Effective team communication in a team where people work in different places at different times ensures that everyone knows the best way to contact the person they need to work with, when they can do so, and the timeframe in which they’ll get a response. This can help everyone work more efficiently.
What Is Effective Team Communication?
Effective team communication is the ability to convey ideas, thought, interpretations, and data in a clear and concise manner to the people you work with. This streamlines every conversation by eliminating ambiguity and reducing unnecessary questions or discussions, allowing you to reach the heart of the matter quickly.
Team communication can take many forms, such as speaking in person or over video conferencing, or writing an email or instant message. Some forms of communication are better than others. Delivering instructions in written form, for example, makes it easier to refer back to them when needed, while questions or details are better discussed orally.
Why Is Communication Important In A Team?
Communication in a team is important to make sure everyone is able to complete the tasks they need to. While there will always be jobs that are done alone, they often have an impact on what someone else has to do, and when things have to be done by. Good team communication can eliminate problems before they arise.
How Can You Improve Communication In A Team Of Hybrid Workers?
Improving communication in a team that has adopted a hybrid way of working can be a challenge, but there are simple ways to enable it. Effective team communication helps everyone do their jobs better, from understanding what it is they’re expected to do, to knowing who to work with on specific projects - and much more.
It’s important to know how your colleagues prefer to communicate to put the right things in place to help them perform at their best.
Utilise The Right Tools
There’s a huge range of team communication tools available to businesses - and they all work in different ways.
Email and phone calls are a staple for many businesses. Phones allow people working in any location to be a part of a conversation without being physically present, while email is fantastic for communicating with people who aren’t able to respond right away. Files and resources can also be sent this way.
Newer tools include messaging apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams. These are more instantaneous than email, allowing messages to be sent quickly like mobile messaging apps. Video calls are a popular way to replace phone calls, so remote workers can be present beyond a voice. This helps effective communication by bringing tone and expression into the equation.
Finding the right tools for your team, and using them in the right way, will make everyone more productive.
Use Meetings Effectively
Knowing that some things are better discussed in person, it can be tempting to arrange meetings to talk about projects, tasks, or topics that need in-depth conversation or will raise a lot of questions.
The problem here is that these meetings can often overrun or disrupt an employee's day when they’re working through other things - even if they are planned.
A better strategy for effective team communication is to book shorter meetings with fewer people, to help minimise the impact meetings can have on the working day. Alternatively, you can also hop on to an impromptu video chat for remote workers for that face-to-face discussion that you would have with those in the workplace.
Identify Clear Action Points
One of the best ways to improve team communication, whether staff are remote or physically present in the workplace, is to make sure action points are clear at all times.
When a task is assigned, or a new project is starting, it helps to make sure everyone knows what their responsibilities are and what’s expected of them. It’s easy to do a quick round-up in person, but we often forget to do the same over email or messaging tools, as we’ve already written things out .
Effective team communication should remove ambiguity, so at the end of every message or meeting, make sure action points, goals and targets are clear.
Trust Your Team
You’ll find communication in a team is greatly improved when you show trust in the people you work with. This can be difficult, especially for new managers who are finding their feet. The instinct is to control every little thing, but this has a negative effect on the people working for you.
You can show trust in your team by avoiding micro-managing them or trying to control where they are and what they do every minute of the day. This will demotivate your colleagues and make them less productive. Team communication will suffer, as these people will be less responsive and engaging as a result.
Put a focus on results and let your team show you what they can do.
Focus On Collaboration
With a hybrid workforce, it’s easy for some people to feel detached from others when they don’t see or interact with them often. While everyone will have their own tasks to complete, encouraging staff to work together can help with effective team communication and getting better results than when working alone. Team dynamics become an important element to consider, as some working styles can clash, but working together does bring employees closer together, which can be helpful.
You can also help improve team communication by encouraging them to talk to each other on messaging tools socially, such as at the start or end of the day, to ensure everyone feels connected and able to approach people when needed.
Can Team Communication Training Help?
Another way to improve communication in a team is with good team communication training. There are a lot of courses to choose from, and they all focus on different topics.
Effective team communication can be directly improved through a course like the How To communicate With Impact, which looks at the different ways we communicate and how to choose the best style, among other things.
Other team communication training focuses on specific elements of the skill, and are suited for different people. The How to Run Brilliant and Inclusive Virtual Meetings is a great course for people working with hybrid teams and can make it easier to deliver presentations in any format. You can complement this with the Presentation Skills for the Reluctant Presenter, so that staff are ready for any presentation, no matter the environment or format.
For those in management roles, the Leading Hybrid Teams training covers different aspects of keeping a hybrid team working effectively, including improving team communication.
Find Out More About Team Communication For A Hybrid Workforce
Getting your team communication working efficiently for a hybrid workforce is a challenge - and differs from team to team. Understanding the different factors you can control, and things you can implement, will help with effective team communication and keep staff working at their best with each other - no matter where they are.
Get in touch with the team at The Hub Events now and we’ll help you find the best courses to improve team communication, whether through a general course or a specific skill you want to help your employees improve. Effective team communication has many benefits, and we can help everyone unlock their potential.