Building Cross-functional Collaboration For Enhancing Employee Performance

MX Bites / March 29, 2024

Cross-functional collaboration reveals a system that gives strength to employee’s performance. It also provides leverage for companies to rise above the competition in the business landscape.

Over time, it has been revealed that the accumulation of top talents no longer leads the game on; instead, the integration of talents across different faculties of the organization is now the deal that accelerates business operations. This explains that you may never identify or explore the value of your employees until you create a workplace culture where cross-functional collaboration is established. Therefore, this article seeks to give exposure to the yet-to-be-explored importance of cross-functional collaboration in the workplace, how it can be established, and how it can enhance employee performance.

What is cross-functional collaboration?

Cross-functional collaboration in the workplace is simply the process of bringing together talents from several departments or functional areas to collaborate on a project or objective. In workplaces that embrace cross-functional cooperation, employees are allowed to cooperate across organizational boundaries instead of working alone, utilizing their varied views, abilities, and knowledge to accomplish common goals. This method not only encourages creativity and invention but also improves employee performance in a number of significant ways.

In the words of Michael Jordan, who is the greatest basketball player of all time:

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”

This also applies in the business world. An employee’s talent or performance is more pronounced when it has a good blend with the creativity of others to produce a great result. You may never get to know how well your business can perform until cross-functional collaboration becomes a culture. This leads us to the process of establishing this culture in the workplace.

How to Build Cross-functional Cooperation for enhancing employee performance

Though the following might seem like obvious steps, they form the foundation for building businesses with a strong creative team.

Establishing clear communication channels

Many companies have created unseen boundaries for each department in the workplace through a lack of or poor communication channels. Great communication is the lifeblood of any team. For there to be a seamless flow of communication amongst employees in different departments, communication links such as social media platforms, emails, video conferencing, and face-to-face meetings should be used. This is the first and most important process in building a collaborative team. It breaks the hypothetical boundaries that create unspoken tension among employees in different departments and sets the tone for smooth communication. 

Creating a culture of collaboration: 

Creating communication channels without attaching a purpose to them could be disastrous, implying that employees could see it as a license to have free conversations that could affect their focus. After establishing a good platform for communication, it’s important to create a purpose around it to guard the team’s affairs and set their focus towards a goal. This process builds trust, encourages openness in communication, and makes for the swift achievement of goals. It gives employees the mindset that all their contributions are respected, therefore giving them the liberty to unleash their creativity on different levels.

Providing resources for cross-functional collaboration:

If there’s anything that could drastically reduce a  team’s enthusiasm and frustrate their progress, it’s the lack of resources. For a smooth collaborative relationship to be established amongst employees, businesses must provide the resources needed to achieve their goals. In allocating resources to team members, the team leader must be well-educated about the management of resources and know each employee’s capabilities to handle the resources given to them. This is to avoid wastage or ill utilization of available resources. 

Challenges of cross-functional collaboration

As much as cross-functional cooperation holds the secret to organizational performance, there are definite challenges that could be encountered in building a culture that embraces this initiative. For instance, it might turn out to be difficult to get all team members to be physically and emotionally invested in team projects. Some could be so uninterested that it takes extra effort from the team leader to increase employee engagement. In teams with members from different geographies, there may be issues with diversity and language barriers. This may stifle communication among team members; however, communication can still be built by making use of AI-powered communication channels that can interpret feedback and analyze the sentiments that accompany each response. 

Conclusively, cross-functional collaboration provides a system that improves employee performance and productivity and sets the tone for sporadic business growth. As a business, you must also understand that it’s not enough to seek out top talents in the industry; you must also be willing to cultivate a workplace culture where individual talents are empowered to unleash their creative potential to achieve business goals faster.

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