How do I create a greater sense of teamwork among different departments?

A Brief Case

McCormack

Tammy McCormack

Vice president of human resources

PKWARE Inc.

“PKWARE is a culture and in the fall of 2014, the headquarters moved from downtown Milwaukee to Walker’s Point. The move into a historic architectural gem has allowed our different departments to communicate and collaborate extremely well. 

With our open office concept, our departments flow into one another on the fourth floor and that allows conversations to occur naturally. Our rooftop deck permits people and teams to work in a unique space while building and creating work relationships that would not have existed at our prior location. The third floor space allows everyone to shoot pool, play ping pong, enjoy the fireplace or challenge one another to video games while discussing business needs, sales strategies or product initiatives. Interestingly, many meetings conducted are in the open and not in conference rooms.

Essentially, teamwork is a natural occurrence at PKWARE due to the open concept and amenities that it provides to its employees. Departments are not segmented into cubicles or large floor plans, but instead spread throughout the office space. Granted, an open office concept may not work for all organizations, but it certainly creates camaraderie, which will increase morale. Teamwork among different departments can be attributed to our office space.”

Webber

Tyson Webber

President

GMR Marketing

“With employees activating live experiences around the world, teamwork across different departments and disciplines is a vital part of GMR’s success.

There are a couple of ways that we try to create a greater sense of teamwork, the first being a shared vision and a common goal. While the goal is consistent, it may mean something different for each department. Having a shared understanding ensures greater collaboration.

Similarly, it’s vital to make sure everyone understands what success looks like. Some work may need to be done independently, but defining overall program success ensures everyone is pointed in the right direction. Part of achieving a successful outcome while working with a large team is over-communication and transparency of information. We strive for real-time communication and transparency, so everyone has the information they need to be successful.

Finally, as experiential marketers and experts, we know that there is value in a personal connection. When people feel connected to both their co-workers and their work, they feel a greater sense of ownership and passion, resulting in increased teamwork and, ultimately, a successful program.”

Pandl

John Pandl

Executive director of human resources

Froedtert Health

“Team communication can be especially challenging. After a staff engagement survey at Froedtert Health revealed that staff really desired to have more effective communication between work teams, Human Resources deployed Inter-Team Communication workshops.

They were specifically designed to include members of specific departments or work groups that had internal customer/supplier relationships but felt that they weren’t being heard, or their managers identified the need.

The participating teams met for weekly workshops over three successive weeks and the sessions were highly interactive or ‘intense.’ The workshops included an assessment of current versus desired state, a look at communication experiences and practices, and an introduction to effective communication concepts. The end goal was to create a communication agreement to address issues and move toward greater effectiveness.

The end resulting agreements were as unique as each workgroup relationship. For example, one set of workgroups tackled issues related to ‘stat’ requests and requests for services that are outside of established protocol.

Participant feedback was overwhelmingly positive and had an energizing effect for those involved. The workshops were effective because it was relevant to their work, involved specific targeted groups rather than an all-staff initiative, and takeaways were immediately useful.” 

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