Most highly effective teams also have a high level of communication. Whether we’re talking about sports or business, the teams that can communicate effectively typically get problems solved quicker and are faster to adapt to new changes in their business environment. Adapting quickly to change is a key measure in companies that are effective in the long term. If you are looking to improve your team’s communication, there are several different methods that you can use to do so.
1. Encourage dialogue instead of asking employees to be quiet
Sometimes, we try to be leaders by making sure that our voices are heard while others are silenced. While this might appear strong, it actually isn’t productive. The best leaders encourage dialogue so that their teams can engage in the free flow of ideas. Employees often have great ideas, and together the group can mold them into new, effective solutions for company-wide problems. Encouraging dialogue starts at the top, and it is the manager’s job to make sure that their employees feel comfortable communicating.
2. Get employees to “buy in”
You want your employees to “buy in”, and be enthusiastic about sharing information that can help the entire team reach its goals. You can do that by creating a host of incentives, such as a company trip if the team reaches a particular set of goals. You could also do something smaller, such as a dinner on the company if smaller goals are met. Getting employees to “buy in” and enthusiastically share information will make your team more productive.
3. Make your company’s goals public
It is harder to communicate about reaching the company’s goals when employees don’t know what those goals are. While it might not be possible to make all company goals public, making some important goals public will help employees to feel closer when an advance is made.
4. Update your team on progress in real time
This is similar to the last point. Make sure that you update your team on progress in real time. Real time updates prompt more communicate between individuals.
5. Listen to your employees’ input
In order to communicate, someone has to listen. You want to ensure that you are not discarding the valuable information that your employees are telling you. Make sure that you are consistently getting the most out of your employees by evaluating their input and letting them know that they are heard.
Regina Fasold is a seasoned Executive Coach and Leadership Expert. Her extensive professional background and her 10+ years of experience as a Global Executive Coach have allowed her to assist over 300 senior executives in corporations throughout the United States and in over 25 countries around the world.