Learning & Development

5 Ways to Make Cross-Department Collaboration Better

Every office has a mixture of personality types, from the dedicated hard worker to the dreamer. These personalities don’t always mix well. Today’s Advisor will explore five ways you can maintain a balance among these and other personalities in your office.

In a press release from Robert Half® Finance & Accounting, a new survey revealed that 39% of chief financial officers (CFOs) say the greatest challenge for finance and accounting professionals—when working with those in other departments—is learning to interact with a variety of personalities.

“For functions such as accounting and finance that interact with a broad cross-section of business units, navigating disparate protocols and personalities can be tricky,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. “The most successful and satisfied employees work well with just about everyone. Building relationships across departments ensures enhanced collaboration, smoother processes, and greater influence for practitioners.”

McDonald added that showing mutual respect while working cooperatively is imperative. “Find ways to support each other, even if you don’t all agree,” he advised. “A little empathy can go a long way to promoting goodwill and fostering a positive work environment for everyone.”


What does the future of your workplace look like? Join us to find out on Thursday, September 24, 2015, with a free interactive webcast, The Future of Work: How to Embrace the Evolving Definition of the Workplace to Boost Performance and Increase Employee Engagement. Learn More


Following are five tips to improve cross-department collaboration:

  1. Build bridges. The person you call out publicly in a budget meeting could be the one you need to sign off on an expense request next week. Instead of burning bridges, try to understand pressures your colleagues may be facing in their own jobs. This can give you greater insight into their approach and help you enhance rapport.
  2. Make sure everyone has a voice. Meet frequently with team members and be sure to ask less vocal colleagues for their opinions so everyone has a chance to chime in. Also get to know employees in various departments so it’s easier to work together in the future.
  3. Don’t put off the inevitable. Avoiding confrontation doesn’t address the root of a problem or help to foster collaboration. Take the time to peacefully resolve work conflicts, and listen as much as you talk during these conversations.
  4. Skip the silo mentality. Companies that readily share information across departments tend to see greater efficiencies and higher staff morale. Providing others with insight into processes also helps them understand the time or resources needed for various cross-department initiatives.
  5. Put yourself out there. Spend time outside the office with colleagues to strengthen relationships at work. Chat at company gatherings or invite coworkers from other departments to lunch to get to know them better.

For additional commentary on why successful cross-departmental collaboration is so critical for accounting and finance teams, read McDonald’s latest blog post.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Finance & Accounting, a firm specializing in financial recruitment service. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 2,200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

Collaborating isn’t as easy as getting up and visiting your colleague’s desk anymore because the workplace isn’t necessarily defined by a physical place. These days, employees are hyper-connected to their work, their colleagues, their clients, and their customers more than ever before through valuable technology-based solutions that allow them to work with on a 24/7 basis across offices and across the globe. Fortunately, there’s timely help in the form of a new webcast—The Future of Work: How to Embrace the Evolving Definition of the Workplace to Boost Performance and Increase Employee Engagement. In just 60 minutes, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the future of the workplace.

Register today for this free (thanks to Citrix) interactive webcast.


What does the future of work mean for your organization? Join us for a free interactive webcast, The Future of Work: How to Embrace the Evolving Definition of the Workplace to Boost Performance and Increase Employee Engagement. Earn 1 hour in HRCI Recertification Credit and 1hour in SHRM Professional Development Credit. Register Now


By participating in this interactive webcast, you’ll learn:

  • How top companies known for innovation and collaboration are defining the workplace of today
  • Tips on fostering the collaborative, creative, and innovative sharing of ideas across virtual workgroups
  • The keys to success for managing your virtual offices—so employees consistently perform at a high level while you streamline processes
  • How client virtualization technology can help you simplify how your organization manages company-issued laptops being used remotely—and keep help keep their data secure
  • And much more!

Register now for this webcast.

Thursday, September 24, 2015
2:00 p.m. (Eastern)
1:00 p.m. (Central)
12:00 p.m. (Mountain)
11:00 a.m. (Pacific)

Approved for Recertification Credit and Professional Development Credit

This program has been approved for 1 credit hour toward recertification through the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) and 1 credit hour towards SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

Join us on Thursday, September 24 for the free, in-depth The Future of Work: How to Embrace the Evolving Definition of the Workplace to Boost Performance and Increase Employee Engagement webcast.

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