Think for a moment how your team communicates on a daily basis. What does it sound like? Is it idle chit chat, meaningful conversation, or perhaps professional collaboration?
Growing your business relies on all team members learning to express themselves clearly, translate ideas into action, and implement and utilize workflows to accomplish tasks and projects at hand.
Although rarely addressed, effective internal communication is a critical element and a vital part to support innovation, employee engagement, and goal achievement for high performing teams. A study cited by Weekdone, indicates that companies who promote and follow best practices for communication, not leaving it to chance, are 4.5 times more likely to have highly engaged employees and 20 percent less employee turnover.
Teams who have a communication process in place outperform their counterparts both in efficiency and, you guessed it – financially.
Let’s take a look at what is seldom taught; how a team can communicate effectively to get things done.
Ultimately, in a team environment, the purpose of communication is to be productive with as much harmony as possible. In this sense, the quality of communication is measured by three benchmarks:
- Communication without confusion
- Providing complete information (nothing is missing)
- Providing specific and rational context
Inevitably, a combination of these elements will lead and direct your team to a focal point, accountability, and reduced communication cycles. Here are some key fundamentals to incorporate into an effective communication plan:
Essential Principles for Great Team Communication
1) Make Your Mission and Vision Clear
Whether as part of your hiring and onboarding process or as a static reminder, take time to explain your firm culture, mission, and vision. When employees are united in their understanding of the business goals, they are able to communicate with one another more effectively in order to achieve them.
2) Encourage Interdependence
The best way to get teams to function like a team is through shared employee experiences and creating interdependence. No one wins unless everyone wins. It’s as simple as that. Partner team members together for specific projects, create shared metrics, and encourage brainstorming sessions to share ideas, encourage creativity, and address project alternatives.
3) Assign and Share Project Values
This is one of my favorite principles because it works. Assign tangible values to every deliverable completed in your office and publicize it to your team. The philosophy underlying this principle is simple; all team members have a clear understanding of the value everyone provides, including their own.
- Identify the value of each project
- Establish metrics that quantify the identified value
- Confirm the value delivered
If a project doesn’t support the firms goals in a tangible way, the team shouldn’t be doing it.
4) Make Goals Public – Be Transparent
Publish company, team, and personal goals in a common area so they are visible. Research objectives and key results (OKR) and document them. Ensure that the purpose of every action is crystal clear and that it is obvious to everyone who is doing what and why. This has proven to be a successful system used by Google.
5) Establish a Collaborative Environment
Teamwork is built on trust. Allow time for leaders and team members to get to know one another and develop relationships. Regardless of hierarchy, demonstrate that everyone’s input is highly valued. When leaders and the team can count on support from one another to reach goals, they will succeed.
Finally, don’t forget to include a means for feedback. Feedback is critical to improve performance and reduces the chance for misunderstandings.
There is a difference between good communication and great communication. A few simple strategies will streamline your communication, keeping it clear and concise, saving you hours each week. By adopting internal communication practices, you’ll be on your way to building a stronger team.
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