HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

Cross-Functional Team

What is a Cross-Functional Team?

Cross-functional teams mean a group of people with different functional expertise who are working together towards a common goal. Typically, it can include individuals from different departments and from all levels of the organization. In most cases, these teams are not permanent but can last for one or two years.

Why is a cross-functional team important?

By utilizing cross-functional teams, you’re allowing employees to view their own work and the work of others differently. By organizing into small teams, you’re promoting team pride and encouraging trust.

How do cross-functional teams work?

Members of the combined team have different skill sets, but are all working towards the same goal. They are successful in that they require each team member to expand beyond their area of expertise.

How to develop cross-functional teams?

  • Assembling the right team: There are specific sets of skills you should require to have an effective cross-functional team. The work that’s done will require a range of expertise and you should select people who have various skill sets. 
  • Choose great leaders: Leaders are responsible for educating, delegating, and following-up on progress. It’s necessary to find a leader who can give the team accountability and develop self-leaders out of each team member. 
  • Define goals: If a cross-functional team doesn’t receive clear objectives, just like any other team, they will find themselves at a dead end. Define goals and objectives prior to assembling the team. 
  • Shared success: While your cross-functional team may have team members with different goals, they should all align to reach the final goal.

Related Terms: Teamwork, Company Culture, Organizational Goals

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