By: Marlene Cosain
Is the popular phrase, “It’s about who you know” accurate within a company? Does knowing more people get things done quicker? Well, if you know how to communicate effectively with other departments, it might be possible that you can tackle tasks more efficiently.
Communication is one of the fundamental functions to almost everything but certainly to efficiency and productivity. In a business, interdepartmental communication is key. Knowing how to communicate between departments and different organizations makes many different areas run smoother. For this reason, it is necessary to implement different policies to make sure everything flows correctly. Here are a couple tips on how to make this communication smoother.
Clarify Your Role
It is important that other departments know what your role in the company is. When each department knows each role, they know how to assist clients better and can direct a client who needs help to the appropriate person. Now, how does knowing each person’s role benefit you? Well for starters, sometimes if you ask someone to assist you with something it will seem like you are just asking them to do your job for you.
For example, Themuse.com explains, “In my situation, as a fundraiser, I expect that all staff—no matter their designated roles—will participate in fundraising on some level. However, if they’ve never had to do that in a previous role or don’t fully understand why I’m making the request, I’ll often encounter some resistance. To smooth things over, I explain what I need and why I need it. Otherwise, to people who don’t have a lot of experience with my function, it looks like I’m asking them to do my job for me.”
Customer service is also a huge area that can be affected if inter-departmental communication is not flowing correctly. Small Business Chron provides an example. They state, “When inter-departmental communication is poor, customer service can suffer. For example, if a client continues to receive a bill for an invoice that was already paid because the accounts receivable department is not communicating properly with accounts payable, then there is the risk of losing repeat business. To retain clients and insure the flow of repeat business, you need to maintain a high level of customer service. When the departments in your company are efficiently sharing information, then clients can be properly attended to, and customer service improves.”
Understand their needs
Quickbase.com states, “Sometimes people get frustrated and antsy when another department isn’t moving their work along quickly enough – and sometimes that’s reasonable, but often there are perfectly sound reasons for the schedule they’re on, such as projects that have a higher level of business-urgency than yours do. Forgetting about that and pushing to jump the line is a good way to make another team really, really annoyed with you.”
What it comes down to: conflict
Small Business Chron states, “A breakdown in communication at any point in the organization can result in conflict. If the shipping department does not get notification of an important shipment in time to make next day delivery, then that can cause a conflict among several departments in the organization. Finger-pointing and arguing accompany a breakdown in inter-departmental communication. When departments engage in conflict, the productivity of your entire organization is affected.”
Communication is really the key to productivity and it is important to discipline and speak with your staff about how every department should be working together. One department can be dependent on the other, and it makes it that much easier if everyone is on the same page.