Are Communication Silos Hindering Team Performance?
Internal communication is an indicator of overall cohesiveness within an organization. High level communication internally, leads to effective communication externally. More often than not, organizations succumb to communication silos, which can diminish internal collaboration and alignment between departments.
Communication silos occur when teams only communicate amongst themselves. This can occur horizontally, between different departments within an organization, or vertically, between levels in the organizational hierarchy. Communication silos can be problematic for customer service, productivity, and employee morale.
When communication within an organization is limited to one department, those departments become horizontal communication silos. Property management companies can see the formation of horizontal silos isolating accounting, maintenance, and frontline teams. Studies found that 74% of employees feel like they’re missing out on company news, updates, and information. If horizontal silos persist, organizations will lack a collective pursuit towards company goals.
Eliminating horizontal silos facilitates a unified team environment across departments by enhancing access to information and enabling flexibility as well as improved problem solving. When companies enable interdepartmental communication and collaboration, customers can be served better and planning is more accurate because everyone is aware of their roles and aligned in their expectations of others.
Vertical silos form when there are barriers to communication from one level of the organizational hierarchy to the next, rather than departments. Generally, vertical silos separate the executive suite, middle management, frontline workers, and administrative teams. When vertical silos form, they can create a break down in communication that effects employee performance because of a lack of support from the top. Vertical silos are quite common within organizations, in fact, 72% of employees don’t have a full understanding of a company’s strategy, according to IBM research.
Vertical silos can impact the effectiveness of big decision making. When executives don’t understand the experience and operation of their staff on the lowest level of the hierarchy, decision making is likely to not represent their best interests. When the lines of communication in an organization are opened from the top-down, there is opportunity for collaboration, employee input, and recognition of the changes necessary to improve effectiveness in the workplace.
If your frontline staff isn’t equipped with the latest company or product information, interactions with customers can be incomplete or inadequate. For example, if property managers can’t answer to when elevator maintenance will be completed, customers will become unhappy with the lack of transparency all because information isn’t easily flowing from one department to the next. A centralized communication platform can help unify information by providing a single source of truth to users across every department.
The inability to access information, connect across teams, or understand the intentions of upper management can become frustrating quickly for employees trying to execute. Poor communication can bring down employee morale and reduce job satisfaction, increasing the likelihood of turnover.
Solutions: Breaking Down Dividers
Eliminating communication silos within an organization, is a big step towards elevating a unified company culture that is cohesive, working together to achieve goals and serve customers. A property management software that provides tools for every department and a central database that serves every level of the organizational hierarchy can work towards breaking down barriers to communication by keeping every employee in-sync with customer and company insights in real time.
Regular short and concise meetings organization-wide can keep teams aware of goals, benchmarks, and objectives. Weekly or monthly meetings create and opportunity to provide and receive feedback. Senior management can enhance cross-departmental respect and appreciation by taking the time to acknowledge the victories and accomplishments of individual teams or employees, organization-wide.