Aligning your online community team cross-functionally
A common challenge that organisations often face is how to align their online community team with other departments to achieve shared goals and enhance overall effectiveness. Too often, the community program can float, with leaders finding it difficult to tie ROI and outputs into other functional priorities. However, there are ways to ensure alignment, fostering a culture of collaboration and integration between the community and other teams.
Understanding the bigger picture
Before diving into the process of alignment, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the organisation’s overall strategy, objectives, and priorities. This holistic view will help align the community team’s objectives with the broader purpose of the business, ensuring that all efforts are directed towards relevant and compatible goals.
Fostering cross-boundary collaboration
Integration and progress don’t happen in isolation. They require effective communication and collaboration across various teams and departments. Building relationships, sharing information, seeking inputs, and leveraging diverse perspectives can enhance the community team’s output and demonstrate how it can support other departments in achieving their objectives.
Adapting to changing needs
The nature of alignment is such that it’s not a one-time event but a continuous process. The community team must be flexible and responsive to changing needs, demands, and opportunities to align with other departments effectively. This involves monitoring the results of the team’s initiatives, gathering feedback, and making necessary adjustments.
Celebrating success and sharing achievements
Recognising and celebrating achievements is an integral part of fostering a culture of alignment. By communicating the team’s success and highlighting the successes brought on by cross-functional collaboration, leaders can inspire and influence others to proactively seek better integrate with the community team.
Connecting with other leaders
Aligning with other leaders and departments is crucial for achieving the community team’s vision and strategy. Identifying common goals and values, building trust, and fostering a culture of clear and consistent communication will pave the path for effective collaboration and mutual growth. Continuously seeking that point of overlap between cross-functional objectives is the key to productive co-dependance.
Encouraging peer-to-peer collaboration
The modern workforce, split between remote, hybrid and onsite team members, prefers highly collaborative workplaces that encourage trust, teamwork and clear communication. By directly fostering an environment of collaboration, organisations can enhance team alignment through the implementation of mutual road mapping workshops and regular check-ins.
Celebrating team wins
Celebrating team wins, both big and small, can significantly boost team member morale and motivation. Regular recognition of cross-functional accomplishments can encourage teams to work together and proactively seek others’ expertise and unique perspectives.
Implementing a collaborative planning process
Implementing a collaborative planning process can bridge the communication gap between leadership and frontline workers, fostering team alignment. Involving the community team early in high-level organisational and individual departments’ planning process can encourage engagement and provide a more rounded understanding of how to approach strategic goals.
Leveraging enterprise discussion platforms
Often, your organisation will have access to an enterprise discussion platform, which can enhance team alignment and collaborative planning. By allowing open-ended questions and responses, these tools can help gather objective feedback and ideas from all team members.
Achieving alignment between an online community team and other departments is crucial for organisational effectiveness. By understanding the bigger picture, fostering collaboration, adapting to changing needs, celebrating success, and leveraging the right tools, organisations can ensure that their community team is engaged with each function’s drive to achieve its objectives.
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