How To Improve Cross-Team Collaboration When Working Remotely

The pandemic may have permanently changed where people work. According to Harvard Business School, one in six workers is projected to continue working from home, even when offices are back up and running. While your sales reps may feel comfortable communicating with each other, they should also know how to collaborate well with other departments—wherever your team members may be working.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share tips from writer Krista Soriano on how teams can work together, even when they are apart.

Create a sense of connection. It can be difficult to build a sense of teamwork with groups outside your own department. In some cases, your sales reps may not even have met other employees in person. This makes it all the more important to help different employees get to know each other. Soriano suggests allotting time in each meeting for a team member to share a fun fact about themselves.

Step out of your communication comfort zone. Your sales team may feel comfortable shooting texts or Slack messages, but employees in other departments may not feel comfortable with these forms of communication. To help cross-team collaboration, Soriano encourages employees to pick up the phone and call someone. While you may prefer sending an email or a DM, sometimes a quick phone call can help answer your question and establish a connection.

Limit the meetings. The National Bureau of Economic Research has found that the number of meetings per person has risen 13 percent since the beginning of the pandemic. It’s a good idea to scale back on the number of meetings you plan, but if you must have a meeting, consider your attendee list. Instead of inviting entire departments, consider inviting just one representative. This allows you to be respectful of everyone’s time while still collaborating with other departments.

Consolidate information. With sales reps and other employees working in different locations, it can be tricky to keep everyone on the same page. That’s why Soriano recommends creating shared documents that cross-departmental teams can use together. By keeping all project information, deadlines and contact information in one central location, you can help eliminate confusion about who’s doing what and by when.

Recognize others’ hard work. Another way to boost collaboration? Giving a shout-out when it’s due. According to Soriano, acknowledging colleagues’ accomplishments is an effective and powerful way to boost morale. You don’t have to make a big production out of your recognition, either. You can say something like, “I know you have been working really hard. This looks great.”

Cross-team collaboration is a crucial element to your organization’s overall success. Whether your sales reps regularly work with other departments or they are part of new initiatives that require collaboration, you can help everyone work better together by following the tips above.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Krista Soriano is an editor and writer based in New York. She has held on-staff editor roles at mindbodygreen, ELLE, DuJour, and HearstMade, Hearst Magazines' in-house branded content studio, covering topics in lifestyle, wellbeing, science and technology.

filed under September 2020
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