How a Social Intranet Can Help You Achieve that All-important Cross-team Synergy

collaborate-2.pngHappy New Year! Over the past few months, we've talked often about the benefits of a social intranet and its role in cross-team collaboration. After all, no man, woman or team is an island.

Well, that very same social intranet can help you achieve the all-important cross-team synergy, too. Getting various teams and departments to work together effectively is vital to so many areas of your business, but so often, it doesn’t come naturally. Employees get used to their regular ways of working and can find it difficult to venture outside of their regular knowledge silos, even if it’s in the spirit of teamwork and better business outcomes.

The Harvard Business Review puts it this way:

“Although teams that are large, virtual, diverse, and composed of highly educated specialists are increasingly crucial with challenging projects, those same four characteristics make it hard for teams to get anything done. Members of complex teams are less likely—absent other influences—to share knowledge freely, to learn from one another, to shift workloads flexibly to break up unexpected bottlenecks, to help one another complete jobs and meet deadlines, and to share resources—in other words, to collaborate.”

Not a very promising prognosis is it? Luckily, there is something that can be done to change your organization’s fate when it comes to cross-team collaboration. A social intranet offers features and a way of working that easily brings disparate teams and departments onto one platform and enables them to unite both their projects and knowledge.

Social intranets are feature-rich platforms and offer companies more than just one business tool all on one platform, unlike prevalent stand-alone feature applications. By having everything all in one place, a social intranet puts both the tools and your company knowledge in a central location, making it easier for teams to collaborate on documents and files, as well as share information.

Social intranets bring a lot of collaboration benefits to the table. To make the most of your cross-team efforts, start by leveraging these features, and add more into the mix as your team synergy grows.

1. Document Collaboration

The document collaboration capabilities of a social intranet are worth their weight in gold for organizations trying to smooth the way their teams cross-collaborate. We’ve all experienced the struggles of trying to work and collaborate on the same documents when they’re spread across multiple individuals and teams – not to mention saved on several local systems.

With a social intranet’s document collaboration feature, users can write, edit and comment on documents within the platform in real time. Now there’s no excuse not to get another team’s feedback on that new project you’ve been working on!

2. Enterprise File Sharing

Along with document collaboration, social intranets also offer users the ability to share and store files, making them accessible to multiple teams. Like we mentioned above, a major side effect of siloed teams is documents and files end up being stored in personal folders, desktops or email inboxes and are never properly filed away or shared with key team members.

A social intranet is the perfect repository for file storage and sharing. Everything within a social intranet can be properly sorted according to project, topic – you name it – and anyone across the company can access any files they need. An added bonus? Its powerful and intelligent search function ensures you’ll always be able to recall the documents you need so you don’t feel like you’re losing your mind when you can’t find something.

3. Private and Group Chat

Communication is key to successful collaboration, especially the cross-team variety. People have enough trouble communicating effectively with colleagues they work with on a daily basis and with whom they have a strong rapport and history. Throw in new people and new team dynamics, and you could be looking at trouble.

A social intranet’s private and group chat feature in a social intranet can help grease the skids as everyone gets brought up-to-speed and acclimated with working with new people. It enables employees to easily initiate conversations, ask questions and get to know each other.

Making the best use of your social intranet – particularly with document collaboration, enterprise file sharing and private and group chat features – can make a dramatic impact in your cross-team collaboration and synergy.

For a few pointers on improving social intranet adoption, check out our webinar with 451 Research.