Every smart organization knows that, no matter the size of the organization, employees should wear many hats. This may seem counter intuitive, given that positions within a company typically have defined job descriptions. But by giving employees the opportunity to ‘work’ outside the box, employees have a greater sense of investment in the success of projects they contribute to, as well as the organization as a whole.
At Bottom Line, weekly staff meetings focus not on what each department is doing, but rather, the project we are working on. By focusing on the project, we bring several employees into the discussion, giving everyone ownership. Staff meetings are not a series of monologues! Every employee has the opportunity to discuss what component in the project they have contributed to, what was the result to their contribution, and what are the next steps.
When thinking about how you can integrate your employees into the whole organization, here are a few suggestions:
- Consider the value of cross-department interaction and how it can be implemented. Do not be a silo. Silos are self-contained, stand-alone entities that have little, if any, interaction or knowledge with other areas within your organization. At Bottom Line, we use a project-based approach to break down silos. What can you use to integrate employees?
- Think in terms of the end result. Develop a mindset of not what each department does, but what each department contributes.
- Understand that your employees have multiple skill sets, not just those that they were hired for. Be proactive in seeking out those hidden skill sets and use them to both your employee’s and your organization’s advantage. By placing value on what the employee has to offer as a whole, you are fostering a stronger sense of ownership by the employee, as well as a willingness to go above and beyond the job description. At Bottom Line, it is not unusual for someone hired to do the bookkeeping to also write a blog post!