How to Improve Cross-Agency Communication & Collaboration

by Mike Tannian on September 01, 2022

Public sector agencies can improve overall communication, update policies faster, and increase regulatory compliance with HR compliance software.

Article Highlights

Effective internal communication is critical, especially across departments . Without it, information silos can cause inefficiencies and liability.

Public sector agencies need a single reliable source for important information on policies, procedures, and operations. A centralized system breaks down walls and silos so employees organization-wide have the same knowledge. HR departments can accomplish this with HR compliance software.

HR compliance ensures all employees understand the various laws and regulations that govern your agency's function, and that they don't violate the law or expose themselves or the agency to liability risk.

This article will look at the problems that poor communication and lack of collaboration can cause, how government compliance software breaks down these barriers, and the benefits of using such a tool.

Problem: Poor Communication & Collaboration Between Departments

Many public sector agencies are rather large, with smaller departments and divisions. Some departments guard their information, reluctant to share it with other departments or government agencies unless necessary.

Sometimes departments create their own policies but won't share them with the rest of the agency, which often causes them to work at cross-purposes. Without a single source of truth for updating, distributing, and tracking policies, it's easy for employees to work with incomplete information and for departments to begin operating in silos. And when departments operate in silos, it increases inefficiencies and the risk of liability. Here are three examples of how that could happen: 

  • Certain policies and policy updates require collaboration from subject matter experts (SMEs) and stakeholders from other departments. Without a powerful workflow tool, the collaboration process is relegated to email chains or multiple in-person meetings, which come with additional challenges.
  • It’s important to be able to disseminate important information to all departments and to require and track signatures. Otherwise, you can’t verify everyone has received, read, and understood the latest policy updates, which means you can’t hold them accountable. That exposes your employees and organization to liability.
  • Lastly, if there isn’t a single source of truth for crucial documents, it’s difficult for staff to quickly access a policy and trust that it’s the most updated version. This is critical for field employees who only access policies on their mobile devices.

Solution: Government HR Compliance Software

NEOGOV’s Policy – a policy and compliance management software for public sector HR – automates workflows so you can collaborate with SMEs and stakeholders throughout the department. This keeps departments from hoarding important, agency-wide information because it's accessible from a single source of truth.

Our HR document management software also captures and tracks signatures, so administrators can assign any document to be acknowledged and signed by staff. This ensures employees have read and understood the document, protecting your against future labor disputes.

Users complete attestation when they enter their username and password and click to sign the document. They can also complete it with a thumbprint or face ID on the mobile app. By tracking these signatures, administrators can see who has and hasn't signed a particular document. It's even possible to send automatic reminders to employees who have yet to sign a document.

With NEOGOV's Policy, you can update policies four times faster when compared to the traditional methods of writing and editing policies by a committee, rewriting them based on feedback, and finally getting executive approval. Policy automates and accelerates the workflow process of updating and approving documents.

Policy also offers version control, which gives administrators confidence that only the latest version of a policy is available. You can stop worrying about whether employees are accessing an outdated version or a policy specific to only one department. With our central repository, only the most updated documents are accessible.

The Benefits of Government HR Policy Software

Our HR document management software makes it possible for each government agency or department to manage their employees and documents while also benefiting from a centralized policy management system. This gives agencies the best of both worlds: a shared platform and department-specific access security.

In other words, an HR department can manage, distribute, and track important documents across all departments. And each department can maintain its system for managing workflows, documents, users, etc., while still accessing municipal-wide content as their security permissions allow.

Finally, because everything is available in the cloud, anytime, anywhere, on any device, there's no longer any need to print out policy manuals. Policy can save departments as much as $11,000 on paper and printing costs alone.

Final Thoughts

Government agencies rely on proper internal communication and collaboration to operate effectively and stay compliant with laws and regulations. Avoid information silos across your agency, mitigate liability, and better serve your citizens with Policy by NEOGOV. Sign up for a friendly, no-obligation demo today.

Mike Tannian

Mike Tannian is the Director of Content Marketing at NEOGOV. With a talented team of writers by his side, he aims to produce content that delivers real value to public sector HR professionals at every stage in the buying journey.