Communication is one of the most important elements of any relationship; Personal and business. Without it, there is a breakdown. If your organization is working in silos, then you have a communication problem.
A silo on a farm keeps on grain from mixing with others. A silo at work keeps information away from other people or departments. This is a massive problem and can occur for several reasons.
Let’s take a closer look at the negative impact of a business silo and how to move past it.
What is Business Silo?
The definition of a business silo is really a lack of communication. It can happen for several different reasons.
A business silo happens when certain sectors or departments of an organization don’t share information with other departments. This can also mean that the silo is not open to hearing any other suggestions or ideas, regardless of their quality of helpfulness.
Silos are not always a bad aspect. Companies are divided naturally by each department, and each does their specific jobs. But, unless it is necessary for a company or organization to have each section working independently, then you want the departments to communicate.
The Negative Impact of Business Silo
The biggest problem with silos is that everyone isn’t working toward the same objective. They may think they are, but they can’t be without sharing the same ideas, knowledge and information.
It has an impact on:
● Information sharing
There is also the risk of wasting a great deal of time and money. There will be particular things that get overlooked, things done in repetition when they don’t need to be and things passed off as ‘not my problem’.
Why Do Business Silos Happen?
The refusal or absence of sharing information can arise from many places. It may be due to pettiness and misguided competition. People may feel they retain the power if they retain the information.
It can also happen when there is doubt. Perhaps you have had a recent change in management, a host of new hires or a loss of several employees. Perhaps there have been downsizing and people are no longer in the office.
It doesn’t always happen deliberately. People make assumptions that the other team knows and just about their own business. It all comes down to a lack of communication.
Fixing Silos in Your Business
The repair must start with leadership. That means recognizing the problems and developing a strategy to solve it. It will need to become a part of your regular training and development programs.
This strategy needs to include everyone and make sure everyone is aiming for the same unified objective. A common goal with each person’s contribution spelled out ensures everyone is included and will get on board.
Everyone plays an important role in keeping the corporation running and succeeding. It is also very important for individuals to understand the role other people contribute. This can be done with business simulation.
Business Training Simulations
A business simulation is an excellent way to get people better acquainted with how the company works and the role each person plays. It’s an excellent tool for training, educating and breaking down the damage caused by silos.
Taking part in a business simulation within leadership development allows each member of the team or organization to understand each person’s job by doing it. It will open the doors to communication and understanding when others realize what other team members do to contribute to the company.
People are put into a hands-on situation with no risk or consequences. They can find out for themselves how difficult or stressful each position is. It can also encourage people to move up within the company, offer ideas and see the company functioning as a whole.
With business training simulations people are given great insight into how other jobs are done. It is fun and much more exciting than reading or listening to someone tell them about it.
People have fun in these simulated experiences and will retain much more information. These simulators can be virtual, group workshops, online games and board games. It makes learning fun and exciting.
These types of learning tools are making an impact on companies who may be experiencing change, difficulty or slowdown. They are also an excellent idea for many people in a large organization who don’t know what other people do.
When there is an issue with business silo, many people start to question how they fit in to the organization on a whole. This allows them to not only see their role and its importance, but that of all the other employees, as well.
Many organizations are heading toward digital transformation, which will eliminate the silo effect. This allows all people access to all information. Not all corporations are jumping on board and it requires a lot of upset, transition and change.
Meanwhile, people need to learn to communicate and break down the barriers that cause people not to. Let people know where they are in the organization and what their position means and contributes. Once people are aware of how all contribute, the doors of communication will be opened.
Making sure everyone is clear on the goals, the objectives and how they contribute is vital. They all need to be able to be excited about the strategy and connect it to their own personal outcomes and goals, as well.
Keeping Up With Change
The way people learn is changing all the time. Even schools have gone digital and many people take classes from home in realtime. This needs to become a reality for your corporation.
Training and development are as effective as your tools. Antiquated methods just won’t cut it any longer. Business simulation is its many forms is helping people move ahead faster and keeping companies on the cutting edge of their competition.
Communication is such a vital part of any corporation, it’s important that you make sure everyone has the skills to share, communicate and listen.