The saying ‘communication is key’ is a bit of a cliche because it’s heard so much! But why is this phrase thrown around so often? Well, it really is true. In business, if your communication fails, then you can’t expect to have much success! Communication is involved in almost every aspect of the workplace. Communicating with everyone from clients to suppliers happens on a daily basis and it can take many forms. Over the phone, via email, face-to-face, and increasingly over video calls, communication really is the backbone of a successful organisation. When many people think of communication, their mind instantly goes to communicating with outside stakeholders. But what about within your team itself? Communication between different roles within a team is absolutely vital to ensure the smooth running of any business. Having said that, communication in this manner is often not prioritised enough. This can lead to all sorts of issues within a team, for the business itself and even its customers too! So, in today’s blog post, we’ll be discussing why it’s important to encourage effective communication between various roles in a team, and what everyone within an organisation can do to make it happen.
Why is good communication between different roles within a team so vital?
Of course, nearly everyone knows that communication is important, but have you ever thought into the nitty-gritty of why exactly this is the case? Here are just a few of the benefits that come from encouraging effective communication within teams and their different roles:
It allows employees to be more productive
Good communication of all kinds within a team tends to breed a higher level of productivity. This is because it allows everyone to connect with each other, use each other as a sounding board for ideas, access what they need from their colleagues, and seek out help when they need it. Overall, open channels of communication allow different roles within a team to easily connect with each other and work together more efficiently.
A better atmosphere
When clear communication is encouraged and expected, everyone can benefit from a better atmosphere in the workplace. When people feel as though they will have the opportunity to share their thoughts and actually be listened to, they tend to be happier and more confident at work. And, as effective communication means that there’s less room for errors, team members will feel less frustrated about spending time fixing them.
It encourages loyalty in employees
Have you ever worked somewhere with incredibly poor communication between different roles within a team? It’s incredibly frustrating, right? Well, poor communication with no clear way out can certainly breed resentment in employees about their roles. On the other hand, when communication is good, employees are far more likely to think favourably about the business they work for, and feel more loyalty to it and their job as a result. This can help improve employee turnover rates, saving the business money in the long run.
Good communication can even improve customer satisfaction!
When your teams are happy and communication is clear and open, customers can and will notice a difference. They will notice that the people from your business that they work with seem confident in their job roles and know what’s expected of them. And, customers are less likely to experience the knock-on effects of poor communication such as disorganisation, leaving them feeling satisfied with their experience.
What can everyone do to help different roles within a team communicate better?
Now we know why communication is so vital for everyone within a team, let’s take a look into some of the things everyone in a workplace can do to facilitate better communication. From the business owners and managers down to brand new and entry-level employees, everyone has a part to play! And, it doesn’t always have to be complicated. In fact, making small and simple changes can often be the best way to foster effective communication improvements that actually stick.
Ensure that technology is up-to-date and actually works
Communication takes many different forms, but increasingly, more of it is done through different forms of technology. From phones to video call software, communication in the 21st century relies heavily on technology. So, if you want to ensure that your team members can communicate with each other (and your customers) with ease, it’s vital that this technology is up-to-date, fit for purpose, and works properly. Otherwise, people will start to feel frustrated when they can’t get ahold of another team member because the phones are down, and so on. As remote working also becomes more and more popular, we will begin to rely on technology for communication even more. So, if your tech is a little tired, now is a good time to start thinking about upgrading it.
Make the most of programmes, software, and technology
Speaking of technology, don’t shy away from it and the benefits that it can bring for your communication! There are countless numbers of programmes out there that are designed to aid communication within teams. Lots of business owners brush them off as an unnecessary added expense, but the value that they can bring to your team could far outweigh the cost! For example, if you feel as though communication is chaotic and disorganised, with deadlines often being missed, you may benefit from project management software that allows tasks to be set and tabs to be kept on them clearly, so that everyone knows what’s going on and what needs to happen next in order to move forward.
Clarity is the name of the game
When it comes to communication of any kind, the number one aim should be clarity. Essentially, within a team, this means being clear about expectations for a project or task from the outset, defining the different roles and what is expected of each person, and ensuring that everyone knows about this before the project gets underway. And, as the project progresses, regular team meetings should be held so that communication is upheld and everybody knows what’s going on and who is doing what. Being clear in your communication is the number one way to make sure that everyone is on the same page and avoids many causes of frustration when people realise that they don’t know what they are supposed to be doing!
Allow the different roles within a team to bond with each other
For good communication to be upheld, it’s important for the different team members to get to know each other. This will make them feel more comfortable when communicating with each other and help them get to know what works and what doesn’t when communicating with others. One of the best ways to do this is by encouraging teams to mix with each other in a more social manner, whether this is over a lunch provided by the business, after-work drinks, or a team-building day. This helps everyone to let their guard down a bit and feel comfortable in each others’ presence. After all, communication will never be at its best if the different roles within a team feel awkward around each other!
Always encourage honesty and openness
Communication is always a two-way street, and if some people are willing to always be open and honest, but others are not so sure, it can quickly break down. So, a culture of honesty should be fostered throughout a business so that everyone feels as though they can share their thoughts, no matter if they are good or bad. A culture of openness and honesty will instil a sense of trust between the different roles within a team, allowing everyone to work together more effectively. This trust goes both ways, so managers and team leaders should display a sense of trust in their team members if they want it to go the other way too!
Actively listen to your teams
Often, communication can break down as some members of a team do not feel as though their concerns are being listened to, and/or acted upon. This can cause deeper issues such as feelings of mistrust and resentment. So, it’s a good idea to try and avoid this issue completely if you can, and ensure that all team members feel supported and listen to. An easy way to get their thoughts is through an anonymous survey. This allows everyone a fair opportunity to share what they think, but they don’t have to do it in front of the team or have their name attached to it, meaning they are more likely to be honest! Then, line managers should take this feedback on board and show the team members what they are doing to combat any issues, allowing the channels of communication to stay open and utilised properly.
Some final thoughts
Helping different roles within a team to communicate better with each other is a process that probably won’t happen overnight! The main thing to remember is to keep communication open and try and rectify any issues before they have a chance to spiral into a bigger problem. By encouraging an open and trusting culture within a business, team members are far more likely to be willing to communicate effectively, even when problems do arise. And, with all of the benefits that come when communication is effective, can your business really afford to lose out on cultivating this vital skill in the workplace?
If you’re looking for more support for your business, whether you’re looking to improve communication within your teams, or something else, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me! I will help you grow your business and meet your goals in a way that works for you. Contact me today at email@example.com or complete the contact form here and I’ll get back to your shortly to discuss your individual requirements.