meeting room. 

No matter how you decide that we can work with you, we want to be your partners in leadership excellence.