If you’ve decided that 2023 is the year you’re going to improve communication within your company and enhance team collaboration, then you’re in luck! There are now plenty of digital solutions that can help you do just that easily and cost-effectively.
Below are our top seven tips for fostering better communication within your workforce, from innovative team communication apps to fun team days out!
Stay Connected with a Team Communication App
Get everyone communicating and collaborating via a single platform with a team communication app. These solutions are perfect for helping keep every aspect of your business running more smoothly by providing team members with the opportunity to message, video conference, leave voice notes, and work together on documents in real time.
There are several options out there to choose from, depending on the needs of your team, and featuring a variety of different tools. For example, the Spike team communication app is a great option for hybrid and remote teams; it acts as a centralized hub for organized, easy messaging to keep everyone connected and on the same page.
We’re all usually juggling a hundred tasks at once during our workday, and it can be much easier to simply message your staff rather than having regular face-to-face meetings. However, face-to-face interactions are vital to boost communication within your team and keep things running effectively.
While meeting overload can be the bane of managers and employees alike, there are ways to get the balance right. Have in place a schedule of regular one-to-one meetings with staff, and hold these via video call wherever possible. Similarly, have whole team meetings via video occasionally. When it comes to other meetings, it’s good practice to only invite the staff members absolutely necessary, ensure that every item on the agenda has a purpose and that the meeting lasts no longer than an hour.
Promote a Feedback Culture
Great communication is a two-way street, so ensure that your team has ample opportunity to and feels supported in offering feedback as well as receiving it! As a manager, practice active listening to promote this. This means not simply waiting for the other person to finish speaking so you can reply but carefully listening to what they’re saying – including what their body language and facial expressions are telling you (hence the importance of video meetings!).
Repeat back a summary of the employee’s points to check you’ve understood and assure them that you’ve paid careful attention to what they’ve said. This way, you won’t be distracted, as they’re talking, with the reply you’re going to make, but instead can fully focus on their words and body language cues.
Take Into Account Different Communication Styles
Knowing how individuals within your team communicate can help bolster collaboration and promote more meaningful connections, a key component of improving productivity.
To this end, think about your team as a unique unit: do early morning meetings suit this particular group of people, or do you have a team of night owls on your hands? What type of session inspires and energizes your team: is a long group lunch the situation in which the most creative ideas come to the fore, or is a gather-round-a-desk impromptu brainstorming session what works best every time?
Consider individual personalities: do the more introverted members of the team feel comfortable and have the space to make a contribution, for example? Is there a person on your team who finds messaging back and forth frustrating but is great at sending succinct voice notes? Tailor your communication and collaborative practices to your unique team and the individual personalities within it to see real results.
Use Software to Drive Better Communication
As well as a team communication app, there are lots of other digital tools to consider deploying to pave the way to better team communication. From feature-rich project management software that’s specifically designed to enable richer, easier communication to cloud-based software that allows remote teams to work together as if they were in the same room, the possibilities are endless.
Many options offer a free trial period or access to a free basic tier, so you can get a feel for its suitability before shelling out any cash.
Consider Communication Training
Why not arrange for some training for your team (including yourself!) that’s designed to help people develop their communication skills? Speak with your staff members about the type of training that they feel would be of most benefit – would a session incorporating public speaking be welcome, for example, or could an assertiveness or active listening element help?
Additionally, considering your interest in fostering effective communication, you might want to explore training options that encompass a wide range of skills, such as public speaking techniques. You could even delve into specific aspects like learning how to start a TED Talk script, which could greatly enhance your team’s ability to engage and connect with diverse audiences.
Make Time to Relax Together
And it’s not all about hard work. One of the most effective ways to build better communication with your team to ensure a smoother-running business is to get your staff out on regular team-building days, fun workshops or to initiate a virtual monthly quiz evening – boost the team spirit even further by being in competition with a different department!
These sorts of activities can help employees view their colleagues as real people, with their own personalities, hobbies, interests, and quirks, rather than as simply fellow staff members, which can make a profound difference to the success of collaborative practices.
Better Communication for Better Working Practices
As you can see from the list above, there are plenty of things you can do to enhance the communication with and between your team members, thereby boosting collaboration and driving up productivity. Why not try a few of the ideas we’ve mentioned, and see just what a positive difference they can make within your business?