You will never achieve seamless customer service if there exists a breakdown of cooperation between interdependent work units. Symptoms of polarization and distrust include:
One group feels it gets little respect from the other
Individuals from one group regularly bad mouth the other
The groups routinely quarrel over trivial issues
There is an abundance of finger-pointing and scapegoating
One group feels the other gets preferential treatment
To remedy the situation, ask each group to answer the following questions:
What are the other group’s expectations of us?
Which expectations would the other group say we are meeting?
Which expectations would the other group say we are not meeting?
What can we do better to facilitate the other group’s success?
What do we want the other group to do better to meet our needs?
Bring the two groups together to share their responses to these questions. Have each group advance up to three solid commitments for positive change that will make the other’s job more satisfying and effective.
By utilizing this team building exercise, you can breakdown the silos that exist between job classifications, shifts, and work units and replace them with bridges of effective communication.