The Sars-Cov-2 has taken a toll on crores of employees across all sectors in India and the world. Organisations had to adjust, adopt and ascend to the new ways of working having to upskill themselves to ensure productivity doesn’t hinder the output. There have been a number of limitations that have been documented by numerous employees especially those who had to learn a new ways of working by adapting to technology.
Companies are adopting a multi-disciplinary and multi-pronged approach of working by integrating various departments, sectors and branches to ensure sustained output from every department. The pandemic has brought teams working together and supporting each other for interdepartmental needs and have led to new and innovative ways of working during the lockdown.
Organisations today, have taken different initiatives to improve effectiveness of team work towards an organisational goal and it has been proven that cross functional teams work much efficiently and effectively than teams working in silos. The lockdown has brought its own struggles with employees working from their confines of their dwellings having found it difficult to coordinate and communicate with their team members.
At the onset, many have struggled to adapt to technology and have been facing practical difficulties. Over time, employees have adapted to the new way of working despite impediments and have overcome initial hiccups and ensured productivity across functions.
Teams during lockdowns have often witnessed its members reducing or facing resource constraints due to multiple domestic and logistical reasons. While minor delays would be overlooked, the same when multiplied over a period of time leaves an impact on the business and its roadmap affecting its timelines, speed, productivity etc.
A novel way to overcome this shortfall is to rely on other teams to fill in positions and roles to ensure less dependency on one particular unit in an organisation. This move will not only strengthen the depleted group but will be a shot in their arm to complete their tasks and also be a learning experience for employees.
Having personnel from varied background in one focus group helps an organisation during exigencies to reign in solutions with brilliant and innovative solutions. More so, cross functional groups can also prepare a ‘standard-approach’ for employees to face these emergencies. The cross functional approach of groups of people from varied backgrounds, like marketing, sales, product teams helps achieve a common goal, task or function aides the long term objective of the organisation understanding its versatility, flexibility and ability of its employees.
Such collaboration has become imminent these days as it affects the work-life balance, brings in social, behavioural and cognitive changes especially with the ‘Work from Home’ norm taking precedence. Hence, to overcome these bottlenecks, cross-functional approach has become the need of the hour and a way of working.
Remote Cross-Functional Teams is the Need of The Hour
The Covid pandemic has brought about a sudden shift to the standard work arrangements as managers and teams are facing its impact. Problem-solving has taken precedence and has become a primary skillset of managers. The need of the hour is to have a group of people from different teams in a single task force to execute the mandate. With the inclusion of employees from diverse backgrounds with a common objectives – increases the output with lesser bottlenecks. It helps the teams assess situations faster and such cross-functional teams can give you an edge over others especially while working remotely.
Thus, it’s essential to understand the dynamics of managing such cross-functional collaboration. A team’s ability to communicate and collaborate will have a direct impact on whether the company will recover from a crisis. To avoid setbacks, developing a skilled cross-functional team and its strategical implementation is essential. Every organisation should to work towards the five essential parameters to create an effective cross functional output.
Modern resource management softwares plugged into a collaborative platform can keep a measure of the output of the employees. It lets you assess the progression of the scheduled projects while alterations and additions can be made depending on their existing need. Resources, if unutilised, can be transferred where there is an urgent need for a different task.
Strong communication channels will play a vital role in having transparency and can be maintained digitally over regular messaging and video conferencing applications. Organizing group calls for virtual meals, or one-on-one will ensure effective engagement.
Establish Task Responsibility
Allocating resources by task and skills-specificity maintains accountability. Establishing responsibilities will improve transparency with the task ownership. Maintain a practice of assigning task ownership so that follow-ups becomes effortless and purposeful.
Setting milestones is imperative to move closer to the desired goal and one can set milestones using the SMART methodology i.e. Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. Ask critical questions justifying each of these five components to help achieve the desired result, clarity of thoughts and help set realistic milestones.
Cross-functional working can get the best out of every member involved in the team with the help of effective rewards and recognition to nurture these positive behaviours. This lets teams feel valued which ultimately uplifts their morale