Organizations cannot exist without teams. Good teamwork generates good returns for organizations while troubling team dynamics can create office politics, high employee turnover, lower employee engagement and productivity. Sometimes in a bid to reduce conflict, employees often start associating themselves with likeminded individuals which can lead to tribalism, groupism etc.
Tribalism or silos in teams prevents teams from contributing to the greater vision of the organization. Siloed teams work with a competitive spirit rather than collaborative spirit. Collaboration and Communication being the pillars of productive teamwork, siloed teams often fail in these. Moreover, siloed teams are protective of shared resources and are not proactive in sharing them with the rest of the organization.
Siloed teams also result in inaccurate and insufficient information in the organization. For example, marketing team may not be aware of new product launches and vice versa. For an organization to be productive, interpersonal communication and resource sharing among teams is crucial. Silos can also lead to groupthink where innovation is laid to rest, conflict and critical analysis are discouraged. Silos are also often found to favor harmony and peace over the larger vision of the organization.
As the world moves on from a pandemic into the new normal where hybrid work is the way forward, silos can be furthermore destructive to employees and employers. In a remote environment, siloed teams can lead to misaligned priorities, unhappy customers, broken communication, and unproductive organizational culture.
The chance of remote teams forming silos is much higher than physical teams, due to less face to face interaction with the wider organization. In remote teams, silos are much easier to break down if discovered in early stages. With team building activities that foster communication, problem solving, analytical skills and collaboration. Remote silos can disassemble and have opportunities for interactions across teams.
To conclude, regardless of the size of the organization, team silos are toxic for organizational culture and progress.