9 Tips on How to Improve Communication Within a Team
Itâ€™s no surprise that teamwork is the backbone of productivity. Whether you spend your day at an office, in school, or on-the-go, there are myriad factors that come into play when accessing the overall success of a team. Grit, ambition, and cohesiveness will be at the forefront when trying to analyze its performance. This is why it is not surprising that 86% of employees and executives blame weak communication for workplace failures.
Managers and employees agree that communication is vital to success, yet a shocking $26,041 is lost every year, per worker due to communication inefficiencies. The same study found that a staggering 68% of workers stated they experience difficulty coordinating communications between team members.
So, you want to know how your team can bypass these problems? It boils down to the little things; crossing your tâ€™s and dotting your Iâ€™s when communicating with your team.
If you are looking for ways to double down on collaboration, become more effective with verbal communication and prepare your team for anything that life throws your way – than we invite you to explore these 9 tips for how to improve communication within a team in-depth:Â
Do you want to increase profit margins by 20% in the next quarter? Obtain a higher NPS score? Have 50% fewer support tickets in your queue? Whatever your objects may be, make certain your objectives are clearly defined.Â
Start off by creating company-wide goals; quarterly and yearly. Allow individuals to set their own or depending on the structure of your organization establishing them for your team members. Just remember, to clearly define these objectives with milestones they must hit, otherwise, they might not be sure of their exact expectations.Â Â
Clearly Communicate Goals
Articulate goals to everyone on your team or anyone that might jump in to assist at a momentâ€™s notice. Youâ€™ll want to specifically outline what is expected of everyone involved.
Without clearly outlining goals, you wonâ€™t do your company justice – as your employees wonâ€™t know what is required of them. Outfit team members with the right tools to obtain these milestones. You can do this by:
- Create deadlines
- Define responsibilitiesÂ
- Assign due dates
- Get startedÂ
Put Projects into Action
Fortunately, there are some remarkable applications to jumpstart your teamâ€™s productivity and keep everything organized in one place.
Here are just a few project management platforms to check out on how to improve communication within a team:
Use Time Wisely
If you kept track, how many times a day would you estimate you say, â€œbut I donâ€™t have enough time?â€ Time is engrained in our culture. We urn for more of it but itâ€™s impossible to gain. However, if we start to manage our time more effectively, and start to cut out unnecessary tasks or things we think we ought to do, weâ€™d ultimately get more accomplished.Â
Rather than trying to pack more into your day, consider making a weekly plan where you are able to set aside time to accomplish certain tasks. Perhaps, take 30-60 minutes per day to answer your email as opposed to checking it every half hour. These routine habits, although seeming beneficial actually cost of precious time we donâ€™t have to waste.Â
Transparency is one of the best ways to cultivate culture and collaboration throughout your entire company. Encouraging your team members to speak openly and honestly will not only boost company morale altogether, but it will allow your employees to take risks.Â
Consistency in your tone will not only show employees that you are open to effective communication but by demonstrating this behavior your team will be clear on the tone across the board.
Exhibiting these leadership qualities will make others want to emulate. It will further opportunities for your employeeâ€™s development and growth and will reduce employee turnover.Â
When most people hear the term feedback, itâ€™s natural to jump to conclusions. One might think, they have performed poorly, executed on a project that didnâ€™t meet their managerâ€™s standards or perhaps, might have to rethink a strategy altogether.Â
There are two sides to the coin – presenting your employees with not only negative feedback or suggestions but making sure they are getting positive reinforcements as well. Regardless of what type of feedback you are preparing to give you will want to make sure it is effective.Â
Feedback should be routinely encouraged. Not just feedback on ways to improve, but how your employee is doing well. Positive encouragement will not only drive your employees but without it, they might never think they are doing a good job.
This is not to say, that positive feedback isn’t always the best feedback. Your employees will want to know what they can work on to improve their overall performance as for most, they are looking to one day snag that promotion.Â
Meeting frequently holds everyone accountable and keeps all parties actively engaged. If possible, meet face-to-face for better collaboration and group cohesion. But, if you are a remote team, you can connect visually via video conference platforms such as Zoom and GoToMeeting.Â
A Forbes survey, which included over 750 business executives found that 8 out of 10 executives prefer in-person meetings citing they build â€œstronger, more meaningful relationships, ability to read another person, and greater social interaction.
Consider giving frequent feedback so that employees arenâ€™t throw off when giving them a negative performance review at the end of the quarter. As a Manager, if your employees are ill-performing youâ€™ll want to make sure that feedback is given in a timely manner, and not two months after a project has been completed. Why have your employees constantly wonder?Â
Clarity is an essential building block for better team communication. Without it, teams or individuals might not understand their responsibilities or stay on track for a projectâ€™s deadline.Â
Youâ€™ll want to master this.Â
Assign clear goals to everyone. Even if you check-in frequently you will want to trust in your team. Learning to let go of managing their every move will not only save you time but will allow your employees to put their best foot forward.Â
Your team will leverage their strengths and increase productivity in more ways than you can imagine – a little faith goes a long way.Â
Gratitude goes a long way. Be sure to thank the members of your team for all of their contributing hard work.
You can thank them by writing them an email, sending kudos on a company-wide chat channel, or thanking them while strolling past their desk. However, you decide to show your appreciation, (flowers or gift cards donâ€™t hurt either) remember your employees will notice.Â
We all succumb to negativity from time-to-time, but generally speaking, no one wants to work on a team will they feel constantly defeated. Boosting team morale with a positive attitude and reframing from negative comments will not only increase your teamâ€™s productivity but will help keep employees at your organization for the long-haul.Â
Acting like a leader or coach as opposed to just the role of â€œbossâ€ will encourage employees to work collaboratively and rather than a cog in the wheel.Â
Moving Forward with a Strong Plan in Place
Itâ€™s no doubt that team communication is the foundation of every well-run organization. Without it, your business would cease to exist. It would slowly start to crumble and result in your employees not understanding how to identify their role or where priorities lay.Â
Harnessing your teamâ€™s strengths by assuring you have a clear communication method will be a surefire way on how to improve communication within a team.
With more and more teams working remotely, itâ€™s crucial to have a feedback loop that allows all team members to stay on-task, boost company morale, and allow for candid conversations across all departments.Â
*Updated on 4.21.20