How to Boost Productivity of Your Cross-Functional Team

According to Walt Disney, “You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality.” The reality is that in the corporate world, companies are no longer utilizing the outdated top-to-bottom hierarchy system of management.
In a top-to-bottom system of management, crucial decisions are inevitably made by the person at the top of the ranking. On the contrary, in a cross-functional team, the power of judgment is distributed amongst groups and associates. Avant-garde organizations are embracing the change that comes with a cross-functional team structure.

What is a Cross-Functional Team?


A cross-functional team comprises of a group of individuals with varying functional roles and expertise that work together to achieve a common goal. A single group includes members working at different levels within the organization. Some teams can also have representatives from outside the organization.
Cross-functional teams accomplish tasks with diversity and innovation. Cross-functional groups achieve assignments faster than their traditional counterparts. The final realization is a creative and pioneering solution. There are several question when anybody talks about cross-functional approach:

  • How do you set up a cross-functional organization to succeed?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of a cross-functional team?
  • What are the best practices for cross-functional workers?

Refrain From Relying on Meetings


Managers frequently engage employees to participate in meetings to “pick their brain.” During the meeting, the manager can ask anything. The employee must reply to all inquisitions truthfully and honestly. The manager can decide any application of measures based on the information from the meeting. Alternatively, the manager can choose to do nothing.
How many times have meetings boosted positivity in a team? In a primitive world, meetings might have been consequential. Today there are other more productive forms of communication instead of face-to-face conversation. Cross-functional teams rely on contemporary ways of exchanging information, which is faster and more efficient. Meetings waste time and resources.

Assign Teams Exclusive Areas of Responsibility (AOR)


The business plan of an organization determines its main commercial activity. The business plan divides the company’s retail operations into specific tasks. Groups are designated to complete each task. Over time, a group specializes in a particular area of responsibility (AOR).
All of the groups in an organization collaborate or cooperate to produce a finished product. Over time, the members of each group become more and more specialized in their area of responsibility. The expertise develops because each group incorporates staff members who are more qualified and experienced for the roles.

Designate Specific Roles To Each Member


Clarifying roles after defining team areas of responsibility helps prevent misunderstandings. Misgivings about roles and responsibilities can easily lead to conflicts between employees and groups. Team leaders explicitly decide the purpose of each employee within a particular group based on the function of that group.
Managers can procure personnel to meet the requirements of each specialized position within the group. Resourceful team leaders discuss with each employee the goals, demands, prerequisites, and potential obstacles they face in completing their duties. The contribution each worker makes helps the company implement new changes to increase productivity.

Get to Know Each Other to Be Productive


Does it make a difference if you know your colleagues personally or professionally? Is it easier to cooperate with co-workers maintaining a strictly formal relationship? Are you curious about how your co-worker feels about a particular issue at work?
Working in an intensely formal office environment is unnecessarily tiring. Employees make more mistakes working in an excessively conventional setting. One of the best ways to reduce anxiety at work is to get to know each other. It is easier to deal with demanding clients when you can communicate freely with your co-worker. Working together makes it easier to handle complicated situations.

Define Communication Standards and Vocabulary that Everyone Understands


Communication improves when everybody understands the fundamental terminology related to business speciality. Some fields of business have a very confusing vocabulary. People can get easily bewildered by the unknown vocabulary, although the meaning of the words might be fundamental.
Some employees intentionally use sesquipedalian vocabulary to confuse other workers and hide their shortcomings. Team leaders can introduce new employees to some of the professional jargons that they may face. Group leaders can give instructions to all of their team members to use easy to understand vernacular. If a newcomer is already familiar with the industry-specialized vocabulary, it is a sign that he or she is an experienced individual.

Stay Connected in Real-Time


Cross-functional team members need to be able to make spur of the moment decisions. In some situations, it might not be practical to make an inordinately lengthy phone call to a colleague to get their approval before making a decision.
Organizations use different tools and apps to stay connected in real-time with their team members. Using the software team members can inform their peers of their activities. Team members can administer valuable advice and instructions to their colleagues, which can prevent any setbacks from occurring.

Delegate Authority to Each Member


Some managers assign employees a task and expect them to complete it just like they would do it themselves. Managers need to understand that not all employees have the authority to achieve a project like a manager. Without the appropriate powers, employees are bound to fail. Each member of a cross-functional group should have some level of authority in their jurisdiction.
Group leaders need to ensure that each employee has the necessary authorization to perform their duties efficiently. Managers should try to avoid micromanaging each one of their group member’s activities. Let the employees learn by experience. It will be toilsome in the beginning. But the entire experience will give the group leader elaborate information about each group member. 

Author: Stella Lincoln

I am Stella Lincoln having a master degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in the subject of marketing. I love to spread the knowledge and wisdom. My focus is to enhance my skills and reduce the gap. You can check my write-ups at my blog; Educator House. Nowadays, I am working in HarperCollins Publishers as a Writing Consultant.