Communication is integral to most things in life, both at work and home. By improving the way you communicate, you can not only make your relationships in your personal lives better, but in the workplace, you can also make a huge impact on the way you and your business performs.
Pinar highlights that today, a team can mean a variety of things. Gone are the days where workplaces were confined to a particular location or office space. Teams can be made up of virtual, temporary and remote workers, but they are still expected to work together towards a common goal. These varying conditions can make it harder to communicate well and is less likely to be face-to-face, so often, businesses are tasked with thinking outside of the box to improve internal communications.
Being a good communicator
In any team, communication is key to making employees feel engaged, as though they belong, and ultimately inspired to perform. It is essential for managers or team leaders particularly to be good communicators, as they must lead by example and manage a range of personalities and situations.
In order to be a good communicator, you must first be:
- Emotionally intelligent
- Able to work comfortably with others
- Content with communicating via various channels
- Confident communicating verbally and in writing
Working as one
Most companies have a couple of individuals who are great communicators, and a few who are not. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is important to get the good ones to lead a revolution and inspire the others to do better.
If you don’t have someone to lead the internal communications strategy, then these helpful tips will still make a world of difference to the way you function as a business, your team’s creativity, how you liaise with clients, and getting employees engaged. Small changes can make a very big difference.
- Understand yourself
Good communicators understand themselves, are self-aware, and are upfront and present. They mirror the people they get on well with, and make an impact through charisma and their strong personalities, while also remaining approachable.
- Know your colleagues
You can’t make change overnight, so take some time to get to know your team. Find out how people like to communicate best and try to adapt to their needs. It will be really beneficial in the long run, and will improve the company culture.
- Be flexible
Those that communicate well often have strong, boisterous personalities. But what should not be forgotten is that good communication stems from being adaptable and versatile. You should aim to build bridges both inside and outside your team, as it will make a huge difference to the way you ‘send’ and ‘receive’ messages.
- Unite the masses
You can’t always agree, but regardless of whether your team all work in the same office, or are based in a variety of countries, you all need to be in the same boat. Rally together in times of need and when it comes to decision-making, include as many employees as possible.
- Hone in on each of your team’s individual strengths
Everyone in your team has particular skills, and it’s essential you value each of them. Remember, the more skills you have across your team, the stronger you are. Appreciating individual skillsets within your team creates a positive and respectful company culture.
- Be inclusive
Part of good communication is ensuring everyone feels involved. By adopting a culture within your team that is inclusive, and openly accepts new ideas, you will improve employee engagement, and people will feel more inspired to contribute internally.
- Increase face time
In this day and age, it’s more and more common for people to work from home or have flexible work patterns. To ensure those that don’t always work in the office feel included, try and increase the number of opportunities to bring your team together. This could be a monthly face-to-face meeting, or a quarterly social, for example. Employees will start to connect, and subsequently engage more with the business. People want to feel involved in a business’ operations, and this can help employees feel involved.
- Use a variety of methods
There are so many ways to communicate, and it’s essential you identify what works best for the recipients. This can be internally within your team, or with the rest of your colleagues in your business. By communicating with your audience in a way that’s accessible and preferable to them, your message is more likely to be received the way it’s intended.
- Don’t limit your employees
In small teams, many employees work in hybrid roles where they are able to perform multiple tasks and in turn, learn new skills. It’s important to keep your employees inspired and not too limited in their roles, so even if your organisation doesn’t allow for ‘hybrid’ positions, make sure there’s a means for development.
- Make use of the shared space
On a very basic level, don’t forget your immediate environment. Today, with the constant advancement of technology, email and digital means of communication are some of the most popular ways to communicate. Remember that within your team, you can utilise your office space to communicate messages. If you sit next to people, talk to them; if you are in a shared workspace, put up posters and host meetings internally. Such approaches can only improve the way you interact and engage.
Adopt these top 10 tips, and see what a difference they will make to your efficiency and internal communications. You may well be surprised how important communication skills are to success, as opposed to technical abilities.
Ultimately, these tips should help your team become more efficient, and it’s very likely productivity will increase. If you really want your team to succeed, you may need to invest in some communications training, but it will be well worth the spend.
For some extra hints and tips on communicating better as a team, check out our post ‘Give your internal communications the right tone‘ or download our guide The business benefits of employee engagement.