Key Ways To Help Improve Your Team’s Communication: Tools and Tips That Could Prove Invaluable
The best team in the world won’t be working to their full potential if communication between team members or the workforce and management isn’t up to scratch. Use the tools and tips below to make sure that everyone is connecting as well as they could be.
Get Clear About Tasks
One of the biggest factors in poor team communication is when staff aren’t given clearly delegated tasks; this can easily result in poor time management and inefficiencies, where multiple members of staff are completing the same job unawares.
To resolve this, ensure that the team is brought together at the start of every project so that each member of your workforce understands the big picture and their part in its completion. Make sure that everyone knows their role as well as what responsibilities their colleagues have. Depending on the nature of the project, having a quick daily or twice weekly morning catch-up with your team can help to keep things on track.
When your team members know exactly what tasks they are supposed to do, they can provide a crystal clear focus to that task solely and give you significantly better results. This also helps improve cooperation between team members and their leaders as each member will be clear and focused on their own task at hand instead of being confused about what they should be doing.
Make The Most Of Software
Digital tools and software can be used to your advantage to promote perfect team communication. This can be particularly useful for sales and marketing teams, enabling each staff member to keep track of the progress of deals in progress and for individual teams to work together more seamlessly. For further ways in which automated software can help staff members to stay connected and work more efficiently as a unit see www.top10.com/crm/reviews/freshsales for further ways in which automated software can help staff members to stay connected and work more efficiently as a unit. Most tools are fully customizable, so you can tailor the software to the needs of your team.
In today’s digital world, it is essential that businesses update their communication framework and commercial infrastructure with the latest software applications and tools that can help streamline their entire work process. When a team has an excellent software tool for communication, they won’t need to physically communicate with their team and this can prove to have immense productivity advantages for your company down the line.
Having dedicated software tools working in your company and improving your team’s communication can also prove to be an advantageous move when you consider that lockdown restrictions can be enforced again anytime and at such times, most business teams would be forced to work online through these very software applications. Being acquainted with them now and using them regularly can help your team adapt to such change.
Open Doors and Open Plans
Research has consistently shown that the very layout of your office can promote – or otherwise – good communication between team members and between staff and their managers. Not just having a physically open door between a supervisor’s office and the rest of the space, but having an open floor layout can drastically improve the quality of communication.
This is partly effective as it gets across the idea that every member of staff is part of the same team and makes ongoing discussion about projects or target-meeting able to happen frequently and organically. Two-way feedback, crucial for constructive communication, is also endorsed, and arising issues are more likely to be identified and resolved quickly.
Literally keeping your door open as a manager is conducive to an overall atmosphere of transparency and supportiveness, which is vital to building trust and maintaining high morale levels.
Nurture Team Spirit
Nothing will boost a team’s communication like positive team spirit, and it is also one of the easiest things to nurture. The key is providing plenty of opportunities for your staff to socialize in informal settings, to get to know each other, and develop a great rapport.
As well as regular team building days, there are lots of other ways to bring your team together. Consider a weekly pub lunch for your staff, or arrange for your team to have a go-karting or bowling evening, for example. Even frequent dress-down Fridays will help foster team spirit and build morale.
Many companies forget this and view their employees as financial assets and not humans. When you, as a team leader, understand that your team has humane needs too and strive to fulfill these needs to the best of your ability, you can be assured that you have already completed a big step in nurturing team spirit.
The next steps in the process of nurturing team spirit should go to ensuring that your members get their breaks and time off. Events shouldn’t be enforced on them, even if you mean to create them as a way of bringing the team together. Many introverted team members would actually perform better in a team if they were given breaks and their own time.
Listening Is Key
Communication isn’t just about being clear in your directives and messages; it’s equally about listening carefully to what team members have to say. Avoid making assumptions or presuming you know what is behind the person’s grievance or concern; instead, listen without interruption and with an open mind.
Similarly, if several staff members raise the same issue in a meeting, resist the temptation to become defensive but keep the tone even and balanced. Seek to resolve problems, and be open to suggestions that are put forward.
Arrange weekly or monthly one-to-one sessions with each member of your workforce, and use these meetings as a chance to offer both constructive criticism and well-considered praise and compliments.
Be mindful of any challenges that the person may be experiencing at home and be prepared to offer support should it be needed: removing a portion of someone’s workload for a few weeks while they’re going through a divorce will ultimately be better for everyone concerned than finding that the staff member has handed in their resignation due to stress. Effective communication is a way to identify these sorts of issues and resolve them.
Keep It Accessible And Personalized
Making sure that how you’re communicating with your staff is as accessible as possible to promote high levels of engagement and make your message more likely to be gotten across.
For staff that either work from home or off-site, ensure that they have access to the internet and the ability to access emails and other messaging tools from home, and keep them in the virtual loop with regular check-ins.
Get to know each member of your team. Some may find it difficult to raise issues in a team meeting but be more comfortable doing so in a one-to-one setting; others may communicate best at their desks while working on a task. Find out the methods that work well for each person to see a significant improvement in the connection that you have with your team.
Create a survey to get truly honest feedback and follow up on it.
Even if you tell your team members to give you honest feedback all the time that can help them and the team move forward, many times employees shy away from expressing their true thoughts inside. This can happen for a number of reasons such as their personality, fear of executives and senior members, and fear of being judged by their own team.
Whatever the reason may be, it is your job to ensure that these inward thoughts are expressed loud and clear in some way or the other to ensure that you can truly move forward as a team and improve communication. One simple yet effective way of ensuring this happens is by creating an anonymous survey in your team.
This survey should be digital so that the candidates can retain their anonymity. Encourage all of your team to participate in it and once they are done, carefully go through all the feedback you received. If you receive entirely positive feedback, congrats! Your team is as perfect as it can be. Realistically speaking, though, it is natural to get slightly negative feedback.
When you do get it, try to resolve the issues effectively immediately and watch as your team gets more open and communicative with each other.