If you’ve ever worked in a team setting, you know the confusion and time-consuming tedium that comes with misworded emails or vague conversations. Ineffective communication costs you and your company time, energy and ultimately money.
Whether speaking in person or drafting an email, mastering the art of internal communication will not only increase clarity and direction but will also foster a more productive and motivated team.
Improve communication within your company by overcoming these three challenges:
Challenge: Team members are reluctant to share ideas
Are your team members effectively communicating their ideas? If not, the consequences could be costly. A study performed by VitalSmarts found that a lack of communication and information sharing among team members led to a loss of $7,500 for each missed conversation on employee productivity.
A lack of participation among your team members likely has less to do with their initiative and is more indicative of their fear of personally insulting coworkers or losing the respect of managers and team leaders. Especially provoked by fear or anxiety, this challenge is further exacerbated when urging team members to communicate during times of low morale.
Solution: Cultivate a culture of idea-sharing and feedback
In order to foster a more collaborative work environment, focus on dousing your team’s fear of sharing by promoting a community that supports and builds off each other’s ideas. Making a conscious effort to ask team members their thoughts or advice during meetings and brainstorms will demonstrate your openness to new ideas, which will result in a lower reluctance to share ideas.
Your team may also benefit from attending a class on the art of offering constructive feedback, which emphasizes constructive comments on ideas as opposed to commentary on the person who made them.
These changes may not yield immediate improvements, but when fostered over time, you will see changes to your workplace culture with one another and with those overseeing your projects.
Challenge: Your team has no clear method for sharing information
Even if your team is already adequately sharing information among one another, it’s valuable to consider how and through what methods this information is relayed. This is especially important if your position requires you to communicate across departments, teams or projects—or in any other role where you are toggling between several different chat feeds, email threads and work-related calls between both your personal and work numbers.
If you don’t plan your communication methods, you’ll likely spend more time on messaging platforms and become less organized.
Solution: Consolidate communication channels
Although the individuals that comprise your team may personally prefer one type of communication over another, developing a team-wide—or company-wide—initiative for communicating will help minimize confusion and help ensure that no one misses important correspondence. This could either mean adding new tools where communication is lacking while eliminating others that offer benefits that aren’t used by your business.
For companies large and small, a system of unified communications is an easy solution for simplifying and securing internal communication—and will help ensure that communications stay constantly updated by the cloud. Once your company has chosen its preferred methods and tools, include a section on communications methods in your internal documentation as a reference for current employees and a guide for new talent.
Challenge: Goals, responsibilities, and problems are not communicated between departments
When executing on specific tasks that are unique to their position, your employees may get lost in the trenches of their work and, as a result, lose sight of larger objectives.
The day-to-day impact of neglecting to see a larger company vision might seem minimal, but over time, your business may witness a breakdown of communication whenever information needs to be relayed between departments.
Solution: Encourage interactions across the company
Effective communication across departments can only happen in companies that endorse collaboration and community outside of one’s specific field. And with greater understanding and communication between different branches, your company may also enjoy an increase in idea-sharing and innovation, workers with more diversified skill-sets and many other advantages.
Author Bio: Heather Radworth is an online content specialist whose writing focuses on the technology, culture and business trends.
Photo Credit: Dean Moriarty from Pixabay