How to Achieve Remote Cross-Team Collaboration in the WFH Era
There are two things virtually all businesses need to succeed: speed and agility.
For one thing, outpacing competitors is essential to standing out in the eyes of both consumers and investors. Second, keeping up with customers’ rapidly changing needs and rising expectations is vital to business growth and retention.
In today’s hypercompetitive business landscape, it won’t be long before companies with slow and rigid business processes become obsolete.
But without a high level of collaboration across teams and departments, becoming agile and fast enough to adapt to changing markets is a huge challenge.
In the work from home (WFH) era, this challenge is compounded by teams’ physical disconnectedness. If systems and processes to enable cross-team collaboration were lacking in the office, that lack will feel much greater while WFH. Yet the need for speed persists.
So how can organizations achieve remote cross-team collaboration? Keep reading for three tips.
Synch Up to Speed Up
Speed and agility are impossible without cross-team collaboration. Unless teams can get aligned on goals, seamlessly share data, communicate effectively, and pool resources, you’ll inevitably be slowed down by process inefficiencies and information gaps.
The key is creating an infrastructure that enables collaboration across teams that usually abide by their own ways of doing things.
The Challenge of Fostering Remote Cross-Team Collaboration
Remote cross-team collaboration wouldn’t be so challenging if this infrastructure was already in place.
The challenge arises when you try to develop it when teams — not to mention individual employees — are physically separated. Whatever silos existed in the office have a tendency to become fortified in a WFH setting.
However, with the right approach and the right tools, you can build a strong foundation to enable collaboration throughout the organization.
3 Tips for Boosting Collaboration Across Teams While WFH
1. Get Aligned on the Overall Business Strategy and Team Goals
Creating alignment is essential for establishing a framework to enable cross-team collaboration — both in the office and while working remotely. To achieve this, team leaders need to share goals, strategies, and KPIs with one another. They can use these questions as a guide:
- What is each team’s role in fulfilling the overall business strategy?
- What are each team’s core goals and KPIs?
- Is there an opportunity to work together on certain goals?
- How can our teams better support each other?
- Which processes can we borrow?
- Where can resources be shared?
- Are any teams sitting on data that could benefit others?
- Are any teams suffering from bottlenecks, and can another team help?
- Have any team leaders found success in a certain management technique that other managers could try?
Once team leaders become transparent about their goals and needs, it becomes much easier to identify opportunities for collaboration.
2. Deploy Tools That are Built to Enable Remote Cross-Team Collaboration
When everyone’s working from home, cross-team collaboration requires a robust digital solution. By equipping all teams across the organization with a common work platform, collaboration comes naturally. Silos come down, engagement goes up, and so does speed.
A Work OS is a new breed of technology that is designed to empower users with real-time access to information. Since it integrates with the organization’s complete digital ecosystem, sharing data from tools that some teams don’t usually have access to is easy. Creating joint projects and sharing status updates is clear and intuitive, so all of the relevant team members have clarity into the goals, strategy, and progress. It also allows the organization to have one centralized communication method — an essential component of cross-team collaboration.
With a solution that serves as a single source of truth, employees working remotely will be equipped to work more closely and faster than ever.
3. Emphasize Accountability and Ownership
Employees who feel a strong sense of accountability over their work will be more proactive and engaged in collaborative projects.
There are many ways to help boost accountability within teams, such as by clearly defining expectations, creating measurable KPIs, and providing continual updates on progress. To foster accountability during collaborative projects specifically, we recommend the following:
You can encourage your team to adopt this mindset in a few key ways:
- Increase transparency on individual duties. We all step up our game when we know others can see. With remote cross-collaboration tools like a Work OS, each team member’s tasks and statuses are visible to all other participants. This not only increases clarity and communication effectiveness, but it also encourages accountability.
- Routinely monitor KPIs. When each team member is responsible for reporting their KPIs on a regular basis, they will gain the insights required to improve performance and become more motivated to raise the bar.
- Keep the conversation going. Regular communication between everyone involved in a cross-team initiative helps each person take accountability for their part and generate interest in others’. It is also essential for maintaining standardization, quick problem resolution, and process optimization.
Working from home comes with many challenges, but collaboration doesn’t need to be one of them. By creating the right framework and choosing the right tools, you can empower teams to work together smarter and faster.