When you run a business with multiple departments, getting those departments to harmoniously coexist can be a challenge. Many companies have rivalries between departments and managers from those areas may be too competitive. This leads to tension between the employees of the various departments as well. If you find yourself in this situation, you can employ a number of strategies to help improve inter-departmental relationships. If the various departments of your business can start working together, it can improve productivity and help your business run more efficiently.
Encourage communication between the various departments of your business. One of the problems that many companies have is that departments keep to themselves and do not communicate freely. Foster an environment of free communication between the employees and managers of various departments. When you share information, do it with all of the departments instead of playing favorites. If you treat each department as if it is important, it can help improve the communication between them.
Have group functions that include all of the departments of your business. When possible, have company mixers, holiday parties and other events that allow your employees to get together. If employees never have a chance to visit with one another outside of work, it can harm their potential relationships.
Set up mandatory lunch meetings occasionally. While you cannot reasonably expect your employees to eat lunch together every day, having a lunch meeting once every two weeks or once a week can help your employees bond. Require employees from all departments to eat lunch together and visit with one another.
Listen to input from all of the various departments of a business. If you encourage input from all of the departments of the business, it will help promote fairness. This way, each department will feel as if it has a say in how the business operates.
While you want departments to get along, they still need to be able to focus on the tasks at hand. Promote team unity through project assignments within departments as well.
- Management Study Guide: Strategies to Improve Employee Relations
- Human Nature at Work; Are You Really Serious About Improving Morale?; David Lee; January 2004
- University of Nottingham; Safety and Complexity -- Inter-Departmental Relationships As a Threat to Patient Safety in the Operating Department; J. Waring