Strong and free-flowing communication is a vital driving force behind the success of any organization. To succeed, you need to engage a team of individuals who feel aligned with the company’s mission and vision and are willing to engage in collaborative work to meet business goals. Yet, it’s vital that these individuals feel involved in their assigned tasks and communicate with each other to work efficiently and achieve the desired goals.
According to RingCentral’s Connected Culture Report (2020), 71% of those employees who said they were more productive felt well-connected to their colleagues. This indicates that employees who regularly communicate with their peers are more productive.
Poor communication can cost businesses dearly. A recent study found
- 46% of businesses lose a customer due to poor communication.
- 35% of businesses lose an employee due to poor internal communication.
- 70% of people said they have stopped dealing with a company and gone to a competitor as they felt the former were disorganised in terms of their communication.
Irrespective of whether your company is big or small and what life-changing products you create, the final result will be no good if prompt and proper team communication is lacking. Poor communication among team members can give rise to multiple struggles, such as:
- Missed deadlines
- Wastage of time due to avoidable complexities
- Poor performance
- Work-related stress
- Loss of trust
- Low engagement levels
All of the above problems will make your road to success difficult. However, there’s nothing to worry much as you can implement good communication practices to enjoy several benefits.
Here are five simple but helpful ways to boost internal team communication that can positively impact your employees and company.
1. Use Multiple Modes of Communication Effectively
Your team is likely to use more than one way to communicate. From verbal and nonverbal communication to visual communication, written communication, and active listening, there are various ways team members can use to express their thoughts, brainstorm together, share ideas, offer feedback on what others have to say, etc.
Active listening is equally important as it shows the speakers the audience is engaged and paying attention to what they are saying. You should encourage the use of all five modes of communication (verbal, nonverbal, visual, written, and listening) to foster team collaboration and healthy relationships, regardless of rank or position.
2. Schedule Group and One-on-One Meetings with a Clear Agenda and Timeline
Team communication includes individual interactions and those in group settings. It’s important to foster both so that team members can interact freely, talk about and find solutions to issues, and even share something new they have learned that can benefit the team. Such meetings (group and one-on-one) can also help to check in on the well-being of the team members and address pressing matters, if any.
It’s best to chalk out a clear agenda and set a timeline of the meetings in advance. This will help the attendees know what topics are going to be discussed, how much time is allotted to each topic, if follow-up questions will be allowed or not, etc. Team members can also schedule one-on-ones with each other to get acquainted and build collaborative relationships.
3. Resolve Conflicts Fast
Conflicts at work can begin small. However, even when they appear to be inconsequential, they may soon snowball into something big and serious. For instance, if a team member pushes his part of the deadline without talking to others, it could mean another team member gets lesser time to finish his part of the project.
When it happens the first time, the erring team member apologizes to his teammates, and everything seems well. However, if this person gets into the habit of shifting deadlines and the second team member fails to communicate how it adversely impacts his work, the latter could become frustrated and offended. When such or other conflicts that arise in teams aren’t resolved quickly, tension builds, and work performance takes a beating.
4. Encourage Bottom-Up Communication
Individuals at the bottom of the team hierarchy may not always feel comfortable sharing their ideas, giving feedback, or speaking up. But when you encourage bottom-up communication, you encourage each team member, irrespective of where they are positioned in the team structure, to brainstorm ideas and convey what they think.
Fostering such communication helps build trust and morale within your team, thus giving them a sense of ownership in projects.
5. Prioritise Transparency
When your team members are honest with each other, it will decrease the chances of miscommunication and its risks. As a leader, you can encourage transparent communication by being honest about business performance and disclosing other relevant information as they crop up. Offering constructive criticism is another way to strive for transparency and let your team members improve their skills while keeping the bigger picture goals in mind.
Transparent communication gives team members the right context and stands testimony to how their work is important, which can boost their motivation and make them feel like valued members of the team.
Lastly, don’t forget to consistently provide performance feedback to your team members, reassuring them about how they are doing and letting them stay engaged and inspired to deliver their best.
Though there are various communication styles, varying from simple to complex, tailoring them to suit your company’s needs can help in the long term to build a rock-solid team. Lead by example and foster better communication among team members to lead your company to success.
What other ways to boost internal team communication will you add to our list of five given above?