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Are you or your organization experiencing the negative effects of a workplace silo mentality? If so, you are not alone.

Within the realm of business, organizational silos occur when different groups operate independently.  Oftentimes, this eventually leads to a failure in sharing valuable information. As time passes, this lack of transparency can impede productivity, erode trust, hamper collaboration, and foster internal conflict.

Silo mentality can be observed in various work environments. However its impact on remote work differs significantly from traditional office setups. The physical separation and absence of face-to-face interactions in remote teams often lead to heightened difficulties in communication and collaboration. The lack of spontaneous conversations and informal interactions intensifies siloed behavior. It obstructs the smooth flow of information and impedes cross-team cooperation.

Effective communication and the establishment of clear channels for information sharing have become increasingly more critical to organizational success. This is especially true in a post-COVID world.

Statistically Proven

According to a recent study by Gallup, only 19% of employees in the U.S. report that they are satisfied with the levels of cooperation between their department and others. And in a study commissioned by Slack nearly 1 in 4 workers indicated they were dissatisfied with the quality of communication in the workplace. 

If you’ve ever played the telephone game, you know that messages can get garbled or even lost when they’re passed from person to person. Workplace silos are similar, but on a larger scale. 

Curious if organizational silos are affecting your team? If you answer yes to any of the below, it may be time to take action. 

  • Have you noticed that different departments do not communicate frequently?
  • Is duplicative work being done across teams or departments?  
  • Do departmental goals conflict with broader organizational goals? 
  • Is there a noticeable sense of competition, or lack of trust, between departments?

Benefits Are Guaranteed

At Transparent, we have seen the tremendous impact a workshop can have on an organization struggling with silos including: 

  • Helping to establish new lines of communication and collaboration 
  • Creation of a safe space to discuss challenging, and sometimes emotionally charged issues
  • Providing an opportunity for co-creation and collaboration
  • Fostering trust between individuals and teams
  • Creating transparency, understanding and empathy
  • Helping to establish new ways of working that will prevent silos from cropping back up 

Workshop Tips & Tricks

The following are some tips and tricks we have picked up along the way for facilitating a successful workshop. 

Before the Workshop

  • Know Your Audience: Understand who will be in the room, how they communicate, what they care about and what you may expect from their participation
  • Establish a Clear Purpose: First, define and articulate the workshop’s purpose clearly to all participants. Second, gain their alignment and use it as an anchor throughout the discussion
  • Define Success: Begin with the end in mind.  Identify and document what success means, capture relevant metrics/measures that indicate success and ensure all participants are invested in delivering
  • Socialize the Agenda: Set the tone for the workshop.  Do so by inviting participants to provide feedback on the agenda establishing transparency and ownership
  • Prepare for the Unexpected: To the best of your ability, consider potential scenarios and responses

During the Workshop

  • Set Expectations and Review Ground Rules: Reiterate the agenda, the purpose and expectations for contribution
  • Set the Tone with an Ice-breaker: Kick the workshop off with a fun ice breaker to simplify introductions and set the tone for the discussion
  • Facilitate, Do Not Control the Discussion: Instigate conversation, mediate and moderate
  • Document the Discussion: Capture key discussion points for distillation into a summary or next steps post workshop
  • Align on Next Steps: Before closing, ensure that everyone is aligned around expectations for actions/next steps

After the Workshop

  • Summarize the Notes: Distill information and key takeaways
  • Create Clarity: Once the action items have been distilled and prioritized, be sure to clearly communicate next steps in an effort to keep moving things along
  • Post Workshop Feedback: Measure the success of the workshop and the subsequent action plan. This can be done by using a satisfaction survey, use insights to inform/influence subsequent workshops

In Conclusion

Don’t let organizational silos hold you back. Consider hosting a workshop to bring disparate teams together to increase transparency, improve communication and foster greater collaboration. 

As experts in the space, we can help you explore the opportunities and benefits workshopping can create for your team, department or organization. Our proven methodology includes:

    • Needs Assessment to better understand key areas of concern
    • Collaborative Planning Sessions to design a custom approach that will deliver results
    • Comprehensive Workbook detailing relevant documentation including: an agenda, participant bios, purpose & success criteria, key discovery/insights, session documentation templates (ie. business requirements) to synthesize relevant discussion points, action plan/next steps, etc.
    • Facilitation Expertise to conduct the session as a neutral third-party or support brand facilitation through education, guidance and day-of support
    • In-person, Hybrid or Virtual Execution models that adapt to your operating model
    • Session Summary of key discussion points, action items, ownership and timelines for completion 
    • Post-session Satisfaction Survey to capture participant feedback allowing for subsequent optimizations and direct responses (where appropriate) 

Connect with us today to understand how you can leverage workshops to drive innovation, create more efficient processes, increase success, and improve communication.

Geri Carrillo, Manager, Accounts