Making Cross-Functional Collaboration a Reality in Public Sector
“ What have you done to this report? Why are you too slow in completing the task? Why are you late for the meeting? We often hear these clichés, within an organization, but unfortunately not much has been done about it.
Take any organization’s annual report or go through its website, you will get a significant reference to the importance of people, employee engagement, company culture, customer service and much more.
But in reality, things are different at work. Many times, the employees find themselves in a disrespectful, uncivilized, difficult and stressful situation while still, they have to continue with their job due to personal, home, and family obligations. They have to breathe and live in a toxic culture surrounded by irresponsible leadership and insensitive peers. People keep fighting a cold war within and across teams, don’t collaborate or help each other in the way they are supposed to do.
Cross-functional collaboration is crucial to your organization to get a deeper insight, faster innovation and fresh perspective to run a business. But first, it is important to understand that teams are made of people and people need to connect and communicate before they can collaborate. In this post, we would like to tell you how to make cross-functional collaboration a reality in the public sector.
A cross-functional team is a group of people when different teams like HR, governance, auditing, engineering join forces to work together for a common goal or project. Collaboration not only means working together but also hunting new ideas and ways to solve problems.
‘Consistent communication’ with customers brings brand loyalty and repeat business. Likewise, consistent formal and structured interactions across teams boost employee engagement and help in the decision-making process. Investing in Internal communication tool is the key mechanism to ensure that employees are ready for the evolving nature of work. Cross-team members should try to build trust by spending time getting to know one another. Communicate early on sensitive or complicated issues. For example, in the case of Bullet train project, the collaboration between Japan and India will benefit Indian Railway to improve efficiency and cut input cost.
Align different team goals
Cross-team collaborators should define team goal and establish a team charter. The specific goal will encourage working on pre-defined short-term goals that will eventually help to achieve business objectives. Involve head of departments for successful cross-team collaboration venture.
Leadership makes long-lasting collaboration
Effective collaborative leaders ensure that everyone is on the same page and focusing on the right priorities. Leaders need to understand what is the benefit of a certain move within the company, rather than issuing orders. Stay informed what others are doing and how the project is making progress between meetings. Ask about the project milestones.
Right Collaborative framework
In the government sector, a collaboration between different organizations like police, fire, and housing, working in the same area, can be associated to service improvement with networking activity of one form or another. Many public sector organizations are still grappled with complex public policy challenges. Now, these government agencies need a culture of cross-organizational collaboration across conventional boundaries and less of a hierarchical approach.
Performance is the key
Your customer care executives should be clear about the results they are trying to achieve for the customer. Like it or not, at the time of struggling economic condition, public companies have to increase customer satisfaction levels. Try to learn from the case of Air India, a public sector Airline Company is about to go in private hands because the company could not improve performance and make operating profit.
Recognize and reward project milestone
Leader’s duty is to keep things moving. Try to celebrate small wins. As a leader, you must keep your team focused and motivated on their personal and professional development. Create an environment for healthy competition. Don’t hesitate to offer bonuses or more responsibilities for learning milestone and achieving multi-layer reward program for their projects. Many recognition programs like gift cards, movie tickets; restaurant booking etc. can be effective incentive programs to motivate millennial employees. Recently Punjab government has awarded a traffic police officer who was doing his duty in heavy rain.
It is a rule that there is no rule to improve cross-functional collaboration. You need to keep trying. Don’t be afraid to do experiments. Use your creative mind and try to find perfect formula that makes your cross-team to cause a splash!