Communication between team members is crucial for the success of a business.
Collaboration, innovation, and productivity are all dependant on teams communicating properly. Therefore you must put in the work to make cross-team communication as easy as possible for your staff.
Plus, to enable collaboration between staff, many of whom may work remotely, your business will also need the right technology and infrastructure.
Lead By Example
As a business leader, it is your job to provide the example that your staff should follow. As often as you can, use technology and systems to remain present and available to provide your team with the help they need.
Use A Centralised Communication Platform
The right communication software is crucial to get your employees online and remain connected.
If you have offices in multiple locations or staff members who work from home, consider investing in instant messaging and video conferencing tools that allow your team to communicate in real-time.
It may help to experiment with different tools to help you find the one that works best for your employees.
Microsoft teams, Zoom, Google Workspace, are popular. Getting buy-in from staff starts with getting their feedback and recommendation on systems they like to use.
It is best to avoid using too many platforms at once, as this can harm productivity. Try out different tools one at a time and ask your employees which they prefer.
Hire The Right Team
Your employees are the most critical asset for your business. Make communication a key element when vetting candidates and looking for talented individuals who have the skills and experience you need and the ability to articulate and present verbally and in written form.
During the interview process, ask candidates questions that allow them to show their verbal communication skills and select staff who will rise to the challenge of collaborating on projects while working remotely.
Incentivise Your Employees
Offering incentives to your employees when they display work and behaviour that you’re trying to cultivate is an excellent form of motivation. This could be something as simple as singling out staff members for praise during a team meeting. You could also consider offering a bonus structure that focuses on an employee meeting specific communication targets.
Consider Project Management Software
The right organisational software can help everyone stay on the same page in terms of collaboration. Having work plotted out using precise and reliable project management software can help your employees track their work and communicate effectively when needed.
Try Out A Program Board
Project management software, program boards can be an excellent way to ensure communication between different teams.
Program boards allow employees to visualise their work, offering greater clarity. Take a look at this program board guide from Easy Agile for more information on how program boards could benefit your business.
Be Clear With Your Expectations
You should ensure that your team knows what your expectations are when it comes to communication.
Have a team meeting before you start implementing any changes to anything that involves them to let your team know what you are planning.
A ‘heads-up’ with your team can also provide an opportunity for them to express their thoughts and feelings about your intended changes.
Come Up With A Plan
You must have a plan in mind when making any significant changes to the structure or operation.
Plan change management thoroughly before implementing changes. To avoid backlash or loss of productivity, ensure you have all the infrastructure needed to make it work the first time.
Plus, conduct a final evaluation of your plan for signs of weaknesses or potential issues caused by the change.
Always review your communications strategy regularly. One reason to do so is it will help you incorporate the latest changes in tech or processes, and it will help your practices stay fresh and innovative. Always reach out to your employees for their thoughts on how the business’s communication can be improved.
Have An Open-Door Policy
As a business leader, you should lead by example. Show your employees that you are serious about improving communication in the office. This can be an invaluable way to help motivate your team. One excellent way to show your employees that you are serious about improving communication is by putting an open-door policy in place.
An open-door approach allows your team to meet with you at any time without necessarily having to schedule a meeting. This can be an excellent way to improve transparency in the office and help put your desired plans into action.
Stick To A Schedule During Team Meetings
Team meetings are essential for your employees to communicate and ensure that the latest business news is disseminated effectively. You must stick to a schedule during meetings to avoid them straying off-topic.
Meetings can waste time if you don’t have a schedule to stick to. You should consider letting your employees have the meeting agenda in advance to know what to expect.
Host Social Events Outside Of Work
Encouraging your employees to spend time together socially can help improve communication in the office.
The greater the interpersonal relationships between your employees, the better a team will likely work together.
Consider hosting a monthly company meal to give your staff time to get to know each other better. Social engagements like your team to go for drinks after work together improve openness and understanding. It is important that you be present for some of the social events and allow your team to get to know each other independently of you.
The Bottom Line
Communication is key to a healthy, successful business. There are many ways you can encourage your employees to communicate well, and it may help to experiment with some of the solutions above until you find what works for your team and business.
It is crucial that you take into account the opinions and feelings of your team when implementing any significant changes. You should also ensure that you listen to any feedback given and learn from it. It may also help to discuss your plans with other business leaders to see if they have any insights to help you make effective changes.