At a time when remote and hybrid working models are on the rise, and distributed workforces increasingly the norm, the way teams communicate within businesses has seen some stark changes.
The pandemic forced businesses to reevaluate how they communicate. This was a particularly important concern given that effective communication is directly tied to business productivity. Recent studies have shown that effective communication can boost business productivity by up to 25%.
Below, we’ve outlined 4 ways to communicate more effectively between teams to improve productivity, with a focus on adapting to remote and hybrid workplaces.
Leverage communication platforms to collaborate
With workplaces becoming increasingly distributed, and remote employment and work from home becoming far more common, improving communication needs to include tools designed for online collaboration. This includes communications like chat, video, email and collaboration tools like shared documents.
Many businesses now use Slack for Chat, Zoom for video, Gmail for business, and Google Drive to collaborate on documents. That’s a whole lot of apps, which can be inefficient, unproductive, and lead to communication breakdowns. Not to mention all the noisy notifications across apps and all your devices. Overall, it can be distracting and disorganized.
There are a few apps that offer some degree of integration between these various capabilities, but there’s one that stands out. Spike combines all the functionalities you need into a single, integrated, and user friendly video and email chat platform. You’ll have email, calendar, group chat, video chat, collaborative docs, tasks and to dos, and more. All in one easy to use platform. While Spike offers its own robust email client, you can also connect and integrate your existing business email or emails such as Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, and more.
Have regular meetings – but only ones that are actually needed
Having regularly scheduled meetings at every level of the organization is critical to facilitating communication between teams, within departments, and across the organization. But when it comes to scheduling meetings, it’s a delicate balance between overcommunication and not communicating enough.
We’ve all dreaded those lengthy, boring meetings which could have just been an email or a quick phone call. Too many meetings also eat into employees’ time for doing their actual work. When you find yourself scheduling a team meeting, consider if there is a more efficient way to communicate what you are trying to discuss. Do you really need the meeting, or are you just trying to avoid drafting an email? If you decide you do need a meeting, ensure there is an agenda, meeting minutes, and clearly documented outcomes. Ensure there are timelines and task owners assigned to each point of the meeting minutes. This way, meetings end up being to the point, productive and delivering results.
However, it’s also important not to neglect meetings and make the mistake of under communicating. Team meetings are a crucial way to foster relationships, collaboration, and innovation. One-on-one meetings between a manager and each team establish a time and space for each individual to understand their business objectives, organize their priorities, and allow the employee to share their strategies, ideas, feedback and any concerns.
Build an organizational culture of open communication
Improving communication between team members and within the organization is about more than just a series of steps you can take, or effective tools you can utilize. It’s also about the culture you build at the company – and that needs to come from the top down as you set an example for your team.
It’s important to create an open and nurturing culture of communication in which employees feel comfortable reaching out to their leaders to express ideas, voice concerns, and ask questions. In addition to knowing they can freely communicate to their superiors, employees should also know that they are being clearly and transparently communicated to. The more employees are part of the company’s efforts and initiatives, the more engaged they will feel – which has a direct impact on productivity.
It’s also important to make employees feel valued and appreciated. As a leader, some of the ways you can help foster a culture of open communication include implementing an open door policy, so any employee knows they have the opportunity to speak to you in private. In a remote workplace, that may translate to sharing your mobile number with the members of your team.