Keys to Interdepartmental Collaboration

Due to the ability to see the financial outcomes of good collaborative relationships within a business,  accounting managers are well-positioned to promote them. These departmental relationships can either increase or limit the bottom line. So, what are the keys to supporting good interdepartmental collaboration?

Mutual Understanding

Each department should already by familiar with its individual purpose, challenges, and expected outcomes. Linking this knowledge across all departments ensures that all staff is aware of the basic purposes that each department brings to the organization. Doing so helps to:

  • Break down work silos that limit communication and cross-fertilization of ideas.
  • Promote sensitivity about others’ work.
  • Create opportunities for cross-training that further supports collaboration.
  • Foster a sense of common purpose.

Shared Language

Shared vocabulary and messaging across an organization promotes collaboration. This is apparent in the mission, values statements, and marketing materials. Integrating shared language into conversations and communication across departments reduces confusion prompted by mixed messages.

Common Spaces

Intentionally designed common spaces offer opportunities to share resources and conversation. If strategically placed, common areas encourage employees to move outside their departments’ designated zones. This can lead to casual exchanges that lead to relational cooperation. These spaces may include:

  • Office machines
  • Impromptu meeting areas
  • Water cooler and snack items
  • Access to company-wide media

Can-do, Cooperative Language and Tone

In finance and accounting terms, cooperative language focuses on assets while lessening liabilities language. That shift fosters collaboration between people. When team managers are encouraged to adopt this positive, can-do approach, everyone benefits. This ultimately leads to interdepartmental cooperation as:

  • Employees compare notes with each other about the positive work atmosphere.
  • Stress and the tension created by competition lessen, leading to:
    • Increased exchange of ideas and creativity
    • A happier workplace with performance improvements
    • Reductions in absenteeism
  • Feedback focuses on strengths and how to apply these to further develop in other areas.

Celebrate Camaraderie and Interdepartmental Collaboration

Large and small celebrations across and within departments create a sense of good cheer and cooperation. Recruit frontline staff from various areas within the organization to plan memorable ways to encourage interdepartmental collaborative initiatives.


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