Most practical strategies to improve communication with team members

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Over the years, business organizations have become increasingly dependent on the ability of specialty teams to work on projects that require an innovative outlook and the contribution of skilled professionals. While using teams provide a lot of benefits such as distributed workload, lower burnout rates, and better productivity, implementing good team communication strategies is a prerequisite to making a successful team.

Benefits of effective team communication  

  • Following time-tested team communication strategies can positively impact the growth of the organization and improve employer-employee relationships.

The benefits of implementing solid team communication strategies are not just limited to enhanced productivity:

      • Effective team communication strategies create space for sharing creative and innovative ideas
      •  When goals and responsibilities are clearly communicated employees understand their role in the team.
      • Good communication practices motivate team members to improve their work performance.
      • An efficient team communication strategy ensures that all members stay connected at every phase of the project without missing out on relevant information.
      • Consistent communication is a significant factor in improving employee job satisfaction. Statistics reveal that an organization that has effective communication strategies generates 4.5 times higher talent retention.
      • Business processes are also simplified when there is frequent and clear employer-employee communication.

In the long run, effective team communication strategies are an absolute necessity for an organization that is largely dependent on the talents or expertise of a diverse group of individuals mobilized to achieve a common goal.

Best team communication strategies essential for high performing teams

Teams are a blend of experienced or skilled individuals who work towards a common goal. An ideal team combines skill with effective communication practices to tap its highest potential.

Here are some of the best team communication strategies that are followed by high performing teams

1 . Use communication techniques that are best to convey the message

Effective communication in its true sense is a selective amalgamation of verbal, non-verbal, visual and written communication techniques.  To communicate goals or share relevant information, team members can use the most appropriate technique that suits the nature of the message that needs to be conveyed.

For instance, during regular team meetings, managers may verbally communicate with the team or they may also make use of visual aids like presentations, graphics and images.  Similarly, an email that addresses team roles and responsibilities is an example of written communication.

2 . Adopt inclusiveness to create a sense of belonging among team members

In a team, active participation can only happen if members feel heard and included in the decision-making process. Creating an open environment that is inclusive of diverse perspectives and views requires consistent effort from the part of the organization or team leader. Non-verbal communication and active listening are critical to ensuring that a sense of belonging is instilled in the minds of the employees

        • Non-verbal cues play a significant role in stimulating an inclusive environment – Non-verbal communication is a crucial soft skill that can make you a good team leader who understands the pulse of the team and acts accordingly. Practicing some of these subtle and basic non-verbal cues can have a positive impact on the employees both on a personal and professional level:
        • Give the speaker your undivided attention by making eye contact or showing signs of approval with head nods
        • Keep a check on your tone of communication and
        • Embody an optimistic outlook in your interactions
        • Demonstrating these subtle cues shows that you are actively listening and open to ideas from all quarters.
        • Active listening encourages active participation– Team meetings can be monotonous especially if only a selected few are given a chance to speak. Regardless of the hierarchy or status, a conscious effort should be made to ensure that every team member in the meeting is heard and understood. This will open doors to more ideas and help in looking at challenges from different vantage points.

3 . Equip your team with the right communication and collaboration tools

A study by TroopMessenger reveals that 33% of HR professionals report poor team collaboration decreases employee morale. Managers and team members should be equipped with the right tools to enable smooth collaboration within the team. These tools must enable consistent communication and collaboration for any type of team, be it a traditional office setup, remote working, or hybrid team.

While not all organizations can afford to develop their own centralized communication software, there are many freely available communication tools like Slack, Asana, Zoom, and Clariti that can simplify communications for you.

4 . Build an environment of transparency 

People like to feel valued and be designated with a purpose when they are part of a team. Building an environment where employees feel respected and safe to voice their concerns is one of the most vital team communication strategies. When team members know the significance of their role in the growth of the team, they are motivated to use their skills and knowledge to bring out the best outcomes.

According to statistics, 99.1% of team members want to be part of an organization that nourishes honest communication. Employees who work in an environment that practices transparent communication are bound to trust their managers better. Cultivating a culture of transparency and trust among team members has several other benefits:

      • It increases employee loyalty and job satisfaction
      • Reduces employee turnover and retains talents
      • Encourages uninhibited flow of creativity and innovative ideas
      • Empowers employees to focus on their individual growth and skill development

 5 . Avoid micromanagement to improve productivity and trust

Managers of high-performing teams focus on communicating relevant team goals and then help team members to achieve them. Employees need to be given guidance and a proper workflow structure to complete their tasks.

However, skeptical team leaders tend to be doubtful of their team’s capabilities and eventually end up supervising employees excessively. While micromanagement is beneficial at the initial phases of team development and training – it can lead to low productivity and burnout among employees at a later stage. On the contrary, when employees feel that their boss trusts them, they have a sense of purpose and tend to approach their managers more freely in case of any unexpected challenges.

6 . Simplify information before communicating to the team 

Effective communication takes time and effort but is a huge contributing factor to the success of any team. Getting the right message across clearly and concisely ensures all the team members are on the same page. Planning effective team communication strategies to streamline the information that needs to be shared is essential to avoid overload and ambiguity.

Understand your audience and simplify the message for better comprehension. Managers must ensure that the information shared does not include jargon unless it is absolutely necessary, especially when the team consists of employees in distinguished job roles.

7 . Promote constructive feedback 

Feedback is essential to realign the team to its goals. Often feedback is only given by an employer to an employee, after accessing individual performance. However, a good team leader ensures that he actively listens to understand the perspectives of the team members. This facilitates a ground-level assessment of the team’s performance.  To encourage constructive feedback, it is essential to keep aside ego, workplace politics and personal agendas.

8 . Implement regular employee recognition programs 

Regular teamwork appraisals and employee recognition are among the most effective team communication strategies followed by employee-centric organizations. Recognition can come in many forms: Bonuses, Awards, or even little gestures of appreciation in private can go a long way into motivating employees to be active contributors to the team’s success.  Employees who are recognized by their employers are more likely to perform better and stay loyal to the organization.

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