Improving communication between departments is one of the most important challenges of any company, regardless its size or its structure. Empathy seems to be a key indicator to achieve this. What happens when our employees are lacking communication or when they consider that the functions of their area prevail above all others? ‘Changing departments’ is a simple action where every employee spends a morning in another area of the company getting to know a normal day in it, their challenges and the difficulties they face, and this helps to eliminate barriers and potential conflicts. We tell you what is this about and how to apply this to your company.
How does ‘Changing departments’ help us? [DOWNLOAD THE ‘Improving communication between departments’ WHITEPAPER]
The creation of interdepartmental teams is a must for the development of projects in every company. Teamwork improves productivity, sense of belonging and also boosts innovation, but we have to improve empathy if the team members come from different areas. This competence can be improved throughout time, that is why it is highly recommended to work it out, since it impacts positively in the work environment.
Empathy help us reducing conflicts between departments that work together. Matters as budget distribution, fight for achieving individual objectives or even distance between the different sections can keep us away from valuable colleagues and reduce our success rates.
Our proposal is really simple: when someone shares his/her time with another person and knows at first hand the difficulties he or she is facing, who their person of contact is or the scarcities in his job, distances are reduced and people can find common grounds. For this reason, this practice helps HR managers to:
- Reduce conflict risks
- Develop synergy effects between departments
- Lower discrepancies between team members
It also helps employees to:
- Truly discover what value do our colleagues provide
- Get to know new ways of measuring data, time management...
- Understand the difficulties they are facing
- Give its real value to our tasks since our colleagues can understand it at first hand
- Know how can we make it easier for our colleagues from our position and how can they help us too
Real advice for ‘Changing departments’ to be a success:
- Waterfall communication: to achieve team involvement, the board and management have to be the driving force for this activity to take place, and they will inform the middle management, so they can inform their teams subsequently (we improve effectiveness if the inmediate responsible is the one who announces the action)
- Timing is really important: choose a date where the workload is not too high. You cannot wait for the lowest workload periods or colleagues can get a false impression on the activity
- Everybody participates: the most interesting thing is to combine different colleagues from distinct departments, so managers can use the opportunity to learn from their coworkers.
- Measuring: ask your colleagues to fill in the survey after concluding their change of department and analyze the data afterwards: understand which topics were the most valued, as well as the motivation of participants of attending a second edition of the activity
You can download the whitepaper that contains both the objectives of the activity as well as a guide with the topics to be discussed during the session.