10 Tried-and-tested ideas to improve team communication
The strong foundation for a thriving business lies in the quality of communication and networking among its workforce. Clear and efficient communication channels promote positive collaboration among employees, resulting in highly productive time to meet deadlines.
When a team is connected in a healthy work atmosphere where there is transparency and support, the team members feel validated and aligned with the company’s goals.
Here are 10 tried and tested ideas to improve team communication.
1) Integrate communication using web-based tools
Digital advancement and evolving business trends have led businesses to build diverse teams that include remote and office employees. Managing silos of data and ensuring its accessibility for all team members can be challenging.
This also runs the risk of security breaches and leakage of productive time as teams switch through emails, chats, and folders to find and unify data.
Use efficient team communication tool like Clariti that bring all communications to one place. Accessible information to all helps improve team communication and increase efficiency.
2) Be consistent with status updates
Team members whether in-office or remote need to have clear goals laid out to ensure everyone works towards the same objective. Work tracker tools help co-team members see the progress being made on the active projects. Promptly update progress trackers to minimize time spent on following up.
3) Keep different modes of communication open
When it comes to interaction between team members one mode of communication will not always be suitable for all individuals. This will vary according to circumstances and business requirements.
For instance, tone and voice play a role in how a message comes across in voice calls while effective and precise words convey a clear message via text chats or email. While some employees can work better with emails some prefer to communicate with others via calls.
Facilitate collaboration and exchange of information via more than one channel to improve team communication by allowing each team member to communicate by the means they are most comfortable with.
4) Prepare for meetings and follow-up
Multiple meetings across teams are common on any business day. For a successful meeting create an agenda and share the meeting objective, files, and information with the team before the meeting.
Schedule the meeting time in advance to make sure everyone is available in their respective time zones if applicable. After brainstorming ideas or sharing process inputs or improvements, ensure that all team members are clear on the intended goals and objectives of the project.
Make information accessible to everyone via cloud communication tools like Clariti which connects related data across chats, emails, calls and documents making it easier to see the big picture.
5) Conduct team-building activities
A guaranteed way to improve team communication is by conducting team-building activities and regular interactions outside work. This helps to bring down the barriers of communication that may exist due to differences in culture, region, or background and encourages team members to approach each other and build relationships.
Facilitate periodic team-building activities through games, team lunches and picnics to help team members find common interests. Businesses run more efficiently when they have a workforce that feels connected to each other.
For remote teams, encourage video conferencing without a business agenda every week to help team members get to know each other.
When team members feel included, there are reduced tensions at the workplace. This pays off during those high-stress days when team members are able to keep their eye on the project’s goals without getting caught up in the emotional drama.
6) Create a culture of celebration at work
Businesses that encourage the celebration of milestones in the workplace foster a work culture where employees are valued and happy. These include significant business accomplishments, birthdays, anniversaries, welcoming new hires, and bidding farewells for members leaving the organization.
7) Make the employees feel that they are heard
When working with remote and diverse teams, sometimes it could be challenging to understand their perspectives and feedback. Employees often hesitate to be honest while conveying their concerns about issues at work due to the lack of knowledge of how open their organization is to differing views.
They are also afraid of how their employment might be affected by voicing their opinions. To alleviate this, create an environment where employees can provide regular feedback without being worried about retaliation. This can be done through surveys or via a virtual suggestion box where they can anonymously offer their opinions.
8) Have one-on-one Interactions
Conduct monthly one-on-one interactions with the team leaders to address process gaps, team collaboration, and improvement suggestions.
Discussing these issues improves team communication as the manager can assess the big picture and is able to understand how to remove the barriers in communications. Building good relationships with managers helps in retaining experienced employees and improves productivity.
9) Promote training and cross-training
While many organizations focus on training their employees on key work skills, training on soft skills like communication, business writing, and email writing is equally important and helps improve team communication.
It encourages team members to know how to respectfully disagree yet commit to the common goal, be persuasive and build relationships. In addition to general training, conducting cross-departmental training encourage team members of different departments to learn about new processes or technology that they might not ordinarily be exposed to.
Cross-training brings individuals of varied skills and talents together for a common goal of business improvement and also helps team members to grow and learn from each other.
10) Implement a corporate newsletter
Promote corporate newsletters that highlight business achievements and keep everyone informed about the organizations’ quarterly or annual goals. A company newsletter can also be used to recognize key individual accomplishments.
Recognize how a business goal was achieved that quarter by the interdependent and consistent connectivity of two different teams thereby holding a spotlight on team collaborative success stories. This can greatly inspire teams and improve team communication.
An efficient and productive workforce is critical to the success of any business. Business communications that are inclusive and engage all team members equally go a long way in enhancing team productivity and an engaged workforce.
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