The silo mentality refers to a state in which a department has information but refuses to share it with others.
A silo mentality is isolationist.
How can you get there? Sadly, it’s not too hard.
This mentality is the outcome of the organizational culture. It is common to find an organization divided into departments, with each department consisting of its duties and responsibilities.
This fragmentation naturally facilitates the birth of organizational silos.
Having said that, how can organizations overcome the silo mentality and encourage team collaboration?
5 Ways to Overcome the Silo Mentality
Yes, you can destroy the silo mentality. But it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the early warning signs of the development of a silo mentality. You know, it’s always better to prevent than to treat.
When you notice that valuable information and resources that would have helped the organization are being hoarded or owned by a particular group, then you have a silo mentality at work in your company.
A looming information gap signals a silo mentality. To break this mentality, you can incorporate the following strategies:
1. Work Towards a Unified Vision of Cooperation and Teamwork
The source of silo marketing is management. Often, decisions stem from the existence of departmental goals and visions. Consequently, each department focuses on accomplishing its objectives.
Leadership needs to communicate a unified vision. This vision should encourage trust and empower the departments to see the bigger picture. The vision should convey oneness and the role of all the departments working together to achieve the overall objectives.
2. Incorporate Cross-Functional Liaisons
Cross-functional liaisons help the departments identify how they fit in the bigger picture. Management can promote cooperation by establishing interdepartmental links.
The earlier these liaisons are found, the better, as they can have an IKEA effect on the existence of cooperative culture.
The liaisons should encourage communication and transparency between all the departments working on a project. Interdepartmental projects and monthly meetings held across departments help foster interdependency.
Also, teamwork promoted in the interdepartmental projects communicates the value of this interdependence and its role in the bigger picture.
3. Educate and Train
Cross-functional training can help dismantle the silo mentality. This type of training challenges team members to take on tasks that do not necessarily fall in their department.
As a result, team members become aware of the value of information sharing in achieving the overall objectives of the organization.
The Nestle Group recommends cross-functional training and education in its human resource policy. This training can be done online to reduce costs and ensure continuity of practice.
4. Establish a Multi-Functional Launch Team
A launch team consists of members from all the departments. Developing such a group is essential as it helps the company streamline its core launches while promoting interdepartmental collaboration.
Also, the group becomes a platform for resource and information exchange. Various members of different departments come together to determine how to make a launch a success.
This approach not only encourages communication and collaboration but also combats the silo mentality. There are tools that the firm can use to promote the creation of a capable team, for instance, team chat apps.
Such apps facilitate communication across departments even if they are geographically dispersed.
5. Create an Integrated Communication Program
An organization should strive to develop a planned communication approach that considers the goals and values of the firm, the needs of stakeholders, and the demands of the changing marketplace.
Management should also bear in mind the risk of hierarchical or vertical silos forming and should seek to integrate an effective CRM system. This system should come with a variety of apps that facilitate effective communication and collaboration.
In conclusion, timeliness in identifying the building of a silo mentality helps an organization to eliminate it from its root. This mentality can be reduced through establishing cross-cultural projects and promoting the development of multi-functional teams that work together towards the completion of the projects.
Management should, therefore, encourage the use of CRM tools such as chat apps that allow departments to interact. Also, they should work towards the development of a cooperative culture through employee training and communication.