How to Improve Communication Between Departments

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Departments in a business or organization often do not communicate well for a number of reasons, including physical separation and because the members of each department view projects or objectives from a different perspective. The physical distance and differences in point of view can create misunderstandings among departments. You can strengthen trust and communication among your departments by developing meetings and protocols that encourage better communication with others.

Host an interdepartmental meeting at least twice a month. Managers from every department should attend the meeting. They should talk about what their respective department is working on and the help they need from other departments.

Encourage individual department managers to meet. If two department managers discover in the interdepartmental meeting they need each other's help, they should not discuss how to help each other in detail at the interdepartmental meeting. They should set up an independent meeting that focuses specifically on that issue.

Share notes from one department's meeting with the other departments. Designate someone from each department to summarize the need-to-know information from any meeting minutes. This person is responsible for emailing this summary to the other departments.

Encourage individuals from one department to visit with another department's members instead of sending an email. This may not be realistic every time, but, if department members make an effort to talk to each other face-to-face on big issues, it will improve communication and trust between the members of each department.

Host an interdepartmental luncheon at least once a year. This should take place away from work time and include employees from all departments. Use the luncheon as a time to run trust-building activities between the members of each department.