Why You Need to Eliminate Information Silos

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Keeping your company well organized is essential to achieving greater growth and success. Further, it goes a long way toward helping your company stay on track as you navigate this new normal… However, to accomplish this task and turn your business into a well-oiled machine, you may have to overcome a major obstacle: information silos.   

When silos aren’t addressed, they can cause disorder, chaos, and waste within your company, which is the last thing you want right now. Moreover, they can have an impact on every part of your business—from staff performance to profitability.

If you’ve noticed that your entire staff isn’t in sync, projects aren’t being completed, and data isn’t consistent across the board, silos are likely to blame. 

To get your company back on the path toward success, you need to eliminate those information silos immediately. 

What Is an Information Silo?

Before you can attempt to resolve an information silo, it’s important to understand what it actually is. 

Essentially, an information silo is a lack of interdepartmental communication and collaboration at a company.  

Typically, information silos occur when different departments or groups of employees fail to share knowledge and resources with one another. In such cases, team members and managers in one department exchange information; however, they neglect to pass it along to others in the company. 

Why does this happen?

There are a few possible reasons. Silos often pop up because…

  • Communication among staff members isn’t encouraged enough
  • Different teams use their own unique systems and processes
  • Departments work in isolation instead of with one another 
  • Management restricts the flow of information
  • There isn’t a company-wide vision or set of goals

Although information silos are commonly found in larger companies that have several departments and use a wide variety of tools, they can exist in smaller businesses as well. Further, they frequently occur when there’s a lack of synergy, such as when team members are having to adjust to remote work.

What Are the Problems Associated with Information Silos?

The main issue with information silos is that they prevent knowledge, data, and other resources from flowing throughout your company. When important details aren’t made available to everyone, it can lead to disorganization and waste. 

After all, a big part of keeping your company in order is making sure everyone is on the same page. Unfortunately, this is tough when your staff is either unable or unwilling to share information.

Silos can also lead to a number of other problems. 

Misplaced Priorities

Information silos make it difficult (if not impossible) for those in your company to come to an agreement regarding priorities. 

Without information sharing, staff members get just one piece of the puzzle. They can only work with the knowledge and data specific to their department, so they prioritize projects they believe are most important—even when they’re not.    

Data Discrepancies

When silos go unaddressed, you can wind up with discrepancies in your company’s data. 

A lack of organization in terms of information flow means that departments only have the facts and figures they’re able to pull. And since they can’t see everything that’s going in the company, mistakes are often made. 

Unreached Goals

To achieve the goals you’ve set for your company, communication and collaboration are crucial. However, when information silos aren’t dealt with, it becomes harder for your entire staff to work as a unit. 

As a result, productivity can slow down, allowing goals to go unreached. 

Task Duplication

A broad view of the company’s activities is needed to ensure that everyone is working as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, silos don’t allow such a view.

When staff members can’t see what others are doing, there’s no way to know if their work is being performed by someone else. Therefore, task duplication is a common issue, which wastes both time and money. 

Low Morale

Information silos don’t just affect the inner workings of your company. They also affect your company culture.  

Without the freedom to communicate and collaborate with others in your business, staff members can start to feel isolated, especially if they’re struggling with a new working style already. This leads to low morale on a company-wide scale, which can also result in poor attitude and performance.   

How to Fix Information Silos

To improve organization and efficiency in your company, you need to fix the silos that exist. As soon as you notice a disconnect between departments or groups of employees, it’s time to take action. 

Here are 3 steps to get your company in order for greater success.  

1) Develop a Unified Vision and Set of Goals. 

Developing a unified vision and set of goals for your company can go a long way toward eliminating information silos. However, this is just part of the equation. You also need to make sure that every staff member actually knows…

  • Where the company is headed
  • What their role is in getting there

In doing so, you can provide your employees with the insight they need to start working more effectively. When everyone understands what the company is trying to accomplish, they can get in alignment with one another, streamlining their efforts for better results. 

2) Encourage Communication and Collaboration.

Silos often occur because communication and collaboration aren’t encouraged enough. That’s why it’s so crucial that you allow interdepartmental interaction.  

When you foster an environment in which employees across different departments are free to share information and discuss ideas, your company becomes better for it. Barriers are broken down, which means mistakes are less likely to be made and goals are more likely to be reached. 

In addition to holding company-wide meetings (even virtual ones) on a regular basis, give staff members the means to talk and work with one another every day. It’s especially important to invest in communication and file-sharing technology if your team is working remotely.

3) Implement New Tools and Processes. 

To fix information silos and improve organization within your company, you may need to implement new tools and processes that can be used across the board. 

By instituting company-wide processes that everyone can follow, it makes it easier to keep everyone aligned. Further, investing in document management software can allow for a better flow of information. Giving everyone in your company the ability to access key data and details can reduce discrepancies, providing a more accurate view of performance. 

In Summary

A well-organized company is one that shares information across all departments. So, if you want to get your business in order, reduce waste, and achieve greater success in the current landscape, eliminating information silos is a must. 

Take a close look at how knowledge and resources are handled in your company. If there are clear signs that disorganization is an issue, make every effort to eliminate silos and ensure everyone has access to important information.   

If you find you need additional help in dealing with disorganization in your business, feel free to contact the experts at Smart Business Doctor LLC