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Team Communication: Why It Matters And How To Improve It

Employee working on her laptop in an empty white room

Team communication is an essential element of every business’s success, whether it’s a two-person operation or a two-hundred-person operation.

Without good communication between co-workers, you can’t improve team skills, complete projects successfully, or endure the challenges that every business will face.

But what exactly qualifies as “good communication”? In this article, the experts at Sling will answer that question, show you why good communication matters, and discuss ways to improve it.

Team Communication Defined

3 women sitting together outside at a picnic table journaling and reading

At its core, communication is simply the exchange of information between two people. Team communication extends beyond that basic two-person interaction to encompass the exchange of information between any number of individuals in your business.

It doesn’t matter if it’s communication between a CEO and the brand-new hire or managers of two different departments, it all falls under the category of team communication on one level or another.

But as simple as that definition may sound, in practice, good communication is much more than simply exchanging data. It’s about the effectiveness of your communication rather than the communication itself.

For the transmission of information to be effective — be it spoken, drawn, or written — team members have to first receive the message accurately and then understand how it affects them.

If your words don’t satisfy those criteria, regardless of how much you say, your team won’t get the message you intended. When that happens in your business, it’s time to focus on effectiveness over quantity.

Making your team communication more effective (i.e., clear and concise) will dramatically improve the way your business operates.

Why Team Communication Matters

coworkers practicing team communication and laughing together

1) It Helps Resolve Problems

Problems amongst team members can spread and infect the rest of your team if you don’t provide a timely remedy.

When you identify a problem, don’t wait to address the issue. Gather all the parties involved and encourage everyone to talk.

Keep in mind that effective communication isn’t about who is right or wrong. Instead, it’s about being open, honest, and positive so that everyone feels their needs are met.

2) It Improves Employee Engagement

Your team’s dynamic is like that of a family. As such, your employees will benefit from the same characteristics that make families strong: cooperation, solidarity, and bonds.

Improving employee engagement is one way to help your team members build those traits. But it all starts with effective communication.

Think of it this way: effective communication leads to employee engagement, employee engagement leads to cooperation, cooperation leads to solidarity, and solidarity leads to strong bonds that can see your team through difficult times.

3) It Prevents Confusion

When you build effective communication within your business, you avoid the confusion that can dilute your message.

You’ll be better able to resolve problems, build strong relationships, delegate tasks, and motivate everyone to greatness. Each team member will know what you want them to do the first time you explain.

That will save you time and prevent your employees from becoming irritated because they’re confused about the particulars of your instructions.

How To Improve Team Communication

coworkers with their arms around each other as an example of team communication

1) Choose The Best Method

Team communication takes many forms and can be conducted with a variety of methods. But not all methods are conducive to every message.

When you consider which method to use in any given situation, take a few moments to think about how you would feel receiving the information. Would email make it feel too impersonal? Would hard copy be better for record-keeping purposes?

Matching your communication with the right distribution method for the job ensures that your team receives — and perceives — your message the way you intended.

2) Strive For Clarity

Clarity is vital if you want to improve your team communication. To be as clear as possible, speak (or write) plainly and in a way that is easily accessible to your audience.

Give clear commands when necessary, and refrain from using ambiguous language whenever possible. Try to avoid jargon unless your team uses it often and it simplifies the communication process.

It will take some practice to achieve clarity in all your communication, but the benefits far outweigh the sacrifice.

3) Offer Explanations

You want your team to express their ideas; that’s an essential part of good communication. But if you dismiss those ideas (even for legitimate reasons) without explaining why, employee morale can suffer.

Not everyone on your team will be privy to all the details that go into making a decision. When you come to a conclusion based on proprietary information and don’t tell anyone, your team will suffer.

Offer explanations as to why you decided the way you did. Tell your team why an idea won’t work. That way, they understand the thought process behind it all and can begin searching for new solutions.

Scheduling Software Can Streamline Team Communication

Sling software used for team communication

Effective team communication strengthens the employee/employer relationship. That relationship, then, motivates your team to work at their best despite the difficulties they face.

One of the best ways to foster such traits — and streamline team communication — is to incorporate scheduling software like Sling into your workflow.

The powerful suite of tools within the Sling app can help you:

  • Facilitate communication within your business
  • Simplify the scheduling process
  • Track labor costs
  • Organize work hours
  • Remove the difficulties in finding substitutes
  • Keep your team members on task throughout the day

Sling's Messages feature

Sling’s Messages feature allows you to communicate more efficiently from a single platform instead of trying to coordinate multiple apps and contact channels.

With Sling, you can send messages to groups or individuals, keep everyone informed, and build a better company culture — all in real-time.

Sling's Newsfeed feature

The Newsfeed feature lets you share news efficiently with everyone on your team at the same time. You can set up pages to distribute information to specific groups of people within your team, post updates (with files, pictures, and videos), and even create your own social space.

All of that within the same platform where employees come to check their schedules. That’s effective communication.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com today.

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