Team Communication Strategies for the Workplace
Team communication strategies are essential to organization wide growth. Here are 5 ways to make collaboration an ironclad phenomenon in any Agile company.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
When creative minds and foresighted people work together for the accomplishment of a common goal, splendid things happen.
It doesn’t matter whether you have a small team to deal with, or you’re engaged in a megaproject in collaboration with a group of companies, efficient and effective team communication strategies are incumbent.
At the same time, ineffective communication could not only harness unexpected results, but it could also lead to projects heading for total failure.
On that note, there are a lot of ways team communication strategies can be improvised. The question is: how can you encourage communication patterns that serve the purpose and take your company to the heights of success?
We know the principles that can enhance your ability to delegate newly formed team communication strategies within a company. The following tips are extracted from day to day cases that organizations encounter pertaining to communication.
Followed by that, we have illustrated several solutions and use case scenarios where effective collaboration saved the day in the end!
The Benefit(s) of Effective Team Communication Strategies
Everyone knows that bad communication can be hazardous and it can do more harm than we can imagine. Modern-day companies specifically focus on the consistent and coherent ways of communication among the team and within an organization.
The following are some facts and figures which are shown statistically that illustrate the phenomenon of good communication
- 40% of surveyed employees believe that people who work in an organization are not supportive and can not collaborate comfortably.
- 48% of organizations use social tools for communication and collaboration at the workplace.
- 98% of employees and higher management believe that there is a lack of proper communication. This further causes trouble in making strategic alignment.
- 76% of employers highly rates effective communication and considers it mandatory while only 19% of employees get communication evaluations through their progress review.
- More than 500 companies lose $33.5 billion per annum just because people are not sharing knowledge because they do not communicate with each other properly.
When Team Communication Goes Erroneous
Whenever there is a lack of communication happens, bad things happen. We have seen and observed this thing over and over again. This happens even in world-known companies and brands.
Bad communication leads us to the replication and duplication of work, inefficient delivery, and incompetence in meeting the scheduled timelines.
Meanwhile, confused and perplexed marketing campaigns could also be directly proportional to inferior, substandard, and second rate communication.
Efficient team communication can reportedly resolve such problems by highlighting and mentioning issues before they begin to suppurate – therefore, providing checks and balances regarding the accountability factor.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing technical work in a law firm or a typical project management setup, you’ll have many hurdles associated with communication issues.
Let’s have a look at some of the communication challenges and their effective strategies that almost every communication team faces.
1. Remote Work Is Great, But to What Extent?
According to a recent survey done by a reputed and recognized team, 74% of people at the global level work remotely at least once a week. This elaborates on the scenario that you have multiple people working on the same project and they are not living in the same country.
You can not ignore the remote workers at all. 91% of remote employees plan on doing remote work for their whole career. However, they can only ensure success by maintaining communication as one of the strongest virtues in their resume’.
The most common challenge is the lack of appropriate communication. Here’s what you can do about this issue.
Fortunately, we can fix such communication-related in a remote team very conveniently – i.e. alter the tools and mechanisms to get set a sense of accessibility in place.
Use tech tools available at your disposal.
Make the most of video conferencing via Skype, Zoom, Join. Me and GoToMeeting. This way, everyone will be able to talk to each other and the working environment will be more dynamic and cognitive.
Video conferencing also supports screen sharing and delivery of the presentations. This significantly makes individuals furbish, restore, comprehension, and contemplation as a remote group.
Many famous brands are experimenting with this effective strategy with various tools like Appear.in, Soapbox, Talky
2. A Common Misconception
There are many reasons why misunderstandings and misapprehensions happen. This could happen due to different barriers that initially don’t have much to do with communication itself.
For instance, a team may have diversity in it. They have a bunch of different ethnicities, linguistic and cultures going on at the same time. Such teams often face issues because of these basic hurdles.
Instead of panicking and “misreading” the situation from time to time, here’s what you can do as a team leads or a project manager for that matter.
Introducing a better project management tool into your business system will get you better results. There are many renowned software tools like Asana, Basecamp, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Trello that are known for their optimal results.
Speaking of Trello, it is considered leading project management and task management application as the app helps in planning and scheduling of tasks in an efficient way.
Trello aside, you can use Slack to help your team members communicate. If language is a minor barrier, then use an app that has cue cards and auto-translate feature to reduce internal communication issues.
3. Rapid-Fire Answers
Have you ever been in a situation where you need a quick answer despite too many ideas and brainstorming sessions going on?
Sometimes while you’re in the middle of a problem, there’s not a lot of wiggle room left to your disposal. Options are limited; time is short and you have to act quickly to derive results.
If you are working as a team member, you could escalate the issue by directly contacting your team leader. Likewise, if you are a project manager, you can get in touch with people higher up the food chain to rectify issues related to ineffective communication that led to missed opportunities and vice versa.
Long story short, if you don’t arrange or implement some form of “instant” messaging for your team members, troubles will be more likely to happen.
The best course of action is to identify the issue and fix it by immediately informing the concerned people. Blanketing problems is not a solution. Never do that.
Timekeeping is mandatory and is of vital importance whenever you’re working with contractors, remote employees, and freelancers.
The thing with remote workers is not all about tracking their timesheets. It is also about keeping tabs on their productivity, projects’ performance, progress, and vice versa.
This information can be utilized towards smooth and well-organized billing, invoicing, and payroll systems.
Calculating the ROI (return on investment) on a project is very important for any company dealing with multiple people at the same time. This includes the number of people that worked on a particular project, and for how long.
Tracking activities helps out with everything ranging from auditing, budgeting, and administrating the records to meet the client’s expectations.
The best way to subdue issues related to timekeeping is the usage of automated time tracking software.
We recommend nTask project manager if timekeeping is one of your primary concerns. The software reportedly comes with several time management related features that enable project managers toward a better accountability system.
Information and records are simple to log with nTask’s automated functionality. The integration with 3rd party apps, plus a simple start and stop button to get the clock ticking is sometimes a much-needed necessity you’d expect from a project management solution.
5. Absence of Details In Team Communication Strategies
Workers/employees who are working on a particular project should have details of the project. We understand that such information is privileged, but it is sometimes needed for project growth.
You can set access levels to prevent the details of a said project from being overshared. At least, doing so is better than just putting a musket on your team members and telling them to perform a task from point A to Z.
If team members are aware of the project’s direction, they can alternatively come up with many solutions to problems that might pop-up during workflow.
Communication is supposed to be channelized properly if you want growth and better results in your business.
The element of human personality also comes into play when we talk about communication. Some people communicate easily, while others are reportedly introvert.
The key is to make sure that your message has been conveniently conveyed to the team members. This can be possibly done by keeping people with communication skills at the frontline, followed by those who need help to communicate from time to time.
Ultimately, under a results-driven manager’s tutelage, companies adapt, evolve, and thrive. The best thing about human nature is that we always learn quickly and adapt to the challenges within a company. It is just a matter of setting some measures in place and due course of time for things to happen.
Before parting ways, we’d like to know what you think about communication strategies. Which software do you use to communicate and collaborate with your team members?
Published at DZone with permission of Steve Parker. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.