The traditional idea of a workplace has been in constant flux for the last 20 years, and things are changing exponentially. Not only has the idea of an office changed, but more and more tools are popping up that redefine how we talk to each other. After all, it wasn’t long ago that faxes and snail mail ruled the roost for sending documents.
So in the modern day, what is team communication?
Much more than phone calls and emails, tools like Bitrix24 have transformed what effective team communication in the workplace is, from best practices to unique ways of using new tools. There are all kinds of ways you can transform your business team communication, so read on for our 8 tips.
As the old adage goes, there are a lot of ways you can save time in the future by preparing well in the present, and adopting this mentality will help you out in the future. In the context of team communication at work, you can start by setting up processes for communication and teach all your new recruits how the system functions.
For example, defining workflows for new recruits and saving them in your shared drive can streamline how you speak to your colleagues, cutting out the frustration and time wasted with spur-of-the-moment requests.
A well-maintained employee directory is a great example of good team communication, even though no communication occurs directly.
Think of it more as a facilitator. Instead of pinging an instant message to your boss to ask who the head of social media is, just type “social media” in your employee directory and you’ll have the answer in seconds. Bitrix24 allows you to search any keyword or name and will even bring back close matches if you didn’t quite nail the spelling.
Each person’s profile has a range of contact channels, including emails, instant messaging, phone calls, and video calls, and you can even see if they are available to speak to.
As you hire new people, get them to create their own profile as you explain how the directory works and it will quickly become part of your company culture.
More and more workers are finding their days tied up in meetings rather than actually getting on with their tasks, so be sure not to fall into this trap.
One great way to get started is by blocking out “do not disturb” blocks on your team calendars. This way, your team can fully focus on their task, knowing they won’t get pulled away and have to waste even more time by getting back to what they were doing.
Similarly, you can make it clear that it’s OK to decline meeting invitations. Whether you think your skills aren’t relevant to the project or you trust others to make decisions, it shouldn’t be taboo to turn down a meeting.
Of course, you can’t simply refuse all meetings — some things need to be discussed. But if you adopt the right habits, you can make your meetings a perfect example of slick team communication.
Here, good preparation is half the work. Send out invitations in advance with a complete description of the topics to be addressed so everybody is prepared and ready to go. We all know our colleagues, so you might want to also schedule a reminder the day before, just in case.
During the meeting, be sure to stick to your agenda. As the meeting organizer, you’re well within your rights to stop things getting off-topic. When you’re done, add your meeting notes to your agenda and save them in your shared drive to look back on later.
With tools like Bitrix24, you get a full range of capabilities, but one that maybe doesn’t fit into the stereotypical “communication” category are your project management tools.
If you think about it, it makes sense. Why set up an entire project and then double your work by firing out emails explaining what you’ve just created?
When you’re setting up your projects in Bitrix24, you can assign a responsible person as well as observers — no need to alert anyone who isn’t participating. You can set your deadlines, a range of subtasks, and repetitions if it is a recurring task. Everybody involved will get a notification on their activity stream with all the info they need within the task. Who needs emails?
You can’t blame people for thinking their task is the be-all and end-all. We’re all guilty of it.
However, having your desktop pinging constantly throughout the day distracts you from your main tasks, and receiving a clear and concise message is all too rare.
Perhaps your company would benefit from setting a policy for instant messenger. Nothing that will be a fireable offense, of course, but something to refer to with good reasoning behind it. For example, setting the standard that instant messenger can only be used on projects where both parties are working simultaneously.
As more and more companies take the leap to a remote workplace, video calls have really come to the fore as an excellent method of team communication. Not only do they make the often isolated experience of working from home feel a lot more human, it is the closest that remote teams can get to an in-person experience.
Instant messenger has its place, but a video call with screen sharing can make collaborative work so much easier. You can also fire up the video calls for morning stand-up meetings so everybody is on the same page in terms of tasks and priorities, but also to create a good vibe among your colleagues.
The previous seven tips have all been focused on getting tasks done efficiently, but we’re not robots, and there’s more to a smooth-running team than policies and processes.
Building strong connections between colleagues takes all of the human awkwardness out of our other steps and breaks down the feeling of anonymity many people feel in large or remote teams.
And of course, keeping your team morale up is great for everyone. With an internal social media system, you can quickly create spaces for everybody to get together, with separate workgroups based on department or interest, and build those connections!
Now you’ve got your 8 tips for effective team communication in the workplace, it’s time to implement them.
The best way to get started is by signing up for Bitrix24’s all-in-one business platform. It is super simple to use so you can set up your new processes and workflows immediately. What’s more, all your communication, project management, and HR tools are connected with each other from the get go, so why wait?