15 Tips to Unify Company Culture Across Departments

15 Tips on How to Unify Company Culture Across Departments

As your company grows, you may find different departments start to silo themselves off from one other. However, a strong company culture is one that includes all departments and brings them together. That’s why we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council the following question:

What is a good way to connect team members in different departments to build company culture?

How to Unify Company Culture Across Departments

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Use Common Work Language

“Different departments have different work-related words or phrases they use to describe what they do. And this can make other departments feel alienated. To bring teams from different sects together, develop a common language that everyone can understand. Wherever you see a disconnect between employees is where you should develop terms that everyone can understand.” ~ Jared Atchison, WPForms

2. Encourage People to Share Pieces of Their Personal Lives

“When our team was at its peak in terms of size, we were at 35 people. And it definitely felt like departments were getting alienated. We had weekly meetings with different departments. But they still wouldn’t connect. We mixed this up by having people start meetings with one good thing from their personal lives that happened this week. It helps people find common ground and build new relationships.” ~ Karl Kangur, Above House

3. Host Team-Building Activities

“Team-building activities like scavenger hunts, escape rooms and bowling outings can be highly effective in building connections across departments. Consider planning quarterly events where people from various departments are put on the same team. They’ll learn about one another in a relaxed, fun atmosphere. Which will translate to improved communication in the workplace.” ~ Stephen Beach, Craft Impact Marketing

4. Have a ‘Family Outing’

“Marketers always talk about showing consumers that they are joining your family when they invest in your product or service. The truth is, you can benefit from using this tactic with your employees. It’s hard to get to know people when you are constantly focusing on work. However, taking your employees out for a family outing can be an effective way to bridge the gap and bring people together.” ~ Blair Williams, MemberPress

5. Designate Team Volunteer Days

“Giving to charity makes people feel good and can boost morale. Some offices designate days for volunteering at homeless shelters, delivering clothes to families in need or tutoring students before exam season. Within a workplace, you can donate books and toys to children in need. Or even chip in to buy a goat for a family abroad. Choose a charity plan that accommodates everyone’s values and time.” ~ Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID, Inc.

6. Organize an In-Office Happy Hour

“Not everybody has an opportunity or is willing to attend team-building activities outside of the office. Especially if they know there will be a lot of people from other departments whom they don’t really talk to. Bring together time into your workplace. Organize casual happy hours every week, but preferably not on Fridays when everybody wants out of the office as soon as possible.” ~ Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

7. Cater a Monthly Company Lunch

“One great way to connect team members in different departments is by hosting a monthly company lunch. Choose one day each month (or every other month) and provide a full lunch for your entire office and then eat the meal together. You can even assign seats, putting members of different departments at the same table, to make sure team members get to chat with people they typically wouldn’t.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

8. Have Your Teams Teach Each Other

“Company workshops are a great regular activity where every team member can reveal their day-to-day work and the business challenges they deal with. Individuals often can’t grasp the bigger picture across the entire organization. Employees discussing their accomplishments or projects they work on can demonstrate the business value they bring to the rest of the company.” ~ Mario Peshev, DevriX

9. Encourage Fun

“Just because your employees have different roles in the company doesn’t mean that rings true outside the office. A great way to bring team members together is by encouraging play during the week where they can play games and catch up on their personal lives. This builds a community of belonging and gets everyone comfortable with each other. Encourage fun where and when it’s appropriate.” ~ Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

10. Set Up a Designated Lunch Area for Everyone to Eat Together

“It’s good to have a general lunch area that team members can sit and eat. Food is something that typically unites people, so it will give them something to talk about and a way for them to grow intra-company relationships.” ~ Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.

11. Cross-Train Your Team

“If possible, cross-train your team so they can get to know one another and the work that goes into each position. Over time, you’ll notice that bonds are formed between employees, regardless of their primary position in your company. We like to make cross-training a fun and interactive learning experience to encourage a positive company culture.” ~ Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

12. Hold Offsite Meetings

“The day-to-day drudgery of the office can bring down morale. Try hosting offsite meetings for a change of scenery. I find that many local coffee shops will let you reserve a room for free. Buy them coffee and make sure at least a portion of the meeting is strictly social so team members can connect. Your employees will love it and they will be more productive once they return to the office.” ~ Ben Walker, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC

13. Make Up and Then Celebrate a Company Holiday

“Not everyone celebrates the same holidays. But, if you create your own company holiday they will! Consider making up your own company holiday, like “Board Game Day,” for instance. For this company holiday you can decorate, bring in games, provide a meal and give your team members a half-day to celebrate it. This will bring different departments together and build company culture.” ~ John Turner, SeedProd LLC

14. Create Common Goals

“Common goals create incentives to work together. The reason you have a company and not a ton of individuals is because working together provides more value than everyone could individually provide value themselves. One tool I like to use from an empathy standpoint is to try to find three things you have in common with someone else. If you dig hard enough, everyone has three things in common.” ~ James Guldan, Vision Tech Team

15. Bring Remote Employees Together for a Company Retreat

“At our remote company, we hold a retreat once a year so employees can meet each other in person and get to know one another. When you work from home, it’s even more difficult to connect employees from different departments, which is why the retreat is essential for building a positive company culture. Even if you’ve never spoken to someone before, seeing them in person helps to form a connection.” ~ Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

Image: Depositphotos.com

The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.