Is Siloing Causing Brain Drain?

Oct-BrainDrain-imageGrowth can be a beautiful thing for an organization to experience. Whether it be in the form of new contracts or a pressing need to take on one new employee to help with increasing demands, a business which undergoes growth is generally one that’s moving in the right direction. With growth, however, comes an entirely new set of challenges that can create roadblocks along the way. As new departments and teams begin to form, so too does the issue of “siloing.”


What is siloing, exactly? It’s more of a mentality than anything else, often characterized by the mindset that only one’s own immediate work matters—detrimental to the big picture philosophies that so many CEOs and managers strive to foster among employees. Often, though, siloing is more a result of one’s work environment and adopted processes than their own work style. With 39% of surveyed employees complaining of a lack of collaboration within their organizations, the problem is becoming noticeable on all fronts.


So, how can CEOs and HR directors break down the silos between departments and create a more holistic workforce? Here are just a few things you can do now to start moving things in the right direction.

Discourage Cross-Department Negativity

When was the last time you heard someone complain that they haven’t been able to complete their current task because the job is being held up by someone in marketing or accounting? Delays happen, and it’s easy to place the blame on another department when you’re confident that you’ve been holding up your end of the bargain. Negativity in the workplace does very little to foster teamwork or break down silos between departments, however—if anything, it serves as a reason to put up walls.


HR directors should make it a point to discourage cross-department negativity in any circumstance, no matter how stressful the scenario at hand may be.


There’s virtually no end to the number of factors that can encourage siloing, but one of the most common across organizations is a lack of incentive to take extra steps. If an employee believes their job exists within a rigid set of guidelines and sees no real purpose in extending themselves beyond what has been delegated, he or she will likely contribute to the siloing issues your organization may be experiencing. Incentivize, however, and you’ll likely see a shift in attitude across your entire staff. Be creative with how you incentivize—there’s more to showing your appreciation for a job well-done than extra PTO.

Implement Collaboration Software

The quickest way for departments to become siloed from one another is to stop paying attention to each other’s work. This is where collaboration software (also referred to as “Enterprise Resource Software”) comes in. The benefits of collaboration software are innumerable, ranging from happier employees to markedly increased productivity across departments. At its very core, however, collaboration software gives your employees a daily snapshot of things that are happening throughout the organization, enhancing communication and adding context to what might otherwise look like a myriad of unconnected tasks.


HR directors and CEOs alike owe it to themselves to de-silo their organizations. Once the walls come down, the benefits arrive in short order.