Communication among departments on the days leading up to each event is always a challenge.
The chaos that results from bad communication is stressful enough.
But, the icing is that it probably has caused you to deal with big hits to your budget as well.
The marketing team oversold their sponsorships, and they’ve decided to let you know – this morning. Sound familiar?
How do you take control of all the chaos? How do you begin improving communication among all departments while getting the details you need on time?
Poor communication can have disastrous consequences. Don’t you think so?
It’s even worse when it accumulates and affects all areas of your operation. Right? Painful – we know.
But, don’t worry. You can fix it.
Let’s first consider why there may be a breakdown.
How to Diagnose Your Communication Breakdown
Are you having trouble figuring out what’s happening between your teams? Can’t seem to put your finger on the communication issues stalling efficiency?
Consider these four symptoms of poor interaction between your departmental teams.
- Conflicts between employees produces communication breakdown
- Communication takes time
- Communication guidelines are not written in black and white
- Physical separation is a factor
Conflicts between employees produces communication breakdown
When managers or staff are not speaking to each other, it makes it tough for others to communicate effectively.
Personal agendas and conflict prevent the team (and complete operation) from communicating effectively.
Communication takes time
Members of other teams may not take the time to share relevant information when they’re under pressure to complete tasks and deadlines within their department.
When the pressure to produce is present, communication as a priority may not be present to them.
Communication guidelines are not written in black and white
The importance of documenting crucial details, processes, and protocols is as important as tracking incidents.
Many times, procedures for interdepartmental communication are not outlined. But they need to be!
Physical separation is a factor
Effective communication among departments is challenging when they’re located on different floors or other buildings.
Space can create obstacles.
Sharing crucial information may be less important to them than potentially making that dreaded trek to the top of the stadium where your office.
The chance of you truly being there is slim to none too!
Improving the Communication Disparity in Four Steps
We know you’re busy, that’s why we put together four short and useful steps to improve communication.
You don’t have to wait for your next game to put them into either.
You can start the process today.
- Identify the vital information always needed
- Build camaraderie amongst your department heads
- Create and use processes inclusive of communication among departments
- Invest in operation management software
1. Identify the vital information always needed
Which information does not change each week?
Each department needs to create a list of the missing details from other departments and their routine expectations.
You always know you’ll need the number of sponsorship activations so you can order enough chairs.
There you go. The first one we did for you.
The need-to-know information gets to the need-to-know employees, and let’s not forget, on time.
2. Build camaraderie amongst your department heads
We’re huge proponents of role-playing, but team building is great too, especially if you’re working with other leaders.
Develop quality leaders and the rest of your operation benefits.
Once they’re communicating on the same channel – it’ll trickle down.
Team building can significantly improve how well department leaders and their teams work with each other and other departments.
3. Create and use processes inclusive of communication among departments
Each department needs to include steps outlining when and how information should flow between departments before, during and after games congruent with your vision.
Now it’ll be in black and white.
4. Invest in operation management software
What’s this you ask? It’s the glue.
After you’ve enhanced communication among teammates, bring it together with software that will take your operation and communication to another level.
But, not just software that’s limited to one functionality. Invest in fully integrated operation management software.
Picture this; your frontline staff now have the ability to communicate a broken cup holder to the command center through hand-held mobile applications.
But it gets better.
The command center operator pushes the details of the broken cup holder into your incident management system with a click of a button.
Then they quickly and seamlessly generate a work order within the software for the maintenance team to view, manage, and complete the work order directly from the CMMS that talks to your incident management system.
Click, click, done. How’s that for efficiency?!
Over to You
It’s not too late to take control of your chaos. The sooner you can improve the communication throughout all departments; the faster your operation will be humming.
Now, let’s jump-start your communication so you can kick your feet up and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Editor's note: This post was originally published in July 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.