what are silos?
According to the Business Dictionary, the silo mentality is a mindset present in some companies when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality will reduce the efficiency of the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture. Read more.
How do silos develop? Well, it starts at the top and the work culture inside your organization is created by leadership. If you see any of these things happening in your company there is a good chance silos exist:
- When leadership doesn’t lead and employees make decisions without direction.
- When there is no camaraderie among employees and a lack of teamwork.
- When there is a mentality of superiority among certain employees or departments.
So, how can we break down these silos
Here are 5 ideas:
- Create common goals
One great solution to getting everyone on the same page is to have an annual company retreat where you set goals for the year. Let the employees have a say in what the goals should be. This allows them to feel like these are their goals not someone else’s that they need to bring to fruition. When people work towards a common goal it brings them together and they become accountable to the organization.
- Create friendships [insert two dancing girls emoji]
Hold a company dinner or event outside of work hours that brings employees together and gives them a chance to get to know each other outside of work. It helps to see each other on a human level. They may realize they have more in common than they thought. Even during work hours build relationships and buy lunch for everyone and eat together, or take a 15-minute break and go on a walk. This boosts morale and often creates friendships that will boost teamwork and create a positive environment.
- Communicate and collaborate
The more departments and employees communicate the better. Problems can be foreseen and duplicating work can be avoided. It’s a good idea for heads of departments to meet monthly and hold each other accountable for the goals set at the beginning of the year. There are many platforms like Slack, Trello and Google Hangouts, not to mention other project management software like Intervals or Basecamp that help people communicate during projects and in general.
- Evaluate and brainstorm
Take time during the year to evaluate the company and the general attitude and culture your company has. Is it where you want it to be? Where can you improve? Send out a monthly survey using Survey Monkey and ask your employees questions like How would you rate the management style? Explain Are you happy at work? Explain. This makes them feel like you care about them and value their opinion. Bring them together to brainstorm on how to improve certain aspects of the company like processes and communication.
- Reward and incentivize
If goals are achieved by certain individuals or departments reward them for it. This can be done through donuts, raises, trips, lunch, and even acknowledgment. This is a confidence booster for employees and encourages them to keep working hard. They may even work harder knowing their effort if acknowledged and appreciated.