When most teams within an organization discuss communications, we tend to focus on communication with our customers or for recruiters and HR, that’s communication with our candidates. While this is essential for successful sales as well as recruitment and hiring strategies, effective communication is essential for organizations and their teams. So, how can you ensure good internal communications without losing your primary focus on candidates and/or customers? I believe that by focusing on communication within your workplace and team, you can increase your productivity, reach your goals faster and drive more revenue for the company.
How to Improve Your Workplace and Team Communication
Here are five simple strategies you can implement for effective workplace and team communications that will help improve team productivity, engagement and foster a collaborative culture.
1. Build and Maintain Internal Relationships
One on one time can make a huge difference in effective communications. With today’s “remote” workers and telecommuters, this can be even more important for those who don’t already spend all day in an office together. Respect their time and keep your meetings brief and friendly, a short lunch or coffee is ideal, somewhere away from the distractions and pressures of the office environment.
2. Collaborate Whenever Possible
Collaboration among teams whether virtual, remote, in person or cross-department is vital. As the old saying goes, two minds are better than one. Whether you need a fresh idea from a different perspective, or simply need some confirmation on an idea you are already working on, ask for help. Being available to help others is the flip side of this coin and does a lot to build communications and trust.
3. Keep Your Meetings Short
Strategy sessions and endless meetings have become a running joke among office dwellers. Only hardcore loners hate all meetings on principle, and you can do a lot to make your meetings valuable to all concerned by keeping them short and focused. Keep meetings regular, but only as frequently as is actually productive to minimize the frustration associated with interruptions. Personally, I am a fan of the 30 minute meetings. And I love the 15-minute meeting even more. It can be done if organized effectively, agenda is set and the team members involved understand the goal of the meeting. By keeping meetings short you are driving maximum productivity for not just your team but all parties.
4. Avoid Impersonal Communication
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with too much communication. This can be worse than not enough. To combat this, avoid the urge to send copied messages to those who don’t really need them. Make your communication targeted. The extra time it takes to personalize messages, at least to smaller groups if not individuals, will be made up for by the seriousness your communications will be treated with. By respecting your team members and only giving them what they need, you save them time in sorting out the essential information as well.
5. Open Source Best Practices
Even those who consider themselves least creative, have brilliant ideas from time to time. By providing a place to share the tips and tricks that are working best, you can open source your own best practices among your team members. Whether it’s a great tip for getting the responses you really need in interviews, or a piece of open source software that saves time and money, encourage your team to share what works. Anything that saves time, money, or grief is always appreciated. While I recommend enterprise social media and workplace communication platforms, sometimes a Facebook Group, Google doc, or work platform such as Podio or Basecamp as a central repository for your ideas is the best platform to use.
6. Use Communication Channels That Suit Your Team’s Communication Needs
When it comes to effective team and workplace communication, remember it’s not about you. This might sound strange because you might have had leaders who have demanded they be communicated, engaged or approached in their preferred way. But the economy is strong and times have changed. A team cannot be a dictatorship and the best way to drive communication, engagement and collaboration is with using the methods, mediums and channels your team prefers. So ask them and embrace those channels even if it means using text messaging instead of or in collaboration with email. The key is for your team to work together and communicate in the most effective way. It’s not about you.
The Team Communication Benefits will Astound You
Once open and clear communication is established within a work team, the outgoing communications will improve dramatically. From being able to use team members where their strengths lie, to understanding the motives behind what is being done, the benefits are almost limitless. The important thing is that you remain open and let your employees do the rest.