How to Improve Interdepartmental Communication

While there are many factors that determine an organization’s success, one that is too often overlooked is interdepartmental communication. Clear, open communication between departments is essential for your company’s continued growth.

 

Weak interdepartmental communication can greatly limit a company’s progress. As an HR manager, you have the power to help your organization achieve greatness through cultivating a culture of strong interdepartmental communication. To do so, you need a strategy to determine how different teams can best communicate with each other.

 

Even if your company has yet to experience interdepartmental communication issues, you should still put strategies into place. It’s difficult to hit the reset button on a dysfunctional team. Instead, work to foster good communication from the get-go through interdepartmental collaboration and ethical communication best practices.Team members working remotely isn’t an excuse for weak communication between departments. Thanks to a variety of tools and technology, good interdepartmental communication knows no distance.

Ideas for Interdepartmental Collaboration

As an HR manager, you have a lot of say when it comes to facilitating and encouraging better communication. With the goal of bringing together cohesive, aligned teams, you must decide which ideas for interdepartmental collaboration fit best with your organization’s needs and the personalities of its team members. At the core of every suggestion concerning how to improve communication between teams is the understanding that building collaboration means building trust. You are looking for ways to foster genuine relationships between team members in which mutual respect is a given.

 

An easy place to start communicating is by putting together a regularly issued newsletter. When shared throughout the organization, a thoughtfully written newsletter is a great way to ensure all team members are aware of the overall goals of the business and what each department is doing to work toward those goals. 

 

Of course, face to face interaction is equally, if not more, important to improving interdepartmental communication. While open house meetings and lunch and learn events can improve communication, informal environments are often better suited to encouraging authentic relationships between employees from different departments.

 

Volunteering has a myriad of team-building benefits. When departments work together, it instills a sense of camaraderie in a more natural way. Volunteering is an opportunity for employees to connect outside of the office. It gives team members a chance to get to know one another without the pretense of their typical roles. 

 

Furthermore, volunteering is a chance to collaborate on something unrelated to work. It can be the change of scenery necessary for a more well-rounded understanding of how someone completes tasks. Think of it as stepping back to see the bigger picture. Volunteering gives team members a chance to get to know each other’s personalities.

 

When you know someone’s personality, you’re more likely to appropriately interpret their behavior and less likely to assume malicious intent. Other ideas for interdepartmental collaboration on this deeper level include interdepartmental lunches and job-shadowing opportunities. 

 

Ethical communication best practices

As you move to organize interdepartmental collaboration opportunities for your organization, it’s important to keep ethical communication best practices in mind. Rather than assuming everyone is familiar with the best practices, it’s a good idea to provide a refresher lesson. Ethical communication is founded upon a culture of respect and trust. Neither you nor your team members should take that as meaning there will never be conflict. 

 

Rather, when there’s a company culture of respect and trust, team members refrain from personal attacks in favor of constructive communication. Misunderstandings are inevitable, but when everyone is committed to ethical communication best practices, uncomfortable conversations won’t lead to a breakdown in communication.

 

So much more than just “working together,” best practices and collaboration skills allow team members across departments to engage with one another in an efficient manner for maximum productivity. Top companies like Apple know teamwork is key. To tap into maximum productivity and to communicate effectively, it’s critical to make known the exact roles and responsibilities of each team member.

 

Once everyone’s roles and responsibilities are established, all team members should understand the organization’s big goals and how each team fits into achieving them. If employees are going to prioritize the group goals ahead of their own personal satisfaction, they need to see how collaboration benefits everyone.

 

Other ethical communication best practices include being aware of both verbal and nonverbal cues. For example, if one department frequently ignores emails and memos from another department, there’s likely going to be an issue. When situations do arise, it’s imperative to speak directly to the issue at hand and be willing to apologize. Forgiveness is equally important since maintaining a grudge can derail future collaboration.

Tools for facilitating better communication

Whether hashing out a misunderstanding or collaborating on a project, technology and tools can help facilitate better communication between departments and streamline staff management. Such technology is especially useful when team members are working remotely. By utilizing shared boards, folders and apps, team members can quickly access each other’s work and more easily share ideas. As HR manager, you should organize training for any collaboration tools your organization decides to utilize so that everyone knows how to access them and is on the same page.

 

When some or all team members are working remotely, digital communication channels such as instant messaging and video conference tools are essential. In a pinch, you can even send a fax from your phone. For your digital communication needs, check out these tools:

 

  • Asana: A mobile app that allows team to track and manage their work
  • Slack: A “collaboration hub” that allows team members to chat as a group or one-to-one 
  • Zoom: An easy to use platform for video and audio conferencing
  • Google Drive: A cloud-based file storage which gives team members the option to grant access of files to one another

While these tools can help facilitate better communication, it’s important to remember the key to improving interdepartmental communication is an environment of trust and respect which you,as an HR manager, have the power to cultivate. From making your recruiting process more collaborative to enhancing company morale, strong interdepartmental communication is vital for growth and success.

Why Should You Make Your Recruiting Process More Collaborative?

How can making your recruiting process more collaborative benefit your company?

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Why Should You Make Your Recruiting Process More Collaborative?

Although it may seem more complicated at first, a collaborative model of hiring can improve your whole recruitment process and have a positive effect on your company culture and overall business results.

If you want to keep up with the best recruitment practices, you should follow the world’s best and most famous companies such as Apple, Google, Netflix and make your recruiting process more collaborative.

4 reasons to make your recruiting process more collaborative

Here are the 4 key reasons why you should make your recruiting process more collaborative:

Collaborative recruiting process helps you achieve better hiring results

By involving more people into your hiring process, you will get more diversified perspectives on the candidate. This will enable you to choose candidates with the best skills who will also be the best cultural fit for your team and your company culture.

Collaborative recruiting process improves candidate experience

Introducing candidates with their potential future employees can significantly improve candidate experience and showcase your great, collaborative company culture. Candidates appreciate being introduced to their potential future team members with whom they will possibly spending most of their awaken hours every day. They will also feel important by having so many people show interest in them.

Collaborative recruiting process improves is good for your employees

Giving your employees a voice in choosing their future colleagues will empower them and make them feel valued and important. As a result, they will be more engaged, motivated and productive. They will also provide your new employee with a warm welcome and all the needed resources and assistance. Consequently, your company will have less turnover and better retention rate.

Collaborative recruiting process enhances your company culture

Finally, making your recruiting process more collaborative will help you establish a more open, transparent and collaborative company culture. In such a culture, teamwork won’t be just a sign on your wall – it will be a value brought to life through real-life practices of collaborative recruiting.

How to make your recruiting process more collaborative?

If you want to make your recruiting process more collaborative, our detailed, step-by-step Guide for collaborative recruiting and hiring will come in handy!

3 Collaborative Recruitment Practices You Can Implement Right Now

How can you make your hiring process more collaborative? Here are 3 great, easy to implement collaborative recruitment practices!

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Why should you consider implementing collaborative recruitment practices?

Collaborative recruiting is the hot new HR buzzword everybody is talking about.

The world’s most successful companies such as Apple, Google, Netflix have turned their recruitment into a collaborative process.

There is a good reason why collaborative recruitment is gaining popularity every day – it works. There are many benefits of collaborative recruiting for all the involved parties – including your HR team, your employees and your candidates.

What can you do to make your recruiting process more collaborative?

If your company probably still has a traditional, top-down recruitment process where hiring managers call all the shots, switching to a collaborative recruitment model can be quite a challenge.

First, you need to convince your HR team that this is a good idea. Then, you need to get a buy-in from your C-suite. Following, you have to engage your company’s employees. Finally, you need to get all of them to work together.

In other words, you need to completely transform your recruitment process. Before diving deep into this transformative process, we suggest you start by implementing a few collaborative practices.

3 collaborative recruitment practices you can implement right now

Here are the top 3 collaborative recruitment practices that are quick and easy to implement and bring the highest ROI:

Collaborative recruitment practice #1: Panel interview

Revamp your selection process by switching to a panel interview. By involving more people as interviewers, you will be able to achieve an in-depth, detailed assessment of every candidate. This will help you choose the best candidate not only for your open position, but also for your team and company culture.

Having more people sharing their perspectives on candidates can also help you avoid unconscious biases and improve your hiring diversity!

Collaborative recruitment practice #2: Employee referrals

By setting up an employee referral program, you can turn all your employees into recruiters! Your employees can help you find the best candidates by recommending talent form their personal networks.  

Employee referrals are one of the most productive recruitment practices with the highest ROI. Employee referral programs can improve the time, cost and quality of hire, employee retention and turnover rate.

Collaborative recruitment practice #3: Social media recruiting

Your employees can help you find the best candidates by sharing your job posts on their social media profiles. According to Social Media Today, content shared by employees went 561% further and received 8x more engagement than the same content shared on a brand owned channel.

Another reason why you should involve your employees into promoting your job posts is that employee voice is 3x more credible than the CEO’s when it comes to talking about working condition in that company, according to Edelman Trust Barometer

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How to Effectively Support Young Leaders

How to Effectively Support Young Leaders | Main Image

Whilst there are many factors which can influence the success of your team, a great manager is a key factor when it comes to keeping people motivated and on the road to success, either as individuals, a team, or an organisation. An effective manager can make all the difference between a successful team and one that falls short: management accounts for 70% of the variance in employee engagement, which hugely impacts all aspects of workplace performance.

As such an important influence, it’s key that managers, especially those in their first management role, feel they have all the resources and knowledge available to them to help drive their team towards success. New, first-time managers need to go into their role feeling able and equipped to undertake all their duties. We share with you our three tips for developing first time managers and making sure the transition is as smooth as can be.

Mentoring

It’s key to make sure first-time managers aren’t just thrown into the deep end and made to go from their previous role with no transitional period. The transition should be as smooth and practical as possible. Providing mentors can be a great way to ease people into their new responsibilities and practices. Allowing your first-time managers to spend a few days shadowing the person currently in their future role, or in a similar one, and giving them the opportunity to openly share concerns, gaps in their knowledge, or issues they’re having is a great way to ease people in and ensure that they have the support they need in the form of a consistent mentor. Having a more experienced manager to guide people through their new leadership responsibilities means the difference between a new manager who struggles with the transition and one who comes into the team confident and ready to take the reigns.

Collaboration is key

Whilst having those with more experience provide support, advice or help building skills can be great, it can also be incredibly useful to speak to those on the same level. Providing open management sessions on a regular basis can be a hugely helpful way for both first-time and more experienced managers to share their knowledge, tips and issues alike in an open and constructive environment where the only aim is to improve. In larger organisations it’s a great practice to group together newer or first-time managers from various departments for meetings with open discussion. This can be a great way not only to see people’s personal development in their roles, and have them get the help they need, but also an opportunity to become aware of the issues that frequently arise with first-time leaders. Allowing for these things to be focus topics for the future means people can develop together and have all their addresses concerned.

Focus on building the right skills

It’s one thing ensuring first-time managers feel personally ready to take on their role, but it’s also key to ensure that people have the skill sets required of them. Setting goals that involve developing specific skills gives people something concrete to aim towards and ensure the right things are being focused on.

Providing people with a focus on developing their management and leadership skills means that they’ll be able to focus on developing these key aspects of management alongside the skills they already possess. Managing people requires new skill sets, and being aware of exactly how to develop those skills is key not only for first-time managers who have recently started their role, but also for those with potential who could be soon-to-be leaders. Don’t just have these processes be short-lived though: really developing skills takes time, and will be most effective if the process begins prior to beginning the role, and continues throughout the manager’s career path as they grow.

If you found this article useful, check out our white paper for more information on how to develop your managers here.


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Hard Data on Soft Skills – Softfactors Competency Index™

People analytics can measure what was considered unmeasurable before – soft skills. Technology has given us the tools and techniques, and this is what we do at softfactors AG. Our tests measure competencies in key areas through a series of fun, intuitive, interactive and quick online activities. We have combined self-description, with ability testing and behavioral assessments.

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What Soft Skills are mostly required in today’s Jobs?

Delivery, Collaboration, Drive and Communication are becoming more and more important in today’s jobs. While Communication is on everybody’s list, the high score of Delivery and Drive are definitively somewhat surprising. At Softfactors we measure and observe competency trends, using our set of 25 competencies. They are grouped into 5 categories: Dealing with People, Interpersonal Skills, Dealing with Business, Thinking Skills, and Personal Qualities. The Softfactors Competency Index™ looks at all competencies by function (i.e. marketing) and role (i.e. senior expert or team leader). And the picture – not surprising – holds a list of commonly used skills that are important for the 21st century. The top 4 competencies and their detailed facets are:

  1. Delivery
    Completer and finisher, know how to organize people and activities, figure out the processes necessary to get things done, know what to measure and how to measure it.
  2. Collaboration
    Build consensus among colleagues, peers and clients, recognize the business concerns and perspectives of others, identify shared interests and common ground, focus on issues and interests instead of people or positions, gain others’ support for ideas, proposals, projects and solutions.
  3. Drive
    Strength of will, take initiative, dynamic and assertive, good stamina, identify what needs to be done and do it before being asked or before the situation requires it, ambitious.
  4. Communication
    Listen well, ask pertinent questions, arguments are business-like and substantiated, pass information on to others, express clearly in conversations and writing, identify and present information or data that has a strong effect on others, encourage debate and not afraid to end it and move on, deliver tough messages with sensitivity.

To our surprise, the “doer” attitude that helps foster “Delivery” has been somewhat stronger than Communication, which we expected to be the most popular competency in our Softfactors Competency Index™. Together with the competency “Drive” the picture gives a strong “can do” attitude of the worker in the 21st century: making things happen seems to be a key element over all competencies.

Which Competencies are important for leaders?

For leadership positions (Managers, Executives and Managers of Managers) the picture looks somewhat different. The top 4 competencies for leaders are:

  1. Leading People
    Set direction, establish focus, decide on action, assign responsibility, delegate appropriately, mobilize commitment, provide motivational support, empower others, develop others and manage performance.
  2. Communication
    Listen well, ask pertinent questions, arguments are business-like and substantiated, pass information on to others, express clearly in conversations and writing, identify and present information or data that has a strong effect on others, encourage debate and not afraid to end it and move on, deliver tough messages with sensitivity.
  3. Decision Making
    Break down problems into all facets, define the root causes of a problem, generate a range of solutions, weigh pros and cons of options, use lessons learned, make decisions with limited or unclear information, easily explain the rationale for a decision.
  4. Business Responsibility
    Integrate executive direction into decisions and actions, align products/services/actions with the organization, monitor resources, seek ways to reduce costs, adhere to internal control procedures and standards, actively uphold company regulations and policies.

Basis of the Softfactors Competency Index™ are the data of hiring organizations using the Softfactors recruiting suite. Analyzed were published jobs primarily in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and the UK in 2016. Watch this space, we are going to monitor and publish more data about soft skills as they become available. We will be reporting them in the Softfactors Competency Index™.

Download our white paper “Putting Soft Skills at the Heart of Recruiting” here.

Want to demo Softfactors? Go through a candidate experience here.

Source: softfactors | smart digital recruiting

Future of Work: Using Gamification in the HR

Gamification in HR

Gamification takes the essence of games attributes and techniques that game designers use to engage players and applies these to a range of real-world processes inside a company and to non-game experiences to motivate actions that add value to the business. Gamification is transforming business models by creating new ways to extend relationships, craft longer-term engagement, and drive customer and employee loyalty. It works because it leverages the motivations and desires that exist in all of us for community, feedback, achievement and reward.

Gallup’s latest research shows why companies are increasing their interest in gamification.The Gallup study finds 31% of employees are engaged at work (51% are disengaged and 17.5% actively disengaged). But what is most interesting is how this data compares when you apply a generational segmentation. It turns out Millennials are the least engaged generation with only 28.9% engaged as compared to 32.9% for Gen X & Boomers.

So how can various processes in human resources be “gamified” to provide an opportunity for employees across the generations to increase their levels of engagement, collaboration and recognition in the workplace?

  • Think strategy first: identify and articulate specific business objectives you are trying to achieve with gamification;
  • Understand what motivates your employees: gamification is 75% psychology and 25% technology;
  • Engage employees at the emotional level: more than points, badges and leaderboards, gamification engages at a core emotional level.

HR departments process different kind of tasks, let’s highlight the most likely to be gamified. Take recruiting, for instance. Games offer a natural and fun way for people to explore and learn more about a company and its culture. The recruiting and talent acquisition arenas have experienced the most success to date with incorporating gamification strategies to engage with potential candidates and give them a taste of day-to-day life within a company.

It’s not just recruiting where HR can get into the game. In the landscape of corporate learning and development programs, gamification has potential as well. Interactive games drive employee participation and enable the transfer of educational content in a fun and appealing way. The rewards and incentives built into gaming plays well with performance management, which is a key factor in keeping employees engaged. Companies can employ gamification elements when designing performance plans to entice employees to participate more fully in their own performance planning. This level of HR gamification in performance management is still in its infancy but has the potential to drive high performers to new heights and ultimately enhance a company’s business performance.

Somehow, despite promising success stories, many companies have not embraced gamification as a meaningful solution to industry challenges. Some of the most common barriers to adoption include:

  • A belief that gamification is too expensive. However, companies do not necessarily need to develop a full-fledged game or gaming software to take advantage of gamification.
  • Older executives do not buy into the strategy. Whether your company operates under board management or a chief executive officer, some old-school managers may not understand or approve of gamification in the workplace. Check with the Millennials in the company and get their help in making the case for gamification to the GenX/Baby Boomers.
  • Lack of understanding about gamification. Many businesses today still don’t understand how it works or the range of benefits that accrue to incorporating game-like incentives into workplace activities. More and more companies are using it and talking about the benefits though; so it is becoming easier to explain gamification and to demonstrate its value to those who still don’t get it.

Gamification lead to the one thing that HR just can’t get enough of: data. The increased data generated from gamifying these HR processes means that HR professionals will have more ways than ever to measure the effectiveness of their programs and to make real-time adjustments. Gamification has potential as an important component of a company’s overall HR strategy. The fact is companies that don’t incorporate gaming principles into HR practices risk it being “game over” as the competition passes them by.

Woobe is the best tool for HR professionals to manage and improve internal networking. A solid internal network is required to implement successfully the New World of Work in your company, gamification included. Once again Woobe is on the edge in the future of work: thanks to the mobile application available to all the employees, and the ability to carry out surveys, the more employees use the platform, the more they get points. The HR will therefore have the right support to include gaming features to real-world processes.

Source: Future of work: using gamification in the HR – Woobe

What you need to know about Agile Performance Management

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Agile performance management is a collaborative, continuous feedback and development practice that is steadily replacing traditional performance management.

Traditional performance management has proven to be insufficient to assess and enhance an employee’s contribution. Its primary focus is setting up a series of processes to measure the employee’s performance over the whole year. These processes end up having an unanticipated effect of managers focusing on employee’s weaknesses.

It is difficult to distinguish performance, except for the truly poor performers or high achievers. Being a year long process, below par or mediocre performers can’t be identified early on. Once a year performance review, with little to no feedback, gives no scope for development to the employees or the managers.

There needed to be a more dynamic performance management practice that could evolve and adapt according to the changing environment.

Elements of Traditional Performance Management:

  • Traditional performance management (TPM) reviewed employees annually or biannually. They were given a feedback for their overall performance of the year.
  • It set rigid goals for everyone for the entire year, that did not account for any changes. Employees were reviewed at the end of the year. They couldn’t fulfill these goals as unforeseen changes were not considered. This hampered their reviews to a high extent.
  • Spoon feeding was done on a large scale. Employees were believed to be inherently incapable of setting up their own goals.
  • Communication was a one way process. Employees felt their work is being dictated to them. Not only was this unproductive, but also created resentment at times.
  • Earlier, employees worked under tremendous pressure. Their performance review was largely dependent on their ability to deliver on time. Race to fulfill quantity often compromised on quality work.

Thus, Agile performance management was introduced. Its three key aspects are regular feedback, communication and coaching. These aspects bridge the gap between goal setting and performance evaluation.

Agile performance management focuses as much on the process as the end goals. Continuous improvement is the key.

Agile Performance Management [Infographic]

Let us look at a few ways to introduce agile performance management in your organisation:

Incorporate regular 360° feedback

In an age of instant communication, feedback should be given on an ongoing basis. A constructive feedback helps employees understand their strengths and weaknesses. Managers can help employees address the issues that hamper their productivity.

Similarly, employees can give regular feedback to their managers. It is the virtue of highly effective managers that they accept these feedback and improve themselves as well.

The stakeholders/customers too can share their expectations. A 360° feedback mechanism is highly beneficial for everyone involved.

Keep goals flexible

Employees are as different from each other as apples and oranges. Everyone works at a different pace. Individual goals should be assigned for individual development. These should be aligned with team goals for consistent growth and development. In case of any change in direction, they should be flexible enough to adapt to that change.

The expected outcome should be clear. Goals for the organisation as well as teams can be designed and modified accordingly. Goal setting frameworks such as either MBO (Management by Objectives) or OKR (Objectives & Key Results) are relied upon.

Collaborate more

Agile performance management lets employees find out their capabilities. Together they can determine a time frame in consensus for achieving their goals. This authority brings in a sense of accountability and boosts performance.

Focus on consistent development

Now, managers’ focus on consistently developing their employees through various means. It could be regular feedback, training or even recognition for their work. Developed employees are able to perform better and increase productivity.

Supportive Leadership to increase 2 way communication

Employees should be given an opportunity to voice their doubts. A 2 way communication ensures that the managers and employees are on the same page. There is a clear understanding of what is the purpose of their work and what is to be achieved. This ensures they do not deviate from the end goals and work hard to achieve them.

Agile performance management is changing the way organisations are looking at assessing & enhancing employee contributions. Not only build your softwares in an agile environment but also manage the employee performance with agility.

About the Author

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Yatin Pawar leads the Marketing and Content writing efforts at Amoeboids Technologies for UpRaise. Fascinated by all things Marketing, everyday he seeks to learn best practices and new concepts to help his company grow. A voracious reader, Yatin enjoys reading fiction, fantasy and mythological novels in leisure.

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