Communication in the workplace is essential for any business or industry. It’s important to learn how to communicate effectively and efficiently, in order to complete the task at hand. Most workplace teams are comprised of different members with various duties. It’s important to get all of the team members on the same page. Increasing communication at work can greatly impact a team’s productivity and create a strong sense of collaboration.
Communication is a key part of the agile scrum software development process, and something we’re truly passionate about for our own team and the teams we work with each and every day. Communicating clearly and effectively may seem like a simple task, yet it is not always something that comes naturally to people. Oftentimes good communication needs to be taught.
5 Tips to Increase Team Communication at Work
Here are five easy ways to increase communication at work between team members.
- Listen: It may seem funny that the first tip on increasing communication begins with listening, but this is a very important piece of communicating. In a group setting, or with any dialogue, it’s important to really hear what your team members are saying. Sometimes we think we hear what a person is saying, but we are actually using selective hearing and choosing the parts that sound good to us. Active listening can improve your ability to understand the task more fully and keep the group on track. Communication involves not only speaking clearly, but listening as well.
- Create an “open-door” policy: This policy is established to allow every group member the right to speak up or ask questions. Team members should not be afraid to chime in and offer their two cents. The saying, “There are no stupid questions,” should always apply in the workplace. Allowing any and all communication between team members will greatly reduce the amount of errors made and help the team stay organized as well.
- Establish standardized communication procedures: Step number three is a fancy way of scheduling regular meetings between group members. In the world of agile software development, we look forward to daily scrum meetings as a time to touch base, discuss problems, and plan for the day ahead. Whether a group wants to meet every day, every other day, or every week, meetings should be planned in advance. Team members should expect when to be ready for a team meeting. Creating regular meeting times will improve communication between team members. A schedule provides structure and accountability to the team, allowing for preparation between meetings.
- Be specific in your objectives: While holding a team meeting, it’s important to be direct and open with dialogue. This is the time for the group to openly discuss objectives and make sure that everyone understands the team’s goals. Avoid using confusing language or diverting from the purpose of the meeting.
- Choose appropriate forms of communication: It’s important for group members to communicate daily, but to also understand when and where communication is appropriate. Sending emails, skyping, and face-to-face meetings are beneficial. Make sure to keep communication at work, and encourage fellow team members to keep work at work. Do not use social media outlets to discuss work-related information. It is unnecessary and unsuitable. Also, if you need heads down time to complete certain work tasks, it can be helpful to identify the best times of day in which you choose to communicate with other team members. If matters need to be discussed during off-work hours, plan ahead for a time that minimizes the inconvenience.
Whether you implement one of these tips or all of five, it’s essential to increase communication in the workplace. Most team members thrive on open communication and crave structure. Using helpful methods to increase communication like scheduling daily meetings, listening, and creating direct goals, will certainly help a team become better connected and complete the tasks at hand more efficiently. Communication is necessary for every team to function effectively.