Regardless of the industry you work in, you should strive for a better way of communicating with teams.
Good communication is crucial while working on long-term projects or daily tasks, because it can eliminate unnecessary problems and promote better performance. It also contributes to better efficiency, productivity, and greater employee satisfaction.
On the other side, poor communication between employees can cost companies. A survey of 400 companies with 100,000 employees found that the average company loses $62.4 million annually because of poor communication.
But teams with good communication habits don't happen overnight. It takes a lot of dedicated work to improve communication among team members and with other teams. First, you should work on creating positive communication habits from day one. Then, you should instill these habits in each team member.
You can achieve this by introducing specific strategies that can help you improve team communication in the workplace. Before we take a closer look at those strategies, let's see the benefits of good communication in a team.
Why is good team communication important?
We will state only a few key reasons why it's vital to communicate effectively. Whether you are working in a corporate setting or in a more creative industry, clear and concise communication will ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.
When team members are able to communicate effectively with each other, it helps to foster a sense of trust and cooperation.
Also, effective communication can help to prevent misunderstandings and conflict. The result is improved productivity since all team members will clearly understand their roles and responsibilities. Finally, good communication can help to create a positive work environment.
4 strategies for effectively communicating with teams
Whether your team works remotely or from the office, these strategies will promote team collaboration and foster communication and healthy relationships, regardless of position or rank.
#1 – Implement regularly one-on-one meetings
One-on-one meetings are perfect for building trust and rapport with your team members. They provide you an opportunity to connect with each team member on a personal level. When scheduling these meetings, give each team member enough time to share what's on their mind.
One-on-one meetings can be a valuable tool for keeping the team connected and aligned. Just make sure to follow up after each meeting to ensure that goals are being met. With these meetings, you will build relationships with your employees and let them feel heard and valued within the company.
It's essential to keep these meetings regularly, even when it feels like there's nothing to discuss. You never know when someone will have something important to tell another.
Gallup's findings underscore the importance of regular communication: "employees whose managers hold regular meetings with them are almost three times as likely to be engaged."
Bonus tip: One-on-one meetings can be live or audio/video chats. If your team is remote, using a video helps bring a real human connection to the conversation.
#2 - Integrate 7 C's in communication strategy
The 7 C's of communication are clear, concise, concrete, correct, considered or coherent, complete, and courteous. Each one is important in its own way in ensuring that your message is communicated effectively.
You don't want your co-workers to have to guess what you mean or to misinterpret your message. Using the 7 C's approach in communications, you are less likely to be vague and misunderstood.
Bonus tip: It doesn't matter whether you prefer verbal, written, visual, or another type of communication, you can and should apply the 7 C's.
#3 – Encourage bottom-up communication and feedback
In a bottom-up communication model, all employees are included in the decision-making process. Their ideas and perceptions are solicited and considered to make the most informed decisions.
This type of communication ensures that all voices are heard and that everyone has the opportunity to participate. That can lead to greater employee satisfaction and more successful decision-making.
If you want to encourage bottom-up communication in your team, you need to build trust first. You can achieve this by regularly asking your co-workers for ideas, opinions, and feedback and letting them know their opinion matters.
Bottom-up communication not only improves morale, it actually makes your employees feel more emotionally invested in their work. That can lead to better performance and results for your team.
Bonus tip: If your team members feel uncomfortable sharing their thoughts in public, you can first encourage them to express their thoughts, opinions, and ideas through surveys or suggestion boxes. You will still receive much-needed feedback, and employees will say what is on their minds.
#4 – Embrace diversity but be aware of diversity issues
Diversity in the workplace can bring many benefits, such as increased innovation, improved decision-making quality, better productivity, and profitability.
However, diversity can also bring communication problems to teams. Because of that, it's important to ensure that differences don't make communication difficult and ineffective.
If you have team members of different ideologies, ages, languages, communication styles – it's crucial to break down all barriers and ensure everyone is on the same page. Additionally, it's important to create a workplace culture that values and respects diversity.
Diverse teams require different communication styles and skills. Most of all, a diverse environment requires breaking down the language barrier and learning when it's better to listen rather than speak. Listening carefully to what others have to say will help you better understand their perspective and find common ground.
Bonus tip: When it comes to diverse teams, practicing reflective listening is the best way to ensure seamless team communication. When you're working on some specific task, ask your team members to restate what they have heard. It would be best to do this in written form, so you could review it together before moving further. This way, you can ensure that your co-workers understand what you've said and what needs to be done.
It's essential to reevaluate your traditional ways of communicating with teams and adapt them. Only by having strong team communication, you will be able to set your team up for success. Good communication leads to better decision making, more engaged team members, and ultimately more successful projects. Therefore, don't underestimate the power of communication.