5 Rules For Competent Inter-departmental Communication 

Communication is the heartbeat that brings every working environment to life. Here are five strategies to help you interact competently between different teams in an organisation – whether the teams have adopted a remote, hybrid, or in-office setting.

1. Establish a common goal

When creating goals, they must be SMART. The abbreviature stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound to benefit all organisational members. What is remarkable is that you can find a way to explain them by conducting video call meetings and preparing proper technical documentation.

Technology makes it easier for employees to stay connected with their colleagues while working remotely.

How to set goals?

●      Make goals straightforward and precise (Specific.)

Start with why the goal matters and how it can help the organisation reach its main objectives. For example, a plan could be: “Increase sales by 10% within the next three months” or “Secure 1,000 new customers by June” instead of “we need to sell more than last month.”

●      Determine metrics (Measurable.)

Specific numbers or percentage help measure progress. They allow you to track success and provide a way for members to recognise accomplishments. In e-commerce, measurable metrics can include website traffic and conversions, customer lifetime value, product reviews, revenue per visitor, and more. Then, identify areas for improvement or strategies that worked well.

●      Find out how to reach the goal (Achievable.)

Gather your team to brainstorm the steps to take and resources to start. Then, set goals everyone can realistically commit to and has enough time to dedicate.

●      See how the business wins (Relevant.)

Align goals with organisational strategies and member interests. If the goal is irrelevant to members, it is much less likely to be effective. For example, raise customer engagement:

Firstly, by increasing customer engagement, businesses can boost sales and drive more revenue. Secondly, more customers will be aware of the company and its offerings, providing a greater reach for marketing efforts.

●      Define how much time is needed (Time-bound.)

Set a timeline for the goal and ensure everyone understands it. That keeps members motivated and on track with their progress. For example, in e-commerce, a business must determine the time needed to make a sale, get customer feedback or reviews, or reach a certain number of customers.

Examples of companies that established their goals successfully

●      Amazon

Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder and CEO, established a goal of “customer obsession,” which drives all decisions and activities within the company. This goal has enabled Amazon to become one of the most successful retail companies today.

●      Zappos

Another company’s core value is to “deliver WOW through service.” This focus on providing excellent customer service has helped Zappos become one of the leading online retailers.

●      Salesforce

The company’s mission statement is “to be the customer relationship management (CRM) platform of choice.” This goal has enabled Salesforce to become the world’s largest CRM provider and a leader in cloud computing.

How to overcome any potential challenges or obstacles

1.     Blurring roles

Knowing how to interact with colleagues in different departments can be challenging when departments merge or have overlapping deliverables – sales and marketing teams for example. Make sure you should explain to people how to navigate through the changes: launch an email newsletter, write manuals, and send reminders. And keep communicating clearly and respectfully with colleagues.

2.     Inclusion

Form a team culture where everyone can work together seamlessly, even if they’re not in the same physical space. Provide regular feedback and updates and ensure everyone has access to the same resources.

3.     Communication channels

Use technology to help bridge any gaps when managing remote and hybrid teams. It includes using remote conferencing tools, shared workspaces, and project management software to ensure everyone is on the same page.

2. Co-operate to complete tasks efficiently

Cooperation is essential for any team or organisation to work efficiently and effectively. It allows different skills, perspectives, and ideas to come together.

●     Split up the work

If you have a large or complicated task, divide the work among different people. For example, if your job involves making several phone calls, you could allocate one person to research and manage the contact information, while some one else on the team makes the calls, and takes notes.

●     Set a time limit for each task to stay on track

To ensure that you stay on track, set time limits. It helps you focus more efficiently and prioritise tasks while also helping to keep you motivated.

●     Delegate based on strengths and weaknesses

Be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your team and their workloads. This will help when assigning tasks, and when ensuring the most efficient use of resources. It will also help create a productive environment.

●     Take breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Taking a few minutes away from your work and activities can help re-energise and clear your mind. Also, try to arrange offline meetings and team-building activites.

●     Celebrate successes together

This is vital especially for remote teams of a company, as it helps to foster a sense of belonging and connection with each other. Although it can be difficult for remote teams to build work relationships organically, pay attention to events taking place via video or chat.

3. Respect the expertise of other divisions

Working together requires competent interaction, respect, and understanding between team members.

●      Show respect

Remain professional and courteous at all times. Respect the opinions and skills of other team members, even if you disagree with them.

●      Brainstorm together

It is an effective way for the team to develop innovative ideas and solutions. Each team member should be able to contribute their skill sets, knowledge, and experience to the discussion. Remember to remain open-minded while still being firm in your beliefs.

●      Note the path

Prepare for meetings. Collect the necessary information beforehand, including any relevant documents or presentations. This way, you’ll be helping everyone to be on the same page and ready for discussion.

4. Communicate openly and honestly

●      Clarify expectations

Each division should have designated roles and responsibilities with job descriptions for each individual. That simplifies duties and lets them know their place in the bigger picture.

●      Encourage the team to communicate

Open and honest communication between structural team divisions enhances everyone’s work efforts. For instance, effective collaboration among departments such as sales, finance, and marketing must be smooth and efficient to ensure overall success.

●      Be patient

Patience and collaboration are essential. Working together takes time and practice to reach a level of accomplishment to achieve goals and complete projects.

5. Address conflicts constructively

Conflicts between different divisions can happen and it’s normal. However, success is about how you resolve them. For competent interaction between these departments, we suggest the following strategies:

●      Take a step back

Acknowledge the issue. Then, take a proactive approach to find a mutually beneficial solution. Take time to reflect and consider what you can do differently.

●      Listen to other points of view

Listen attentively and without judgment to understand others and gain insight into the situation. Be sure to acknowledge their feelings and respond respectfully.

●      Come up with a solution together

Do it by scheduling regular check-ins with team members or having an open dialogue about any issues that may arise. Additionally, teams should create a collaborative environment where everyone feels comfortable expressing their opinions without fear of negative repercussions.

●      Monitor how things are progressing

When both parties talk, devise a plan of action. It should involve working together to find a solution that benefits everyone. It’s also a good idea to check how things go later. For example, make a quick phone call or email to ensure the solution has been working and any underlying issues are being resolved.


Following these tips ensures that all departments communicate effectively and work together toward the same goals. Good luck!

Author: Kristen Bray – Freelance writer.

Photo credit: Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

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