Businesses and organizations had to embrace hybrid and remote work environments post-pandemic and make smart decisions to help them manage diverse teams. Communication has always been an integral part of a business.
Still, it’s never been more critical than in today’s world of flexible working, whether teams prefer to communicate over email, in person, or on a Zoom call.
Educating teams about workplace communication in a hybrid and traditional work environment is crucial. Organizations have to practice flexibility, creativity, and the ability to embrace the differences for efficient business processes.
So, how to manage and communicate with global and distributed teams in a hybrid work environment today?
In a scenario like this, it’s essential to leverage proven strategies and tools to communicate effectively and ensure team cohesion.
In this article today, we will explain some insights, suggestions, and expert tips for effective communication in the workplace.
What is Effective Communication?
Maintaining the business values, vision, and mission in a rapidly changing work environment is challenging. The barriers in communication are experienced at large due to tech-naive team members, technological errors, and lack of awareness. Thus businesses and companies need to go the extra mile to achieve team cohesion.
So, what is effective communication?
Effective communication in the workplace is communicating with both the internal and external teams at your organization that aligns with the company’s mission and vision.
It is important that effective communication should be clear and delivers the purpose.
Types of Communication in a Workplace
Businesses that do not practice effective communication in the workplace lose millions of dollars. Communication is a soft skill, and investing in the soft skill set of the new hires is as essential as investing in hard skills.
Verbal & Non-Verbal Communication
The two kinds of communication in the workplace are verbal and non-verbal communication. Both verbal and nonverbal communication contribute equally.
We have been discussing a lot about verbal communication, which includes written or spoken; however, most non-verbal communication is often neglected when it comes to effective communication in the workplace.
Nonverbal communication includes whether or not your team members have great eye contact and gestures and if they sit attentively during a team meeting.
Why is Effective Communication Important in the Workplace?
Great workplace communication improves employees’ performance, creates a better work environment, and enhances productivity. In fact, it minimizes workplace failures.
Let’s look into the statistics;
- 86% of executives claim poor communication between team members is the most significant reason for workplace failures.
- 97% of employees say they could perform better by communicating better with all the team members.
- 29% of employees say they fail to deliver projects on time due to poor communication between the team members.
- Better communication improves overall productivity by 30%.
Research shows miscommunication costs businesses $37 billion annually in the US, i.e., 27$K per employee.
The author of the book Hire for Attitude, Mark Murphy, reveals that lack of non-technical skills is the failure of the new hires. He suggests, “46% of new hires fail in the first 18 months, and of those new hires, 89% fail for reasons associated with attitude.”
Benefits of Effective Communication in the Workplace
According to McKinsey, businesses witness an increased productivity of 25% with effective communication in the workplace. Well-connected teams are great at planning, organizing, and prioritizing work, which is why most businesses and organizations look for these skill sets in a new hire.
Effective communication brings the team together.
It enables them to bring the experience, knowledge, and skill of each team member and provide the right direction to achieve a shared goal.
97 percent of employees agree that they complete the tasks efficiently, which are communicated to them well. Three-way communication provides a centralized way and reduces any communication costs between;
- Leaders and employees
- Employees and employees
- Employees and leaders
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Tips for Effective Communication in the Workplace
We have compiled the following tips for effective communication in the workplace that businesses and organizations can adopt to bring better business results.
Tip No 1. Leverage Collaborative Virtual Workspaces
A centralized communication tool is vital to ensure all the information and documentation are kept in the same place. Virtual workspaces like Slack enable collaboration among team members, which is central to their productivity.
Slack can be combined with various scrum tools for startups and agile product teams to interact productively and run all scrum events.
Using a collaborative virtual workspace is like working in the same room.
Team members can co-edit a document, share ideas in groups, collaborate and keep information accessible to every team member. A centralized tool will allow your team to keep track of everything that’s been communicated regarding important matters of your company.
Alternatively, if a business chooses to communicate with a team using different tools every time, it would be hard to go back and identify the records.
For example, if the business uses Slack, it should add employees to different channels where they stay informed about several aspects of the company. Adding them to the ‘Social’ channel helps to feel connected with other team members.
A social channel in a company’s Slack often has updates about welcoming new hires, birthdays, and anniversaries of existing employees.
Other tools for team communication could be Airtable, Asana, Trello, Zoom, etc.
Tip No 2. Value the Differences in Communication
Some employees have the highest levels of technical skills, but they might not have great non-technical skills. These non-technical skills include communicating with others, building relationships, analyzing a risk, etc., which are often overlooked during job training or formal education. 77 percent of employers claim that non-technical skills are as important as technical skills.
Valuing the differences in communication levels helps the stay team to be united.
In a diverse team, people have to juggle different personalities, backgrounds, cultures, skill levels, and values and come to the same point.
Practice embracing the communication differences among your team members.
Understand that not everyone can communicate effectively. People communicate based on their industry knowledge and interpersonal skills. And there is no rule of thumb regarding internal and external communication.
Let’s look into a few examples:
- Team leads or experts ensure quick decision-making based on data, analytics, trends, and statistics, whereas new hires or those who are new in the field use layman’s language. Thus, they are slow in decision-making, and they take things gradually.
- Creative, fun-loving people come up with new ideas more quickly than those who stick to the rules and conventional ideas.
- Some team members might defend their point of view to ensure great results, while others choose to stay silent for peace of mind.
- Those with great management skills would love everything to be documented and tracked rather than those who rush after things at the eleventh hour.
Tip No 3. Startup Mentality to Collaborate
Collaboration is the key to effective communication.
However, it is not everyone’s cup of tea, particularly if employees like doing things alone and are inclined to push ahead individually.
Businesses that invest in collaborative approaches can save on costs.
Investing in interpersonal skills can help to develop and maintain a collaborative environment. 86% of executive-level professionals believe that major business failures can be avoided by teaching teams how to collaborate and communicate well.
By adopting a startup mentality, people ask questions, analyze things critically and ensure focus on significant areas rather than spending time on less essential processes. It helps with smart decision-making. Employees can quickly get projects off the ground.
Tip No 4: Use Visual Content
Visual content is easy to remember, and businesses can communicate effectively with visuals more than plain text. Visual Communication is 60,000 times more effective than just text.
Be it your external or internal team communication that includes stand-up meetings, weekly meetings, webinars for your employees, feedback sessions, product ideation meetings, etc., businesses and organizations don’t have to rely merely on PowerPoint presentations.
Thanks to tools like Visme, which brings hundreds of templates for various visual content types like presentations, infographics, charts, graphs, printables, web graphics, videos, etc., and social media.
Tip No 5: Over Communicate with the Distributed Remote Teams
Since the distributed teams span different time zones and locations, it’s important to over-communicate with them to keep them in the loop.
For example, during the biweekly team meeting, the host might want to keep recording it for team members who missed it due to different time zones. They can use a tool like Microsoft teams, Loom, or Zoom to record and distribute it among their team members.
Store it in a shared drive where everyone can access it without asking. It will save time and unnecessary chit-chat and speed up the communication process.
On a Final Note
To conclude, effective workplace communication is important for better team building and day-to-day business operations to achieve your goals. Choose the right tools, value team differences, add visual content, and go the extra mile to communicate with the distributed teams.