After learning more about possible problems, let’s examine some best practices for creating a successful, efficient cross-functional team.
1) Encourage diversity
It’s time for your company to start giving diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) efforts top priority, if you haven’t already. It is an integral component of any positive workplace culture and is very advantageous to your company. DEI is crucial for keeping top talent. Nearly 80% of employees want to work for a business that supports inclusion, equity, and diversity. In addition, they want to know that their company will speak out when necessary; 82 percent of sales executives anticipate that their CEO would speak out on social problems, according to Forrester.
As you assemble your cross-functional team, diversity should be a top priority and not only be restricted to tenure or experience. Make sure the team you create is varied in terms of age, ethnicity, status, gender, knowledge, background, and other factors. By doing this, you’ll guarantee a range of viewpoints, backgrounds, expertise, and beliefs, all of which will contribute to a more informed and effective operation.
2) Install responsible leadership
Strong leadership is essential for your cross-functional team’s success, as we just said. Gain the support of the leadership by emphasizing the need of cross-departmental cooperation and linking the effectiveness of your cross-functional team to that of its leaders. Hold those leaders responsible for their involvement with and dedication to the team, and urge them to set an example for others to follow.
3) Clearly define objectives, resources, and due dates.
Your cross-functional team needs a defined plan of action before they can get started. It won’t be enough to only point out problems and suggest fixes; the team must also be aware of every step they must take to be successful. Set explicit milestones, assign adequate resources, create precise deadlines, and specify specific objectives for both individuals and larger teams.
Ensure that the instruments your team uses to monitor and assess their development are effective enough to hold them accountable. To prevent anything from impeding the team’s productivity, each employee should be able to quickly access and comprehend the most important tasks, deliverables, and deadlines.
4) Establish guidelines for communication
In addition to having leaders who function as authoritative figures and facilitate discourse, it’s crucial to create a space where everyone feels heard. Every team member, regardless of rank, should understand from the start that their thoughts matter and are respected. Leaders should constantly be open to input and be prepared to change their strategy depending on other opinions.
5) Create guidelines for constructive dispute resolution
Conflicts will unavoidably occur in a cross-functional working setting, as they do on any team. In reality, because each member has conflicting viewpoints, objectives, and ideas, they commonly happen in cross-functional teams. By establishing a plan for constructive disagreement and providing training at the start of the team’s formation, leaders may prevent problems that could otherwise impede production. They should also organize team outings, play games, and do trust-building exercises to foster relationships and boost morale.
6) Continue to assess developments.
Your cross-functional team’s capacity to be flexible and adaptable is essential to its success. It could be time to reassess things if team members aren’t meeting deadlines, you aren’t achieving your goals when you believe you should be, or too many problems are emerging. Cross-functional teams that are successful understand that nothing is set in stone and that sometimes little adjustments may have a huge impact.