The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
~ George Bernard Shaw
Whether in school, at the office, out in the field or with a group of volunteers, teamwork is in the DNA of productivity. While there are many factors that play into the success of a team, communication is at the core. Regardless of the team’s talent, ambition, and cohesiveness, communication makes or breaks a team’s success. So it isn’t surprising that 86% of employees and executives blame ineffective communication for workplace failures.
Managers and employees agree that communication is vital to success, yet a shocking $26,041 is lost every year, per worker due to communication inefficiencies! The same study found that a staggering 68% of workers stated they experience difficulty coordinating communications between team members.
So how do you and your team avoid these problems? It all boils down to the little things; crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s when communicating with your team.
Here are 9 tips for better, more effective, more collaborative communication to ensure your team’s success.
1. Establish Goals: This step is imperative. Do this first before starting anything else. Determine what you want to accomplish, how you will accomplish your goals, and what the timeframe is.
2. Clearly Communicate Goals: Articulate the team goals to everyone on your team and any teams that may be assisting your team. Be sure to specifically outline what is expected of everyone involved.
3. Put It in Writing: Whether it be an email, text or a document, make sure the most important aspects of the project are in writing so employees and managers can reference it later.
4. Use Technology: There are hundreds of tools available that can improve team collaboration. At Voxer HQ, we use Dropbox, Google Drive, and GotoMeeting in addition to Voxer. Do some research to determine which tools will work best for your team.
5. Give Feedback: Giving feedback also includes giving suggestions. Don’t just say you dislike something or that something could be better. Be sure to give suggestions and concrete examples of how it could be improved.
6. Meet Often: Meeting frequently keeps your team engaged and holds everyone accountable. If possible, meet face-to-face for better collaboration and group cohesion. A Forbes survey of over 750 business executives found that eight out of ten executives prefer in-person meetings citing they build “stronger, more meaningful relationships, ability to read another person, and greater social interaction.
7. Clearly Delegate: Assign clear goals to everyone on the team and check-in frequently to make sure people understand their responsibilities, and are on track for the project deadline.
8. Say Thanks: Gratitude goes a long way. Be sure to thank the members of your team for all the hard work they are contributing.
9. Be Positive: We all succumb to it from time-to-time, but in general, no one wants to be around negativity. Boost the morale of your team by staying positive, providing positive feedback and reframing negative comments.