Why data-informed cross-team sync may be the key for successful hybrid evolution?
General business | People Leader | Human Resources

Why data-informed cross-team sync may be the key for successful hybrid evolution?

One of the biggest challenges while working in a hybrid environment is staying innovative and sharing knowledge. Why is that? Hybrid teams tend to create silos, which results in less peer-to-peer interactions with people from various teams across the organization. Science suggests that this can have a negative impact on a company’s innovativeness.

In today’s article we’re going to talk about how you can use data to stay innovative while working in a hybrid model.

#1 Peer-to-peer learning and innovations are not working well in hybrid

Alicia, a team leader in an IT company, doesn’t feel like the productivity or engagement of her team has gone down since they’ve started working remotely. However, what’s she concerned about, is the fact that it’s harder to interact with other teams, as you can no longer jump into someone in the kitchen and chat about other projects. The only place where people from various teams meet is during language classes, but let’s be honest, no one talks there about work.

According to research by Nature, the main challenges of hybrid work involve diminished connectivity and peer-to-peer learning, cross-team knowledge brokerage, and lack of alignment and cohesion. All of these factors can be identified in the above-described scenario. To prevent this situation from occurring at your organization, I strongly advise you to turn into cross-team collaboration data, to verify:

●     How many interactions across teams there are

●     How much time employees spend on asynchronous vs synchronous collaboration

●     How often do they interact with people higher up in the hierarchy, etc.

#2 Give people leaders cross-team collaboration data to help them thinking about network of teams around them  

Let’s assume you’re a marketing leader. Would you like to know the answers to the questions like:

●     Which teams does your own team collaborate with the most?

●     How is your team connected with other teams?

I am assuming you’re nodding in agreement. Using ONA data driven approach can give you the answers to the above questions and more.

Here are your top collaborators:

The list above gives you an overview of all your top collaborators from the last 4 weeks. The lines show you the number of meaningful connections (among 8 employees max) between your team and other teams. For instance, in the past 4 weeks your marketing team had 119 meaningful connections with the PR department.  In general, the more connections your team has with other teams, the higher its place on the list.  

The image below, which I call the network,shows how your team connects with their top collaborators:

#3 Analytics can help you provide continuous feedback and suggest the right course of action

Finally, your analytics data should be used to provide your team with regular feedback, and to help leaders make data-informed decisions regarding cross-team routines and rituals.

To put your data to use, provide people leaders with continuous feedback and inspire them with suggestions of actions, for example:

●     Avoid becoming siloed with teams that your own team should work with effectively to boost business value. Among others, coming across one another at the office, or engaging in regular cross-team routines will make the collaboration easier.

●     Avoid cross-team collaboration overload. If you notice that you’re cooperating too much with teams you should not directly work with in the first place, work on the root causes. Ask yourself about the reason – are bad processes, unclear communication, or maybe old habits to blame?

The goal here is to bring your team’s top collaboration paths, i.e., those that boost business impact, forward, and not those that result from faulty collaboration habits. That being said, avoid getting siloed with the teams you genuinely should work with.

Why is this important? Maintaining every single connection requires time and attention. Manage the communication with other teams to avoid isolation and miscommunication, and nurture the interactions that bring the most business value.

Final remarks

Avoiding silos and improving cross-team communication are two critical factors that contribute to effective hybrid organization success. If you want to make sure that your teams aren’t missing out on any important information “between the lines”, and that they’re not overburdened with work with other, non-essential teams, it’s important to use the right analytics tools.

By using an ONA platform like Network Perspective, you’ll gain continuous access to intra- and cross-team collaboration habits. As a result, you’ll be able to spot any early signs of miscommunication and potential silos, and take action to alleviate them.

Interested in learning more? Reach out, and we’ll happily discuss how we can support your organization!

August 20, 2021

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