In challenging times for many companies, internal communication is often not on top of the priority list to allocate budget to. However, by allocating some resources to improving team communication you will find a big impact on performance. If your team is not communicating well this will negatively impact results as well. And working in silo´s will not only harming your projects now, but will also having a lasting negative impact on your company´s results in the future. In addition, by improving communication within your company, you will be able to fully tap into the pool of knowledge, insights, and ideas present within your employees.
Here are 8 tips to improve and build team communication.
- Open-door policy
When your managers are behind closed doors this may send a message that certain things are secret. In addition, closed doors don´t encourage employees to come to their leaders with problems, comments, ideas or feedback. Studies have shown that an open-door policy (or even an open floor plan!) is clearly communicating that everybody is part of the same team and removes important communication barriers within the team.
- Instant messaging
With instant messaging, you can encourage company-wide team communication no matter what the location of the employee. Instant messaging does not only provide a very easy way to collaborate with team members from different locations but also breaks down language barriers since often employees that need to communicate in a different language than their native language will be able to do so easier written than spoken.
- Foster informal communication: Monday morning coffee chat
Some of the best conversations happen during coffee breaks and getting to know each better on a personal level also significantly improves team communication. However, different team members take different coffee breaks. Why not ensure one weekly common coffee chat to foster team communication?
- Encourage two-way communication
Good team communication flows two ways, therefore make sure to foster a culture of creating and rewarding open dialogue. Train people to give feedback on information they receive. This also applies for giving feedback on one´s work, make sure to not just give feedback to your employees on how they are doing but also ask for feedback on how you are doing or what can be improved in the team.
- Lead by example
There is nothing more important than leading by example. As long as managers don´t show effective team communication, employees won´t do so either. Managers should be transparent with their employees and share, give feedback and comment.
- Objectives and Goals should be public
By making company, team and individual objectives public, it is clear for everyone what needs to be achieved and this makes communicating within and across teams more efficient. Everybody knows what needs to be achieved and is working towards the same end goal and this greatly facilitates internal communication.
- Training in writing
Since a lot of team communication happens via email (or instant messaging), employees need to be able to write clearly in order to successfully bring their message across. Writing might need to happen in a different language than an employee´s native language and in addition, many people don´t know how to clearly write for others instead of for themselves. By training your employees (all of them!) in writing you can easily greatly improve team communication and ensure that written communication happens efficiently.
- Mobile tools
Nowadays most people get their information on the go. Therefore, it is really important to make sure that team communication can happen via mobile phones and tablets as well. Email and instant messaging are the most basic tools that should be available on mobile but online collaboration platforms or document sharing tools can also significantly contribute to team communication.
How do you ensure effective team communication? Share your tips and tricks on building team communication below.