Why Cross-Department Communication Is Essential To Your DX
June 4, 2019
Improving Your Internal Communications Network Will Get Your Business to the Next Level
Savvy CIOs will argue that digital transformation ultimately isn’t about technological change, and they’re right. Digital transformation is about changing the way businesses view their purpose and deliver value to their customers.
It means a shift in processes, culture and even sometimes the very identity of an organization. One way in which digital transformation is often felt is through the methods by which employees and departments communicate with one another.
The creation of an internal communications department is one way to keep information flowing within a company, yet the role of these professionals is often wildly misunderstood. However, improving internal communication propels organizations to higher levels of productivity and innovation.
Therefore, cross-department communication is not just important—it’s vital for reasons beyond the ability to make information flow.
No digital transformation is therefore complete without also radically changing the way communication occurs internally.
Read on to learn why increasing cross-department communication is a viable strategy for encouraging digital transformation.
The Value of Perspective
Digital Transformation is All About Altering Outlooks
Whether it’s a perspective on how a business process should operate or a perspective on who constitutes the ideal employee, digital transformation challenges long-held assumptions and outdated modes of thinking.
A successful transformation often breathes new creativity and vision into companies which undertake it. Shifting perspectives enable the recognition of pathways or ideas which weren’t previously visible.
Each department brings a different perspective on a project which ultimately makes it more successful. For instance, a company which is developing an e-commerce app may wish to seek the input of developers, sales, human resources and customer service when designing the interface.
Developers know how to build the app, but customer service might be able to anticipate problems or areas which will confuse the user side.
Likewise, creating teams with diverse backgrounds—culturally and skill wise—is shown to lead to greater creativity and accomplishment. So, embrace that perspective. Diversity may help a company easily identify problems as well as find the right solutions.
Unifying Connections Between Departments
Better Communication Means Better Workflow
Department silos which isolate ideas and stagnate innovation can be costly. Microsoft learned this lesson the hard way, and it took a better part of a decade to recover from it.
Better communication between departments provides several salient advantages, but here are the two most typically associated with digital transformation.
1. Improved Communication Keeps Information Flowing
Keeping everyone on the same pages helps operations run smoothly. Make sure that the digital transformation strategy contains a method for increasing communication across the company not just for projects, but also for promoting company culture on a daily level. Doing this may take the form of:
- Accessible digital communication channels. Many companies are embracing apps like Slack, but an internal solution may be more appropriate for a company which needs to communicate large amounts of sensitive information.
- Weekly email newsletters. They’re a great way to showcase company culture and get the staff excited about the week.
- Meeting schedules for teams, individuals, departments and the company. Face-to-face meetings can promote collaboration.
- Clear methods for staff feedback. Empower employees to speak up about and buy-in to their organization.
2. There’s a Link Between Communication and Collaboration
Getting people out of their shells and into a collaborative environment is often challenging. Departments tend to attract specific types of personalities, which may easily result in clashes once everyone is in the same room. Managers may understandably remain a bit shy about encouraging salespeople, developers and customer service to comingle.
Data suggests that high-performing organizations are five and a half times more likely to embrace company-wide collaboration – especially when collaboration was espoused as an organizational value.
A study of more than 1,100 companies found that these high-performing companies actively linked collaboration and purpose. In other words, everyone worked together towards a common goal which was greater than the sum of the organization’s parts.
Reflect the Interconnectivity of the World
Demonstrate that Your Company is in Touch with Modern Times
Cross-department communication and relationships reflect the interconnectivity of the wider world, bringing a company better into alignment with what customers may need or want. Ultimately, digital transformation is about delivering a better customer experience by leveraging technology to provide additional value in innovative ways.
Communication and collaboration between departments promotes a holistic approach to operations, business, and delivering value to customers. The benefits are readily visible: Shopify found that approaches to projects which utilized the full breadth of the company positively impacted client relationships, trust, and the value which the organization could provide.
This level of hyper-connectivity with clients also reflects the reality of consumers. With more technology readily accessible to more people, digital interconnectivity is not just embraced and accepted; it’s expected.
Revolutionize the way Your Business Communicates
Incite Greater Collaboration with Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is about more than just the changes in technology for a business. It’s also very much about updating the way businesses think about how they deliver value and superior customer experience. The customer experience is paramount, and digital transformation gets everyone working in unison towards the delivery of a yet more superior service.
Cross-department communication is one paradigm shift which modern businesses are embracing. Better communication means better workflow. Likewise, fostering collaboration between different departments helps illuminate different angles of a project.
In turn, team members gain a deeper understanding of that project and the ways it can better serve the end user.
As has been shown, the ultimate goal of digital transformation is not solely about adopting more sophisticated digital tools. Rather, the point of the transformation is to deliver increased value to customers: extensive and cross-department communication supports this.
Want to Learn More?
Improved communication is just one aspect of digital transformation which is changing the way small businesses operate in today’s constantly evolving landscape. To learn more about how you can modernize your organization's communication abilities, reach out to our Managed IT team and speak to one of our experts today!