How to solve cross-department collaboration problems in your small business

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

By Henry Brown

Encouraging collaboration across departments is one of the things that businesses struggle with the most. It’s very common for different teams to feel as though other departments are not pulling their weight or are working towards a different goal. This is a big problem because, even though every department has its own role to play, they are all cogs in the same machine and need to work seamlessly together. Your sales team can’t get anywhere unless your marketing team generates a lot of qualified leads. But your marketing team is fighting an uphill battle if the customer service department is not performing well and the company has bad reputation as a result. None of your departments can work productively if the HR team is not hiring the right people for the job.

Businesses are always more successful if they can solve the cross collaboration problem, but how exactly do you do that?

Articulate clear goals 

It is important that each department has their own goals to work towards so employees understand what they should be doing on a day-to-day basis. However, it is equally important that everybody can see the bigger picture and has a clear idea of what your overall vision for the company is. This helps them to put their own goals in the context of the wider goals for the company, so they understand where they fit in and how important each department is.

When everybody is working towards the same common goal, you will notice a big increase in cross department collaboration. If you are finding it difficult to set clear goals, visit for a great article to help you get started.

Invest in the right technology

Like many issues in modern business, technology can be a huge help here. If departments are going to collaborate with one another, they need access to the same information and they need the right tools so they can work on projects together without poor communication slowing things down. It is a good idea to call in an IT solutions company (like this one at and get them to help you implement some new collaboration tools. They will be able to assess your business and, once they have an understanding of the challenges that you face, recommend the right tools. Things like project management software or live chat tools are great for making collaboration easy and encouraging communication.

Reconsider your office design 

The way you design your office space has a big impact on collaboration. The outdated cubicle setup divides departments and makes it very difficult for them to work together effectively, so you should consider some open plan areas as well. You should also focus on team working spaces and extra meeting rooms so different departments can meet in a neutral space to work together on projects. If you encourage different departments to mix in the office, it removes the barriers and gives people a sense that they are one big team working on their own area of the business instead of being separate departments that never interact with one another.

These simple changes in your business should help you to encourage cross department collaboration and improve productivity throughout the company.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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