For a company to be successful, departments must learn to work together. For example, the sales group cannot ship products without the help of the manufacturing and logistics groups. Managers have several methods at their disposal to improve the intergroup cooperation in a workplace and thereby help improve efficiency and productivity. By encouraging a cooperative environment, you are creating a better workplace.
Groups function more efficiently when there is good communication, which requires clear messages sent through reliable channels. When two members of different groups meet on a topic, it is a good idea to generate an email between the two that outlines what was discussed, sending a copy to members of the two groups who would need the information. Group managers should be in constant contact with each other, and they should work together to determine the most effective ways to pass information between the groups.
When groups do not have a clear understanding of the roles each department is to take in a given project, confusion and frustration can develop and hinder cooperation. Group managers should meet to set guidelines for what is expected of each group, get those guidelines in writing and then make sure the staff members understand those guidelines as well. When two groups understand their responsibilities in a given situation, it is easier to delegate authority and get intergroup cooperation.
Aside from the meetings required to establish guidelines and smooth methods of communication, groups that work closely together should meet once a week to discuss issues and come to understandings on solutions. Individual group members can raise concerns to be addressed or point out ways in which the intergroup cooperation was strong so that the groups can work to replicate positive interaction as much as possible. The constant sharing of ideas between the members of work groups will be a strong catalyst for cooperation.
Address Issues Quickly
Problems and concerns will come up between work groups from time to time. To improve intergroup cooperation, these issues need to be brought to the attention of each group manager and addressed quickly. Do not allow outstanding issues between work groups to linger and become worse. Identify the problem, discuss it with staff members involved from each group and come up with a solution that both groups agree to.
George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.