Silo mentality is one of the most significant obstacles to organisational success.  It has become more severe and more common during the era of hybrid working and especially remote working.

Because communication takes more effort, and is more subject to  errors and misunderstandings. when people are not face-to-face, it means that employees are often not sharing information with departments or teams as frequently (or in the same way) as they previously did.

As a result, members of a team may not fully share the purpose or operating parameters of a project, or they may be working at cross purposes on different parts of a project.

And, of course, if information is not fully shared, it is less likely that ideas will build on one another – and innovation is stifled.

It is rather obvious that in such a situation we need to improve communication in ways which reduce this silo mentality – and encourage people to engage across teams and to share a common purpose.

This has to start at the top with effective and repeated sharing of the organisation’s vision and purpose – and the contribution to be made by various groups and teams.

Managers should seek cooperation and alliances with other groups and teams  – to create semi-permanent communication channels with other teams.

Managers should also set clear objectives and SMART targets which focus their staff on outputs and outcomes.

Any signs of conflict or competition across teams has to be sorted as quickly as possible

Praise, recognition and rewards should be cross-team and reinforce collaborative links snd alliances.

If effective links can be built with members of other complementary teams in pursuit of agreed goals and a clear vision of success, silos start to disappear.  

However, managers need to stay alert to the effects of residual or re-growing silos and take immediate action to destroy them, refocusing efforts of staff on what is to be achieved.