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Five Keys To Effectively Keep Your Departments In The Loop

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This article originally appeared on CEO.com.

It’s easy to forget that different teams must rely on one another to get the whole job done. That’s because interdepartmental separation happens naturally at companies in which teams focus on different initiatives. In some ways, this separation can aid specialization, but in other ways, it can lead to a breakdown in the unified vision of the organization.

For instance, if members of the sales team are compensated based on personal performance, they’re not motivated to focus on achieving a common goal. It’s easy for anyone to lose focus on companywide goals and focus on narrow personal goals or simply get stuck in the daily grind and fail to collaborate.

But a communication breakdown can be costly. Facebook rotates employees through different departments in an attempt to mitigate this problem, but this strategy isn’t viable for every business. Instead, it’s the CEO’s responsibility to ensure every department is working together.

Keeping in Touch With Your Departments

Team members depend on the CEO to guide them. It’s his or her job to establish a united objective and create an organizational vision that all employees can work toward achieving. Keeping in touch with the operations, needs, and goals of different departments is a critical part of this process.

By understanding individual departmental needs, leaders can identify what motivates each team member and develop a model of encouragement to keep everybody pulling together. This unity needs to start at the top. If the leadership team is unified, that shared sense of camaraderie will trickle down through the departments and empower employees to work toward accomplishing common goals.

The Benefits of Sound Internal Communication

When different departments are kept in close contact with one another, their respective expertise and experience can power a company’s future. If a company is trying to establish its credibility as a thought leader in the market, the marketing and content management teams need to work in tandem. The marketing team might book a speaking opportunity for the CEO at an authoritative conference; meanwhile, the content management team gets an article on the same topic published in a reputable publication.

This coherence requires communication, and it must start with the CEO. When a CEO is clued in to every department in his or her business, he or she has a better understanding of the company’s operations and can stay on top of industry happenings.

Good communication also ensures employees feel appreciated, and this appreciation makes them loyal to the company as it presents opportunities for personal career growth. So what methods can CEOs use to ensure they’re tuned in to every department on a regular basis?

Here are the top five options:

1. Tap into the project management system.

Projects are key to a company’s future, so why do so many CEOs leave project management alone? CEOs can’t run every project, but they should oversee the management structure and understand all tasks and projects involved. It only takes a few meetings.

2. Introduce daily agile stand-up meetings.

Regular meetings can easily descend into boredom, so shake things up with agile stand-up meetings. Research has shown that people have more energy and are less territorial when they work while standing up rather than while sitting. Discuss what’s in the works, what’s been completed, and what obstacles are in the way at daily stand-up meetings to keep teams working together.

3. Hold weekly leadership meetings.

The quickest way to interact with each department is to communicate regularly with team leaders and ensure those people are working cooperatively with their teams. Weekly leadership meetings allow CEOs to discuss any concerns within the organization and possible areas for improvement. They facilitate knowledge sharing, too.

4. Share the data.

When working with data and analytics, so many of the metrics and nuggets of insight available to businesses are equally applicable across multiple service areas. That means it’s crucial to summarize and share these reports with all departments so each department is provided with the information that will pertain to it and that it can use to succeed.

5. Implement an open-door policy.

Whatever their level, employees should be able to talk to the CEO and express their concerns about the business. An open company culture has to be top priority to keep people motivated and on the same page, and an open-door policy can foster that culture. There’s a reason why the CEOs of Fast Company’s most innovative companies use an open-door policy: It works.

A disconnected work environment is one of the greatest threats to growing a successful business. So don’t leave teams to their own devices. Keep communication channels open, and ensure every team is rowing together toward the finish line.

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