Employee training programmes perpetuate silo working, a new report from Koreo has revealed. The study, amongst over 500 cross-sector HR managers, proves silo working is one of the biggest hindrances to an organisation’s impact – both in terms of innovation and its broader social purpose. As a result, the report calls for a shift in focus, from traditional leadership training. Only 22% of HR managers believe has a tangible impact on an organisation’s success, to programmes that develop changemakers.

How Does Silo Working Hurt a Company?

Two thirds (66%) of the HR Managers say that silo working exists in their organisation and it’s hurt their company. As well as, hindering their ability to collaborate across teams (25%) and build a solid internal culture (18%). Some of the critical drivers for staff retention. Building partnerships across sectors was also cited by 19% of HR leaders. A lack of joined-up thinking is seen as having the most negative impact on an organisation delivering its purpose (29%).

Yet when looking into the causes, the research found training programmes failed to address the problem and perpetuate it further. It found that programmes are heavily focused on training talent solely to facilitate their current role (53%). As such, 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 critical skills for fostering innovation and creating social impact.

This suggests that traditional training programmes are not set up to develop the people and working environments needed to create an impact for the organisation and beyond. Just 29% of HR Managers felt that their employees acted on the skills learned in their training programmes. Only 31% believe that their talent development programmes produce changemakers.

Private, Public and Social Organisations

With these organisations increasingly looking to engage in a broader, global narrative around societal issues, the research suggests this is the area that will suffer most if silo working is not addressed – with cross-sector collaboration seen as one of the key drivers for social change.

Organisations admit their talent is their most significant asset for creating broader social change (42%). Currently, 45% of HR professionals do not think their existing talent development programme encourages staff members to consider how their work contributes to society.

Rachel Whale

The founder of Koreo, Rachel Whale, the UK’s leading people development provider for organisations with social purposes, commented:

“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, it says it is all about our approach to combatting it.

“We need to start understanding organisations as networks of people; developing 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. Also, increasing our ability to have an impact in the broader world.

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

Image by Depositphotos

  • About the Author
  • Latest Posts

Rachel is a social entrepreneur and activist with 20-years experience working in and with the social sector. Founding Director of Koreo, she has held leadership roles in a range of organisations dedicated to social impact, led consultancy projects across sectors in the UK and internationally, and founded several ventures dedicated to mobilising talent for social change.