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Siloed working harming HR effectiveness

Two-thirds (66%) believe that silos exist in their organisation and have had a negative impact on their company

Siloed working is harming HR’s effectiveness, according to research from people development provider Koreo.

The Connecting with Impact survey of 500 HR leaders found that two-thirds (66%) believe siloed working exists in their organisation and that it has had a negative impact on their company, citing examples of hindering their ability to collaborate across teams (25%) and build strong internal cultures (18%). A lack of joined-up thinking is seen as having the most negative impact on an organisation trying to deliver its purpose (29%).

When looking into the causes of the issue, the research found training programmes heavily focused on training talent solely to facilitate their current role (53%). As such, only a minority of those surveyed said their organisation provides training around partnership working (28%), cross-sector thinking (23%) or systems thinking (25%), all of which are key skills for fostering innovation and creating social impact.

Just 29% of HR managers felt that their employees acted on the skills learnt in their training programmes and only 31% believed that their talent development programmes produce changemakers.

Rachel Whale, founder and director of Koreo, said organisations need to change to combat the effects of silo working. "That we're still experiencing such widespread and intractable silo working, despite our long awareness of the problem and the damage it does to our organisations, says it all about our approach to combatting it,” she said.

“We need to start understanding organisations as networks of people, and develop our talent in a way that promotes connection and collaboration at all levels of our workforces. By doing that we increase our potential to create change within an organisation, and also increase our ability to have an impact on the wider world.

“We’ve seen from our years of work with organisations in the social sector that organisations that are connected internally and externally are the most able to affect sustained social change on the issues they care about.”