Effective communication is the core of any successful business. Over the past two years, teams have had to shift not only the way they work, but the way they communicate. This shift to remote and hybrid work environments has completely altered the way teams interact. Responses are less immediate, authenticity is measured by form of communication used, organization and project management are more essential than ever – the list goes on.
4 Workplace Communication Strategies Your Team Can Implement Today
More Focus on Asynchronous CommunicationBy default, remote and hybrid communication is a little more asynchronous. This means communication that’s slightly less immediate. Why is this the case? Well, you can’t hop to the water cooler to talk through a challenge, nor can you pop by someone’s office if you need quick feedback. Because of this, many started the pandemic setting Zoom call after Zoom call. But instead of increasing productivity, it actually decreased it. Hopping from meeting to meeting, call to call, leaves very little time for actual productive work. Rather than scheduling another call, send your employees a quick recording with interactive chat functions for Q&A. This way, you can provide more thoughtful responses, and employees can work on it between projects. That’s just one example, but you’re saving time and energy, and in turn, increasing productivity!
Weekly One-on-Ones and Team Standups
Being on the same page can make a huge difference for managers and teams in remote and hybrid work environments. The way you can do this is twofold. First, set up a weekly check-in with each employee – a quick 10-minute catchup where you can run down their project deliverables and any questions. Then, you can also add a daily or bi-week standup to review the current sprint cycle, projects, etc. This way, you have a set time for questions and progress reports rather than having to sidebar on Slack during productive time. It will give you a better idea of where support is needed as manager, and what progress looks like so you can report to your leadership, as well.
Enlist Proper Project Management ToolsIn a hybrid work environment, passive communication forms like project management tools can improve the process of following up with different team members and trying to find the right information. Since you’re not sitting in cubicles next to each other, it gets a little more difficult to mine information. However, if tools like Asana or Monday are deployed, team members can know where to go to find the information they need to complete a project – no conversations required.
Encourage Managers to Adapt Communication Styles
Managers are more effective when they’re able to adapt their leadership and communication style based on that of their employee. Authentically communicating in a way that resonates with an individual team member will only lead to greater success and engagement. So, what does that look like? Maybe it’s introducing firm deadlines for someone who has issues with timeliness. Perhaps it’s adding an additional end-of-week call with a new hire to check in on their progress. Maybe it’s approaching feedback in a way that’s slightly less direct and more positive for someone who tends to take work concerns personally.
Questions to Ask to Revamp Your Remote & Hybrid Team Communication Strategies
If you’re ready to implement more strategies to help your team in addition to those suggested above, it starts with asking a few questions. From there, you can use the answers to build systems and processes for effective communication:
- How are projects and tasks assigned and communicated?
- Should we include remote employees on in-person meetings in the office, as well as impromptu meetings?
- Are one-on-one meetings critical to our culture of success? Does that change if employees are working from home?
- What tools do we have in place to streamline communication? Based upon the answers above, what tools may we be lacking? Can the entire team access these tools, do they need to?
- How will organization-wide announcements be made? Team announcements?
The answers to these questions will help you identify the gaps and opportunities your team has to communicate more effectively across platforms and the organization as a whole!
With the Right Communication Strategies, Your Team Will Thrive
Everyone is learning as they go when it comes to remote and hybrid work environments, but with foundational communication skills in place, you will succeed as an organization. NimblyWise can help your team bolster those skills! Let’s chat about how.