In an ideal workplace, team members would communicate freely, openly, and regularly with one another and it would be done in a timely manner. That’s because communication is a fundamental part of a professional team. Great communication allows teams to collaborate and share ideas that make them more efficient. In fact, most employees would agree that effective communication in the workplace is one of the most desirable qualities in a job. When asked about failures in the workplace, 86% of respondents cited lack of communication as the main reason. Given that communication is necessary for building a strong team, it only makes sense that managers seek new and innovative ways to facilitate communication within their teams. Here are a few communication strategies that will help open the lines of communication and foster an environment of collaboration.
Invest in the Right Toolkit
There are tons of apps and software available to enhance team communication and collaboration. These include tools such as Slack, Basecamp, Zoom, Teamwork, and Trello just to name a few. These tools make it easy for team members to communicate with one another through a central hub or platform. Many of these tools also offer project management options that can help employees collaborate easily and efficiently. They make it easier for employees to share charts, graphs, and spreadsheets, as well as share emails and check due dates in one streamlined system. They are perfect for both in office and remote work environments.
No one can effectively communicate about an assignment if they are unaware of what each person is responsible for. Make sure each team member knows exactly what their role is and what is expected of them. When each team member knows what the others are responsible for, it makes it easier to go to the right person with questions or concerns. It also lets them collaborate with the right person and it helps them avoid duplication or miscommunication.
Encourage Team Building
It is so important to build trust within your team and this starts by helping team members get to know one another. The more employees can learn about each other, the better they understand their intentions and their strengths and weaknesses. Teams that truly know each other, work more effectively and have a clearer perception of those around them. Fun activities and team building also give employees the feeling of a “work family” and when people are comfortable around each other, they are bound to communicate better.
Schedule Weekly Check-Ins
The more often you check in on your team, the better. Hosting a weekly check-in can happen either in-person or virtually and it’s a great way to make sure everyone is on the same page. It provides a great opportunity for employees to speak up and share questions or concerns. It’s also a great way to check progress to see what has been accomplished each week.
Establish an Open-Door Policy
Having an open door policy is one of the most classic strategies for promoting communication. When a manager’s door is always open, employees can freely ask questions, share concerns, or ask for advice when needed. This promotes an environment of trust and a sense of transparency between managers and employees. This policy doesn’t just stop with the manager, however. This fosters an entire culture of openness where employees are not only comfortable communicating with management, but also with their peers and colleagues. Employees look to their manager as a leader and they are likely to follow their example. Therefore, if leaders are open to honest feedback and communication, so will their employees.
Encourage Video Calls
In today’s remote work environment, it’s easy to rely solely on audio for conferencing. However, this can feel impersonal and can make it difficult for employees to connect with each other. Therefore, implement a policy where team chats, meetings, and business-related meetings are held through video chats. Seeing each other helps to strengthen bonds and improve communication between coworkers.