Communication can make or break a team. Effective communication is one of the surefire ways of improving a team’s productivity and efficiency. Without good communication, a team is far more prone to making errors, missing deadlines, and not reaching the necessary quality standards a company expects.
Improving a team’s communication is therefore a great way to ensure that a team is as productive as possible, while also making it more likely that team members will be happy and satisfied in their roles. That, in itself, is a great way to improve productivity as happy employees stay on the job longer and less time is spent on hiring new employees.
6 Tactics to Improve Communication Within a Team
Try employing as many of these tactics as possible to improve communication within your team. Even one or two should help promote better communication, but introducing all strategies at once will make a big difference sooner.
1. Encourage Two-Way Communication
Many employees complain about managers. Their main complaint? An arrogant manager who never listens. Arrogance puts up a big barrier to communication between an employee and a manager.
Engaging in two-way communication has so many benefits, beginning immediately with the employees feeling heard and, therefore, more valued. Ask your team questions about how their workflow is going, if all process directions are clear, and if they have any suggestions.
Ask them their thoughts about a project before it begins. If possible, give them some actual input on project implementation and processes. Listen to their worries as well as talking to them about any future pipeline business.
2. Promote Respect
One of the reasons that two-way communication is such an easy win, is that it promotes respect between manager and employees. That can mean listening to one another’s opinions which, in turn, can materially improve communication. Respect helps create a healthier place to work where people feel free to express their opinions and ideas, one’s that could greatly benefit the company.
3. Set Aside One on One Time
In addition to working together as a team that is respectful of each other, make time weekly, if possible, to catch up with employees on an individual basis. It will give them the opportunity to speak out about anything that is worrying them and to share the things they are enjoying.
You will get to know what makes them tick as a result, and you can use that knowledge to help make them even more effective in their role. It offers a relaxed, casual way to open up lines of face-to-face communication.
4. Advocate Types of Communication
While team meetings are great, as well as one-on-ones, verbalizing is not the only way to communicate. Email, online chat applications, and even non-verbal communication such as body language should not be overlooked. Learn more about team building activities for your conference calls.
Again—lead from the front. Be sure your body language does not say anything that you don’t intend to convey. Also, you may need to outline what communication format is best for different situations. Employees usually know when an email is going to be more effective than a face-to-face exchange, but listening to your employees will probably inform you if ever this is not the case.
5. Encourage Concise Communication
It has happened to all of us. We have all been in a meeting where a team member has been taking hundreds of words to explain an issue that could be covered in half that number. Sometimes this is due to a natural verbosity, but some individuals just love the sound of their own voice.
Whatever the cause, find a way to help minimize the number of unnecessary words. It is time-saving, and also a great way of ensuring that team members stay motivated. For example, meetings held while everyone is standing up have been shown to be far shorter as people do not waste time talking about things that are incidental.
6. Take Time Out Together
Finally, take your team out of the workplace and share some downtime together. Relax as a group. Doing so will help strengthen relationships back in the office and improve communication as people start to understand each other better. Besides, having fun is a great stress reliever. What a great way to celebrate the successful conclusion of a project that everyone has worked hard on!
The Benefits of Great Team Communication
Effective communication is a means of improving a team’s productivity and, therefore, improving the company’s profit margins. Successful communication means less time is wasted, as employees know where they stand and what is required of them. Try employing some or all of the above tips today. Your bottom line will thank you.