9 Top-Notch Strategies for Enhancing Cross-Departmental Synergy Throughout Your Company

Photo source
Jon Stojan

Synergy is the stuff that every CEO, manager, and business owner is looking for. While it may seem elusive, anyone can achieve synergy with the right tools and strategies.

However, creating synergy between departments is easier said than done. It takes more than just cooperating with the other departments at your company. Synergy involves cultivating a shared vision with mutual respect for other departments and their roles.

“Collaboration amplifies potential. Once that potential is recognized, it will lead to achievements shared amongst the team,” points out Dominique Zimmermann, CEO and Head Designer of Bombshell Sportswear.

If each department strives for a common goal, excellent business outcomes can be achieved. If you are looking to enhance cross-departmental synergy to improve the outcomes at your company, keep reading to discover nine top strategies.

Why Synergy Is Important

Cross-departmental synergy is important for driving innovation and organizational performance. When you bring together a team with diverse perspectives and expertise, the entire company has a better chance of success.

“Many people believe that success is the product of isolation. When it comes to business, success is actually the product of collaboration,” mentions Max Baecker, President of American Hartford Gold, a company that specializes in Gold IRA retirement accounts.

If you can encourage your team to pursue a common purpose, you’ll start to see collaboration bloom. Try embracing tools and platforms that promote collaboration. This will allow for synergy to develop throughout your entire company.

1. Foster a Collaborative Culture

Collaboration culture is created in an environment where collaboration is valued and rewarded. As a leader, it's up to you to decide what type of environment you'd like to create at your workplace. If you want your employees to have cross-departmental synergy, you need to encourage collaboration.

“The best way to work towards shared goals is together. You need to create an environment where collaboration is not only encouraged but celebrated,” advises Max Ade, CEO of Pickleheads, a company that helps athletes find the best pickleball paddles.

Establish team projects instead of individual ones and make sure each department has open lines of communication. Have each department interact directly with each other rather than using you or other management as a liaison.

2. Reward Collaboration

People tend to respond well to positive reinforcement. Therefore, when you see positive synergy and collaboration, make sure to reward that behavior. If you don’t encourage these behaviors, you could end up with a team that prefers to work independently.

“If collaboration is working well at your company, make sure to reward that success. It’s easy to fall back into an independent work structure when a team project comes to an end,” maintains Cody Candee, Founder and CEO of Bounce.

Even if the project your team is working on doesn't come to fruition, there is still some benefit to rewarding the aspects of the project that were positive. Even failed projects present opportunities to learn from mistakes and gains. So, if a project failed, at least your team was

able to spend time collaborating with each other.

3. Encourage Open Communication

Lack of communication is an issue that many companies deal with. The problem with that is communication is one of the best ways to increase understanding, transparency, compassion, and appreciation for others. If you want to be successful at fostering this environment, you need to be encouraging.

“If you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skillfully, you can work miracles,” mentions Jim Rohn, author, speaker, and entrepreneur.

Make sure each department really opens its lines of communication with the other departments. Schedule regular staff meetings where everyone can speak briefly about the projects they are working on so the team knows what kind of issues to take to each department.

4. Minimize Technology

Work environments often have each team using a variety of different tools and technology to accomplish their tasks. While this may be necessary for better workflow, it can cut down on collaboration. If you are able, try to consolidate tools as much as possible.

“Technology in business can be a blessing or a curse. It’s a blessing for progress but a curse for collaboration,” maintains Hetal Dodeja, Senior Brand Manager of Avenue B.

If you can get everyone to use the same tools and technology throughout the company, communication will improve. When you simplify logistics and the allocation of resources, people will find it easier to collaborate.

5. Hire the Right Team Members

Photo source

If you want to improve cross-departmental synergy, you need to start by having a willing team. During the hiring process, make it a priority to screen for people who are willing to enter into a collaborative environment. Look for people who work well in team settings and let them know that they will be working in an environment that encourages teamwork.

“Teamwork cannot happen without willing participants. If you manage to bring the right group of people together, you could achieve the ultimate synergy,” suggests Andrew Mavis, CEO of 98Strong.

In addition to having willing participants, teamwork also works best when you have people with complementary skills. A strong team will always have members whose skill sets complement those of the other members.

6. Set Team Objectives

Managing projects requires a strong leader overseeing a hardworking team. A strong leader

knows exactly where the team is headed and what needs to be accomplished. Have leadership set team objectives during a project to help steer the team in the right direction.

“People feel more motivated when they have goals to work towards. Give a group a common goal, and they will feel motivated as a team and start collaborating,” explains Jin Young Woo, CEO of Like Dreams.

When the team has clearly defined objectives to work towards, they are more likely to work together to achieve the goal. Encourage each member of the team to give individual input to further encourage collaboration.

7. Lead by Example

The best way to encourage any type of behavior in the workplace is to lead by example. As a leader, you have the ability to set the standard for how you expect the members of your team to communicate. Start by having an open-door policy for your own office.

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence,” explains Sheryl Sandberg, former COO for Meta Platforms.

If the members of your team feel like you are an open and honest communicator, they will start to follow suit. If they know that behavior is encouraged and standardized at your organization, they will incorporate those behaviors into their own day-to-day.

8. Encourage Feedback

One of the best ways to foster a collaborative environment is to encourage feedback within the departments. When people feel safe and free to express their opinions, they will be more willing to open up to their teammates. Make sure each person knows they can share their opinions and criticisms without judgment.

“Real innovation can only happen when people feel safe to try new things. If you feel like someone’s there to catch you when you fall, you’ll be more willing to fall in the first place,” says Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder and CEO of OSDB.

People need to feel comfortable when giving and receiving feedback. Honest and forthright collaboration requires a healthy amount of feedback, so you’ll need to start there to encourage your team to collaborate better.

9. Create a Sense of Community

Workplace culture can make a significant difference in an organization's ability to be collaborative. Many leaders have moved beyond standard workplace culture to create a community-oriented environment instead.

“Finding a sense of community is like looking into a mirror. You should feel parts of yourself reflected within each member of your team when you’ve found a true community,” advises Nabeel Abdullah, CEO of Sapphire.

If you want to work in a more community-oriented workplace, you need to encourage your employees to create deeper, more meaningful connections in the workplace. Try to review your strategy for accomplishing this goal to see if you are on the right track and adjust accordingly.

Enhancing Your Synergy

Seamless and effective collaboration between departments requires some effort, but you can’t have synergy without it. Encouraging feedback, leading by example, and rewarding collaboration are all great ways to start on the road to cross-departmental collaboration.

“Embracing synergy within a company is about people coming together in a comfortable and trusting environment to share ideas and collaborate as a team,” says Matt Masiello, Chief Marketing Officer of BabyBuddha.

Use some of these tips and tricks if you feel the synergy at your company is lacking. With some time, effort, and encouragement, you should notice improved collaboration at your company.

More from Contributor Content