7 Tips for Communicating Effectively with Your Team
The value of communication between you and your team has always been important, but with changing technology comes changes in the workplace, making a focus on communication essential. Team members want to feel they are heard and also know exactly what’s expected of them. Any communication barriers can take a toll on workplace performance and lead to new business challenges, making communication improvements the first step in accomplishing organizational goals. Effective communication practices build rapport and trust between colleagues, increases efficiency, facilitates innovation, and can foster a happy workplace.
As a leader, it’s your responsibility to set expectations and rectify communication issues with coworkers. Here are 7 tips to initiate good communication and open doors for workflow to run much smoother.
Decide which form of communication works best.
Different forms of communication will work better in certain situations. For example, a project involving team members working remotely would benefit greatly from video conferencing to keep everyone in contact. In-house initiatives usually work best with a face-to-face meeting or a simple email for smaller tasks.
Leverage your team’s communication strengths.
It’s important to remember that not everyone communicates the same way. Some people are more visual learners and prefer written forms of communication like email. Auditory people benefit more from a phone call or in-person chat. Embracing everyone’s differences not only allows for better communication but sends your team the message that you value them as individuals.
Schedule consistent one-on-one and team meetings.
Team meetings are important because, rather than hold in any issues, they provide members a specific time and place to work through them together. One-on-one interactions are equally important with each of your employees to work towards individual goals and ensure they are staying engaged. Schedule both meetings at the same time each week and make it a point not to miss them. By keeping it consistent, people will show up better prepared than if you schedule them at random.
Provide a platform for sharing information and guiding discussion.
Creating a space that gives team members a voice eliminates frustration and can subside potential issues. In addition, leveraging a set agenda will help guide communication and keep your meetings productive. To do this, many organizations use a digital team worksheet with areas for employees to submit project updates, new ideas, and voice questions or concerns.
Be clear about tasks and responsibility.
When working with a team, it’s likely you’ll run into production issues if anyone is unsure about the tasks they’re responsible for. In meetings and project kick-off’s ensure the entire team understands the scope of work and exactly what is expected out of them. Checking in during your team meetings is a good way to keep everyone on track and aware of their responsibilities.
Encourage an open-door policy and two way feedback.
To foster a smooth work environment, it’s important for you to be open to hearing feedback on yourself and opening your door at all times (figuratively and literally). An open-door policy sets the precedent that anyone can ask questions, voice concerns, and pitch ideas at any time.
Last, lead by example.
As with most things in an organization, everything starts at the top. Your team will be more likely to engage in constructive communication practices if the behavior is being endorsed by their leader. Model the communication style you want to see in your employees by treating everyone with respect, providing clear direction, and asking for honest feedback.