According to 86% of consumers, they can be converted into brand and store loyalists just by good customer service. The question is: how does a company get to a point where it can provide good customer service, earning a loyal following? Exceptional customer service doesn’t come from just one team or department. Enter: the concept of multidisciplinary teams.
This is something your company might have been doing for a long time, and it just happens that you might not be aware. It sounds like an intimidating term at first, but you may be surprised to find out what a multidisciplinary team is. Below are some things you can do to maximize the good that multidisciplinary teams can bring to your company.
9 Ways to maximize multidisciplinary teams
Putting together a group of people from different departments can be daunting. Making the team work takes a lot. If you are curious as to what the multidisciplinary team approach is, here are 9 strategies that you can apply to maximize the efficacy and success of your company’s multidisciplinary teams.
The multidisciplinary approach includes knowing how you can best make the most out of each member. They are privy to training and information specific to their particular department that can be very useful to the attainment of your goals. That’s why it’s vital that you get to know every team member even before the work starts.
A good qualifying round – much like the usual hiring process – would be helpful. Tap into your company’s HR tools and systems to sift through applicants. You can get to know them before meeting them – their skills, abilities, personal goals, and specialties. Knowing who you’re looking at qualifying into the team will make integrating them into the multidisciplinary team more manageable, and you can hope for better team effort results.
As with anything else in life, it’s important to start with the basics. When you’re building a business, you start with the mission and vision for your company before anything else and take it from there. You need a starting point, something that states a purpose. Then, you need a plan – a plan of action, a set of steps that will lead you to the finish line, the realization of a goal in your line of sight.
When you’re putting together multidisciplinary teams, start with the goals, metrics, and timeframe. Check with every team member to make sure that each one of them understands what the multidisciplinary team is for and what they’re going to be working towards. This will also be an excellent time to get their ideas, suggestions, and buy-in, their commitment to giving the job at hand their 100%.
The most effective way for you to be able to harness the power of your multidisciplinary teams is to encourage and nurture constant communication amongst team members. No work will get done if the people in your team continue to do their own thing as though they’re still in their departments. Making communication channels available and constantly open to one and all ensures that the team function with synergy.
Get communication tools that work for your team to minimize confusion, misunderstandings, and frustrations. Whether you prefer instant messaging, video conferencing, or voice calls, you can be sure no one is left out of the loop, regardless if they’re working onsite or remotely. The work never stops, and teamwork flows smoothly because everyone is always up to speed on everything.
4. Use the right tools to help your multidisciplinary team work efficiently
Multidisciplinary teams are like the Special Forces. They are built for a particular purpose. They have designated targets and goals to reach, apart from those of the other regular teams. They operate with a more focused approach to get the best results, and the leadership’s expectations of them are usually higher. Thus, they require the right tools, if not the best, for the job.
If you don’t know which ones you will mainly need but don’t want to miss out, partner with a service provider that can give you access to all the tools your team might need to complete their special mission. Let’s say you need tools for collaboration, sales, and marketing analytics or maximizing productivity, you’ll get more bang for your buck if you use your allotted budget for an all-in-one tools package.
Bitrix24’s Customer Contact Center puts the customer first allowing you to stay focused on what truly matters.
5. Monitor tasks and productivity of your team
Multidisciplinary teams can get a little big, too big for some people, especially if the project is of a significant size. Although you may not want to, some tasks and deadlines could get lost in the gaps. Given how many multidisciplinary team members there may be, other colleagues may take it as a sign to slack a little, leading to becoming unproductive, unmotivated, and dissatisfied with the work.
Include monitoring tasks and projects in your plan for a multidisciplinary team approach. Get your team together through the use of a comprehensive array of tools and apps to keep an eye on tasks, projects, and deadlines.
If you have multidisciplinary team members who are working remotely, you can get an online time clock that will allow them to start, stop and/or pause their work when needed. Assign tasks, create checklists, and project templates, and track working time. With tools like Bitrix24, you also have the capability to visualize your projects with Gantt charts or Kanban boards for more accountability, dependability, and responsibility.
Putting together a team of people is tough enough as it is. Think about how stressful things can get if you’re composing multidisciplinary teams of experts or seniors from different departments. You have egos involved where everyone will want to be considered the “top expert” and team leader. There could also be differing opinions about matters not related to the job at hand, which can cause heated arguments, personality clashes, and conflict in company time.
Instead of focusing on and pointing out differences, make it a point to celebrate them. Highlight how everyone and what they can bring to the table – whether it’s skills or viewpoints - is important to help the team accomplish a common goal. At the same time, cut down any possible argument before it gets bigger and, instead, honor the diversity in your team composition. If your multidisciplinary team members can learn to acknowledge and appreciate the team’s divergence, they will go a long way.
Certain departments and teams oftentimes use specialized and technical language, which can confuse and alienate others. Trying to undo disconnects among multidisciplinary team members can take precious time away from essential work. Part of being a team leader or manager is being able to find a middle ground to make certain that everyone in the multidisciplinary team understands one another.
Put a knowledge base together that can be made available online. This cuts down the time it takes to ask questions and avoids any bafflement. Make this part of your multidisciplinary team approach: meet with the team and make a list of project specific jargon and lingo, and put them all in reference tables. Then, upload these resources in a central repository that everyone can access anytime they need to.
You might get associates from other departments that may have more of a status compared to everyone else, which means some colleagues might be more assertive than others and come on too strong, while others might feel demeaned and belittled at times. This can lead to a struggle for complete control or a power struggle and deteriorate to a breakdown of multidisciplinary teams.
As the manager, make certain everyone understands that in a team, one is the leader. Instead, everyone is a collaborator tapped in to work in accordance with the rest of the team. If you need to show them what sets a leader apart from the rest of the pack, do so. There’s a good chance that some, if not all, of them have dreams of a promotion or want to learn a new skill, and if they want to be successful, they will listen and pay attention to your example. Be a good follower first. We all have people above us that we report to. The best way to inspire your team to step up to lead is to show them how to submit to authority first. Once everyone around you appreciates and notices it, they will follow your lead.
If you want to foster meaningful relationships, significant collaborations, and reliable support within multidisciplinary teams, you can begin by building a community, more than just a team of coworkers. Getting each collaborator to empathize with the next person can go a long way. Caring about each other means you won’t likely let another person in the group make mistakes, and this can have a big effect on the overall team performance. How does one do this?
You can start by breaking the ice through team building activities. You don’t even have to leave the office building to do these, and not everyone has to be in the same place either. Ever heard of virtual team building sessions? You can do one of those.
Collaborative meetings can also do a lot when it comes to bond the team. Before you get down to business, set aside some time for communal games. You can also schedule staff nights out so people can let their hair down, relax and unwind outside of the workplace, where they can be more themselves and open to establishing new connections.
Getting a group of people to collaborate properly can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Sure, there may be more pressure when it comes to multidisciplinary teams because of the expectations and goals set before you. Individuals coming together as co-contributors with diverse sets of skills, personalities, and overall their own way of doing things can get too much to handle at times. A good leader must learn to accept and respect this and, at the same time, make the most out of them.
Thankfully, the market is full to the brim of service providers offering a wealth of tools, apps, and systems that you can use to guarantee a triumphant campaign for multidisciplinary teams. Use customer insights to find out what needs working on before getting a team together. By bringing together multidisciplinary teams, you will be able to enrich the customer experience, elevate the level of service and optimize your company’s success in the industry.
At the end of the day, it’s all about the work that needs to be done. However, it’s also important to keep things light and fun when you can. Get to know your team, allot time for fun group activities during team meetings and reward good performance. Doing this will help boost morale, motivate and inspire everyone to outperform themselves each and every time. The workplace is tough enough without the added stress and pressure of being in multidisciplinary teams.
A multidisciplinary team is a group of employees from different departments within a company with varying skills, qualifications, and capabilities coming together in a coordinated effort to achieve a common goal or target. These may include but are not limited to training, management, sales, IT, marketing, compliance, and customer service.
The multidisciplinary team approach entails not only bringing people from different fields of expertise within the company together. It also includes getting them all to collaborate, communicate and care as one team to deliver exceptional service, care, or production. They are expected to function as one unit with one goal.
Contrary to what one may think, multidisciplinary teams do not need to be composed of experts or leaders only. You can take employees from the rank-and-file, provided that they have the experience, are qualified, and meet the metrics necessary to join. Finally, make sure that everyone understands the goal.