10 Ways to Improve Team Communication

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Behind every successful company is excellent team communication. Every great team is built entirely on effective team communication. No matter how inspiring your company vision and values are, these will be futile if you’re not communicating with your team properly.

Imagine a company with underlying issues. These issues continue to build up until such time team members hold resentment, jealousy, or anger against one another. If you don’t try to talk the problems out, you’ll lose hardworking people in your organization. And that’s why team communication should be part and parcel of running a business.

Did you know that highly engaged teams increase profitability by 21 percent? If you don’t know where to start, we’ve rounded up these 10 ways for more effective team communication. 

1. Invest in proper tools

team communication

There’s no shortage of team communication and collaboration tools online today. Whether you’re working remotely or in a physical office, using online platforms improves collaboration and prevents miscommunication.

Here’s a list of some apps and software you can use to improve workplace communication:

Messaging Apps

  • Slack
  • Facebook for Work
  • Microsoft Teams

Video Conferencing Tools

  • Zoom
  • Skype

File Sharing Apps

  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • Microsoft OneDrive

Project Management Tools

  • Trello
  • Asana
  • Basecamp
  • ClickUp

Document Editing Tools

  • Evernote 
  • Grammarly
  • Google Apps Suite 

Invest in a handful of these tools, so team communication even with remote teams is just a click away. You want to make it easy for your teams to express themselves when an idea pops up, or feedback is necessary.

Messaging apps are helpful, especially if you’re working with remote employees. You can also create groups so team members who work remotely don’t miss out on essential conversations about the project they’re in.

File-sharing apps like Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive make it easy for people to send files back and forth.

Video conferencing tools like Zoom or Skype are a must in modern workplaces because they allow you to meet face-to-face with your team members virtually. Likewise, Trello or Asana are great for collaboration because they’re easy to use and free.

Overall, workplace communication is one thing that can help save time, money, and a lot of headaches in an office setting.

2. Establish a schedule

The last thing you want is to send someone an inquiry about a project at 3 in the morning. This is why you need to establish regular schedules, especially if your members are in different time zones.

Be mindful and sensitive of others’ leisure time. Poor team communication permeates unprofessional behavior. Also, some platforms offer a “Do Not Disturb” feature so everyone else in the channel will know when to hold off their inquiries — unless it’s a life-and-death matter.

Once again, you can use a variety of tools online to schedule meetings. Here are a few:

  • Meetingbird. This is a free meeting schedule that is user-friendly. It has a simple interface and extremely powerful integrations that make it easy to set up meetings. 
  • Calendar. As the name suggests, Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking meetings. It offers both desktop and mobile versions. Plus, its most powerful feature is the statistics function, where it tracks attendees and progress in meetings. 
  • Calendly. If you want to encourage your team to schedule meetings with you, use Calendly. You only need to show them your availability and connect it to your calendar like Outlook or Google Calendar.

3. Bond with your team regularly

To have an excellent team, you need to socialize regularly. It’s important for everyone on the staff to get along well and understand each other better.

If you work with people in different departments — say marketing and sales — then set up an email series so that one group can learn about what the other is doing without having to interrupt. It’s easy to create appropriate channels to schedule events and get-togethers by using tools like Slack or Asana. 

Better yet, you can also organize regular mini-retreats to get the team together. A simple lunch, quick coffee break, or a fun video chat will suffice. Any activity that brings every member out of their shell is always a good step towards getting to know them better.

However, the best bonding activity is a team building retreat. By organizing games, this will allow your team members to have a sense of camaraderies and playful competition. Playing games during retreats also lets you determine every member’s strengths and weaknesses.

Face-to-Face Games

 

        Here are a few games you can try:

  • Coin game. Ask members to empty their pockets and grab all their coins. Then instruct them to create the best logo using the coins available. 
  • Two Truths and One Lie. This is a nice icebreaker to get members’ to write down two truths and one lie about themselves. The goal is to convince others that your truths are lies and the lie is the truth. 
  • Picture puzzles. This game is as straightforward as it can get. You can print out a huge picture and cut it into small pieces just like a puzzle. The first team that assembles the picture wins. 

Virtual Games

        If a face-to-face interaction isn’t possible, then don’t fret. Zoom makes a pretty good channel for your virtual team building retreats. Here are a few games you can try:

  • Guess that drawing. You can let someone share their screen on Zoom and play a drawing game. One can draw something and other members should guess what it is. 
  • Typing game. Write a bunch of quotes in different typefaces. Then let the members type exactly what was written, including the punctuation marks and spaces. 
  • Guess that song. Play a couple of song intros and let the players guess the title of the song and the artist.

4. Keep everyone in the loop

Being left out is the absolute worst feeling when you’re working in a company. Try all forms of team communication if you want to get every member involved in the goings-on in your company. Even if it’s a minor update, every member will have a sense of belongingness if you cascade the information.

Never forget to keep them in the loop. This means being transparent and open about everything that’s on their mind. That way, it won’t be a shock when something goes wrong, or something new happens that affects everyone.

Here are a few ways to keep everyone in the loop virtually or physically:

  • Hold scrum meetings daily
  • Videoconference once every two weeks
  • Group chat updates
  • Weekly or daily team meetings
  • Hold meetings on the first day of the workweek

5. Encourage open team communication

Open team communication shouldn’t be a priority, but it should be part of your company culture. If you tag it as a priority, it can change depending on external and internal factors. However, if you make it a part of your company culture, it will be instilled in every team member, allowing them to make it a habit daily.

Take note of everyone’s opinion and encourage them to deliver their thoughts. The more information you have, the better decisions you’ll be able to make. Encourage active dialogue by asking questions about what people are feeling or thinking, which can often lead to exciting discoveries for your company.

One upper hand of open team team communication is it fixes issues right off the bat. When a member feels like he or she can’t share her feedback, the issues can fester further. On the flip side, if employees are comfortable sharing their feedback, you can tackle the problem at hand, avoiding escalation.