As a leader or HOD who's been around in the company for a while or just settling into your new job, here's some helpful tips to address the issue of silos and how to foster a culture of collaboration.
Firstly, here's a few tell-tale signs of a silo culture breeding in your organization:
Do you often see the same people going out on breaks?
Do your employees appear to be very ‘cliqueish' and you find there's hardly any interaction of people across departments?
Do your employees stick to their known department friends and hardly chat outside of this environment?
Do you generally that there isn't a sense of community in the organization and that everyone is kind of suspicious of everyone else?
These are clear signals that you company is breeding a silo culture. This could be detrimental to the long term success of the company. It's also a wasted opportunity of not being able to tap into the collective wisdom of the organization.
Here's a few ways you can fix this:
1. Create cross department projects:
This helps mix your people up and encourages communication across departments.
2. Invite other department members to your brainstorms:
This is a smart way to break silos and force your employees to mingle and share ideas. This also adds great value to your brainstorms, providing an 'outsider' perspective with cross pollination of ideas.
3. Introduce 'Lunch-a-thon Months'
A fun way to encourage your employees to mix and mingle with people from other departments
4. Borrowing from Facebook, create your own 'hackamonth'
This is where every month, employees work on a collaborative project that they chose. These projects should have a goal of challenging the current status quo in the company from a process, product or customer experience perspective.
Breaking down silos is key to fostering a culture of collaboration and building a strong company culture that drives your business forward.