Remove Silos with Higher Education Staff Development
What can be done to eliminate the silos that exist on most college campuses?
Often this topic digresses into dissecting the reasons silos exist but show me some solutions! All campus personnel I know, especially enrollment management, would like them to go away. Foremost, silos are obstacles for the VIPs – our students. Secondly, silos interfere with workflow and create frustration for everyone.
Self-proclaimed “Chief Connection Officer,” Rob Zincan offers excellent suggestions; on how higher ed marketers can reach out of the silos, make a difference, and build cross-campus relationships.
Simple solutions like a planned coffee break with employees from different departments, or a required inter-departmental project will get folks into new territory. The effort must be scheduled, perhaps forced, but the impact is solid. The results increase awareness and empathy, adding to increased cross-campus cooperation and better morale.
How do students benefit? Would they even know?
Morale impacts attitude and this affects the delivery of services. More smiles and fewer growls. Increased knowledge of other departments promotes a well-rounded staff able to answer more questions before sending a student to another office. More variety for employees improves satisfaction (attitude again) and can decrease turnover. Students may not KNOW that silos were removed, but they could experience fewer speed bumps.
Zincan’s suggestions are essentially free. Only time, planning, and commitment to follow-through are required. These ideas are scalable and the results can be measured through online surveys.
PS&L offers a related solution in the way of a campus staff workshop, the Student-First Culture Workshop. The premise is focusing on customer service for better student recruitment and retention outcomes.