Businesses—whether startups or enterprises—have been obsessing over team and teamwork too long. Every business finds their specific method and reasons for initiating and sustaining such models. But a handful of reasons can often make teams and teamwork suffer. Whether you’re managing a software team, marketing team, operational team, and/or a management team, some key factors that could decrease the odds of your success are: a lack of purpose, unclear roles, poor decision-making—and everything else that begins with poor team communication. On the subject of team communication, I have a particular concept in mind – cross functional team communication.

I bet many of you have an idea about the term, and how it plays out across organizations. If not, here’s a quick overview: 

What is cross functional team collaboration? 

Cross functional communication happens when individuals, teams, or departments within a company join forces to work on a common goal. It’s like an “all-hands-on-deck” approach that allows organizations to make smart decisions, take fewer risks, spur innovative ideas, and drive better results.  

What is cross functional team collaboration?

“Communication is your ticket to success, if you pay attention and learn to do it effectively.”

Theo Gold

Now that you’ve figured out how it works, let’s delve a bit deeper into the concept of cross functional teams and cross functional collaboration. There is little doubt that these simple concepts are quickly becoming more popular than ever. 

Many of today’s organizations, including popular ones like Google, Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon, have already adopted (or are considering) the idea of using cross team communication hacks and tools in the modern workplace. Now, my idea here is to help you get a better understanding of why organizations are rapidly shifting towards cross communication and what exactly makes it “The Secret Recipe To Growth”.

But before I get started, here are some key communication stats to give you a clear idea of the present workplace communication scenario. 

Workplace communication Statistics: 2019 & 2020

75% of employers rate teamwork and communication as “very important”.

More than 40% of Millennial are in favor of online communication tools and digital workplaces for better workplace communication.

39% of surveyed employees believe that people in their own organization don’t collaborate enough.

86% of employees cite a lack of communication or poor communication for workplace failures.

Many businesses are integrating WebRTC with communication tools as it helps deploy improved video/audio conferences and ensure secure data sharing.

More than 50% of businesses today believe audio/video meeting rooms can improve their business processes, while 95% of employees think that they will enhance their job quality.

Employee productivity increases by 20% to 25% in organizations where employees are offered better opportunities to connect and communicate.

Most business leaders agree that effective communication within and outside the workplace is the key to improving customer retention rates and achieving higher profits.

For us, at Telebu, the concept of communication is pretty simple and straightforward—the better a team collaborates, the better are their chances to succeed in the given objective, mission, or project. And that’s what our products stand for.

We’ve created a complete team communication suite that emphasizes and empower better communication and teamwork. This suite includes three of our popular products: grptalk (mobile audio conferencing app), TelebuJoin (SaaS video conferencing solution), and TelebuPing (team collaboration and instant messaging software). 

Now, this isn’t just a communication suite that we’ve designed to meet your internal or cross communication needs. It’s something that we’ve created for ourselves. Every department and team at Telebu uses the suite to interact faster and improve conversations within themselves as well as other teams/departments, every day.

Consider that we’ve been maintaining effective communication in multidisciplinary teams and departments using our own team communication suite—and here is what we have been getting in return.

Perks of successful cross functional team collaboration

The benefit of diversity + creativity

A cross functional team involves members of different beliefs, personalities, skill sets, and strengths. When you bring such a team together, the first benefit you can expect is the benefit of diversity in terms of ideas and knowledge. With a bit of understanding and quite a bit more communication, these ideas and insights can be a boon for your business. 

Better communication skills

Each individual’s communication skill is a factor that can make or break any team. Clear and concise cross team communication across the workplace can help to encourage people, including introverts, to put their ideas on the table and have a constructive discussion about their strengths and struggles. 

Greater leadership/management skills

Being a good leader or a good manager is not something that comes naturally. Like any other skill or habit, it has to be polished by learning through experiences (good and bad). When you are put in charge of a team or department, your management/leadership skills are put to test. Dealing with a group of individuals with diverse backgrounds and work styles really raises the stakes, but once you get cross-functional communication right, you successfully take your management/leadership skills to the next level.

Stronger team spirit

This is probably the most obvious one. The process of cross-functional communication gives you an opportunity to make teamwork ‘work’. Together, through effective communication, every team/department in your organization brings out something huge, grows more reliant on each other, and engenders a sense of unity and engagement within the workplace.

cross functional team communication benefits

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”

Michael Jordan

Ways to make cross functional team communication successful

If you’re involved in cross-functional work and seeking ways to strengthen inter team communication to get the above-mentioned benefits, here are a few things you can do. 

Use the right set of collaborative tech 

Today, you can’t rely too much on traditional communication channels like emails and text messages to help you with your everyday communication needs. You need the right collaborative tech—more advanced and less chaotic. And as we mentioned earlier in this post, here at Telebu, we have a complete team communication suite designed just for you. The suite covers all the key aspects of team communication including instant messaging, file sharing, advanced search, contact management, document management, audio/video conferencing, and integrations. 

Outline every individual’s role

Unclear roles and responsibilities are the worst. They can do more damage to your work environment than you can imagine. They can create differences, they can start conflicts, they can ruin your idea of a positive work environment. And that’s why it is important that you outline each co-worker’s role and estimated time commitment in every project. When assigning tasks/projects, be sure to bring clarity to what needs to be done, by when, and how long it will take. Provide everyone with a clearer understanding of what is expected from them, and others. If possible, try to provide more context to every individual of how their role ties in with the others.

Share upcoming work within and outside your team/department

Not knowing what others are doing is the biggest barrier to effective cross-functional communication. But it doesn’t have to be— you can easily break this barrier by giving people a common place to share quick updates about their present and upcoming work. Make sure that for each project or task, there is a team or staff-wide conversation where anyone can contribute or discover relevant information.

Your turn… Are you ready to make some serious cross functional team collaboration changes?

A key factor that contributes to the success of any organization is whether or not the teams and departments within collaborate and work smoothly with each other. Definitely, ensuring effective cross communication isn’t easy. There are obstacles, mostly unexpected. But once you get it right using the right tools and strategy, cross functional communication can be your secret recipe for success, growth, and more. 

What are you waiting for? Break down those barriers, and start collaborating.