Succeeding as a leader, and keeping team spirit prospering, demands a great internal communications process. If you are not able to achieve the goals all by yourself, you need your team and their hard work. You need to able to communicate your expectations and objectives clearly.
Although there is nothing more basic than the communication between two or more people, it’s still a stumbling stone in a lot of teams. As the load of data increases, sharing meaningful information gets harder and harder. There is plenty of useful information out there about enhancing the internal communications process. Yet, there is still room for practical tips that can be implemented right away.
That’s why we have collected feedback from Weekdone customers who use status report to collaborate with their teams. In addition, we researched surveys and put together an infographic that gives 10 practical ways to improve internal communications today.
1. Encourage sharing, input and dialogue
It’s difficult to give your all if you don’t have all the information. Internal communications is a two-way street. While it’s important to share your managerial feedback, it’s also important to encourage open discussions. It’s essential to clarify and encourage dialogue and progress sharing.
2. Have managers lead by example
There is no better way to start than leading by example. If you wish for free flow of information between your employees, make sure you do the same. Communicate your plans, progress and challenges. Not only do the leaders benefit from highly effective communication practices, but it will also have an impact on profit, employee turnover and engagement.
3. Get employee buy-in
In the end, it’s in your best interests that the information flows freely from one part of the department to another, without you being the middle man. Therefore, you need to get the employee buy-in; excite them about the cause of sharing information. Show the value they receive from this.
4. Make objectives and goals public
OKRs (or objectives and key results), is a perfect way to keep track of your goals. This management process is also used by Google. Companies waste too much time and money on poor communications. Publish company, team and personal goals online, making them visible to all involving parties.
5. Use online tools instead of meetings
Staff meetings often last longer than scheduled, which can make them a waste of time and money for the company. Reduce time spent on staff meetings by using online tools that help your team be aware of each other’s progress, plans and problems.
6. Establish regular processes
As our daily lives get busier, employees desire more real-time updates. They don’t have the patience to wait for the annual reviews or monthly meet-ups. Make communication a weekly process with defined rules.
7. Train people in the language of sharing
Encouraging people to share is not enough. People are accustomed to writing for themselves. Therefore, they need to be trained to write for others, so that other team-members are able to understand and make sense of all shared information.
8. Use mobile tools
Everyone is getting more used to consuming information as they go. It’s only reasonable to bring it to everyday workflow. Use mobile tools to make the information sharing more comfortable and intuitive.
9. Survey your employees
In order to gain insights to your team you need to run regular surveys. Guessing doesn’t take you too far. Therefore, conduct questionnaires on a regular basis that can help you demystify your team’s dynamics.
Don’t take information for granted. Listen and reflect. It’s that simple.
The internal communications process in your team is too important to be left without attention and dedicated action.
About the Author
Külli Koort is a fierce proponent of achieving more by doing less. That’s why she is currently working at Weekdone, a start-up that builds status report software for managers that wish to gain more insights to their teams. You can connect with her on Twitter.