The one thing that builds a high-performing team is, indeed the effective communication. If all team members don’t communicate well, you will surely fight an uphill battle regardless of how disruptive your technology is and how you are ambitious to pursue your goals. Why? Poor communication breeds distrust causes stress and often yields a poor result. With good tools and strategies, you can get every team member on the same page and make collaboration easy to foster effective communication. This also helps your team avoid burnout. Here you will learn powerful steps on how to improve team communication whether your team is onsite or remote.
Importance of team communication skills
As mentioned above that team communication builds a high-performing team, let us give you its detailed reasons.
When you delegate the task to the right people, and each team member understands their roles, your expectations, and the role of other team members, they can focus on their work that improves productivity. When your workers manage their workload in a great manner, their distractions are minimized. Moreover, effective communication helps you resolve communication more quickly.
Promotes team building
When you nurture effective workplace communication, it enables your team to rely on each other. You need to carry the entire team rather than one team member. It will encourage a positive relationship between you and your team members that leads to an improved work experience. If you want to develop a positive work experience for your team, practice good communication skills can help you and play a vital role. You improve your workplace environment when you understand the needs of your employees, and they feel listened to.
Clear and reachable goals
One of the important elements that make your goals more reachable is good communication. A team leader should explain what the project expectation is and what he is expecting from each team member. Then he should delegate the tasks based on each team member’s distinctive qualifications and strengths. This means not everyone can do everything. While one employee has good presentation skills and another one is good at client care or documentation. With clear and effective communication, deadlines become less stressful, and objectives are met with ease.
Positive work relationships
Good communication skills build trust between all team members that leads to creating positive work relationships that grow over time. When your entire team knows each other, they become familiar with each other’s weaknesses through process, strengths, and tendencies. It makes it easier to work together to achieve common goals. A positive work relationship gives your employees a sense of fulfillment which can help in employee retention. Moreover, it helps to stabilize the work environment too.
Steps on how to improve team communication
Improving team communication is very crucial if you want your team to reach your goals. Here are five simple steps on how to make it happen.
Streamline your communication tools
There are plenty of tools and software that are used to enhance team collaboration and communication. These tools help you fulfill the needs of your entire team—all you need to figure out what tools you need. Synchronous and asynchronous communications are two forms of communication to start with initially. According to New York Times, around 47% of people worked remotely in 2016, and this number has increased due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Remote working comes with many benefits and challenges at the same time. Communication is probably one of the biggest challenges when it comes to remote working. If most of your team members are in different time zones, then you need to practice good communication most of the time. Investing in technology can make your life simpler and make your communication easier. Here are some different types of software that help you improve your team communication.
Project management software
A lot of work is required from your entire team to complete the projects. As a team leader, you need to ensure that every team member is on the same page. There are various tools like Basecamp, Trello, and Asana that help you sort out the details.
Team conferencing technology
If you are working with your team remotely and you need everyone on your team on a conference call to communicate effectively. In this case, you can use GoToMeeting, Zoom, Skype, and Join.Me.
Sometimes you need quick questions from your boss or another team member when you are working on a project. That’s where team chat software comes into play, like Slack, Workzone, Fleep, or Google hangouts.
Time tracking software
When you have in-house and remote employees or a mix of two in your team, you need to communicate with your team when they work on a project. As a team leader, you must know when your team signs in and sign out of work and how much time is required to complete the project. For this, you can invest in time tracking software to monitor your team’s performance. Time Doctor is the industry leader, but there are a variety of options here like RescueTime, Harvest, and HourStack.
Client relations manager
When you are working on a project, you should keep your project’s information in one central place where everyone can access the information. Multiple client relation manager tools are available such as Zoho, GreenRope, Salesforce, and HubSpot. These tools will help you communicate more effectively regardless of your team size.
Encourage two-way feedback
If you are not giving detailed feedback to your team to complete the project, then it is a true example of poor communication. Just handing it back with a note ‘it’s not good’ or ‘improve it’ is not enough. In this case, you left them to think about how to improve it and what they should improve it. Until you do not let them know what you exactly want from them and what are areas that they need to improve, your expectations will not be fulfilled. Give them detailed and constructive feedback.
When you know how to give constructive feedback, then it comes into its own as a way of increasing your team communication at work. You need to learn how to offer feedback that trains your team rather than creating more limitations. However, verbal feedback can be a great experience for your team members. Moreover, it encourages two-way feedback that enables each team member to self-evaluate.
Get the team together on a regular basis
When you are managing virtual teams, you need to plan time to get the team together on a regular basis. When your remote team and the in-house team visit the office, this bonding time helps you improve communication and trust. Moreover, it brings your team members closer and encourages them to share their ideas. It is also a great way to better understand each other’s working and communication styles. Even this team gets together to help them find a common interest. It is hard to discover in a work call. You may also organize an occasional get-together for the remote team to spend time in person. If you have some team members around the world, you can organize mini-retreats and make sure you don’t make it all about projects and work.
Encourage honesty and transparency
Effective communication comes with great benefits and identifies the problems at an early stage. This way, you can fix the problems with the least disruption. Moreover, it helps to keep you away from letting your problem fester. But this only happens when your team members share their feedback with honesty and transparency. If you have mixed teams (remote and in-house) chances are communication fails, and it costs you more. So it is imperative that your employees let you know when they face a problem.
In the case of working with remote teams, you might get a hold of your employees all the time, and then you need to speak to your team. This way, you can figure out what is happening wrong and how you can fix it.
Build the team spirit
If your team spirit is high and they get on well, they will communicate better. Do you remember the initial days of your job when you joined a company as a junior, and you were not familiar with anyone? Even you didn’t know what to say to your colleagues. There are still a few people in the office who don’t have a conversation with you and just say hello or pass a smile to you in passing. When you build team spirit, it will give the opportunity to all team members to get to know each other and create a positive environment where all team members feel they have an investment in the outcome. Team bonding also improves the communication channels.
Workplace communication plays a vital role in your business’s success. If your team communicates better, they can win the uphill battle. On the other hand, the poorly communicating team can’t move mountains together and sabotage success either intentionally or unintentionally. However, navigating and improving your team communication is not as easy as you think. Try out these above-mentioned steps that will help you improve your team communication and see how you get on.