Improving internal communication allows businesses to operate more efficiently, increases worker engagement, and helps with team building.
Modern employees aren’t born with the ability to communicate effectively and collaborate with their peers, though.
They need help from managers and company owners to deal with conflict and maximize collaboration and creativity.
Business owners who want to improve their workplaces and increase their profits can read on to find out about eight proven ways to improve communication within their teams.
Use Specialized Tools When Possible
In-person meetings serve many valuable purposes, facilitating collaboration, and ensuring that all team members are on the same page.
They’re not the only form of employee communication, though, and for many tasks, there are better ways to go about sharing information and increasing efficiency.
The right communication tools will make it easier to update employees, get accurate reporting, collaborate through social technologies, and organize meetings in advance when they are necessary to ensure that they are productive.
In today’s environment, it’s essential to find online communication tools that can be accessed from anywhere since most companies now have at least some employees that work remotely.
Keep those needs in mind when choosing the right software products.
Good communication flows both ways, meaning that employees should be encouraged to offer input and feedback instead of just listening to what managers have to say.
Encouraging dialogue helps to ensure that all team members are on the same page and all employees understand what will be required of them to complete projects efficiently and effectively.
It also helps to build functional work relationships between team members, managers, and others in the company, which increases worker satisfaction and decreases employee turnover.
Lead by Example
Team leaders and managers should lead by example when it comes to communication.
The best way to ensure that they can do this is to provide training in effective communication strategies and conflict resolution.
If managers can implement what they learn in training seminars, it will help to create an environment where all employees feel that their input is valued and they are encouraged to offer feedback, ask for clarification on assignments they don’t understand and collaborate with others to get projects done on time.
Clarify Goals and Objectives
It’s nearly impossible for a team to execute a strategy if its members don’t fully understand the goals and objectives they are working towards, so make sure to clarify them before teams begin work on a new project.
Effective companies publish company-wide, team, and personal goals so that all employees feel that they are included in a transparent process designed to realize shared goals.
This makes the work feel more meaningful and encourages team members to collaborate with each other to complete projects and maximize profits for the company.
Don’t just schedule one team meeting at the beginning of the project and assume everyone will stay on the same page.
Make internal communication a habit by establishing structured weekly meetings or using online tools to keep everyone informed about the project’s progress.
Encourage all employees to offer feedback at each step of the way and make sure everyone understands any changes that must be implemented to the strategy or end goals.
Run Regular Surveys
Employee surveys give managers and team leaders the chance to check in with team members and offer workers the opportunity to speak up about problems, address conflicts, and ensure that their voices are being heard.
Don’t focus exclusively on future plans or recent achievements.
Create open-ended surveys that allow workers to express themselves in their own words.
Don’t like the idea of formal surveys?
Casual group discussions can serve a similar purpose.
Instead of scheduling an official meeting, have team members gather over lunch to provide updates, address issues with the project, and offer feedback on how everything is going instead.
Offer Employee Training
Just as most managers don’t have dedicated training in conflict resolution, most employees have never learned about healthy methods of communication.
If team members are having trouble resolving conflicts between themselves and collaborating successfully to achieve shared goals, it can help to offer training sessions in methods for improving interpersonal communication.
There’s more to interpersonal communication than clearly expressing goals, needs, and problems. Team members need to be able to express themselves in positive ways, pay attention to tone and body language, exercise compassion for their coworkers, and understand other people’s perspectives.
People aren’t born with those skills.
They need to learn them, and managers can help by providing employees with the opportunity to do so.
Establish Regular Processes
Scheduling routine meetings, sending out progress reports, acknowledging successes, and requesting structured employee feedback can all help to improve internal collaboration and make team members feel that their time and effort are valued.
Create structures and regular processes for these communiques to make good communication a habit instead of a hassle.
Employees want to be kept in-the-loop, so team leaders need ways to hold themselves accountable for keeping everyone updated and on the same page.
None of the tips laid out above will help if team leaders and team members don’t know how to listen to each other.
Active listening involves patterns of behavior that keep employees positively engaged with their conversation partners.
It’s a great way to ensure that employees feel heard and understand that their opinions are valued, so make sure managers, team leaders, and workers all know how important it is to practice active listening.
The Bottom Line
Improving internal communication requires some work, but it will pay off in the form of more satisfied employees, more effective teams, and better profits for the whole company.
Make it easier for employees to collaborate by providing them with the tools, training, and good examples they need to easily communicate problems, accomplishments, and progress.
To make the most of these improvements, ensure that the company can provide the same level of services to remote workers as those in its offices so that everyone can stay involved.