In the U.S. the cost of failed software projects is estimated to be around 256 billion U.S. dollars. Most of that comes from a lack of communication between individual team members or the fact that they couldn’t understand what the end-user wanted.
The staggering cost of communication failure isn’t for coding projects alone. It permeates every industry, every niche, and every business. Businesses that are not able to communicate their value proposition to their customers — fail. Businesses whose employees don’t understand what consumers want— fail. Above all, businesses whose employees won’t talk to each other are failures from day 1.
Communication underscores our strength as a species and is the foundation of everything we do.
Justin Herring – YEAH! Local
Provide Clear Instructions
The most essential thing you can do to guarantee jobs are accomplished in a timely and competent manner is to be clear and precise about what you’re asking an employee to do.
Giving your staff precise directions, both orally and on paper, can actually set them up for success. Make certain you do it!
Make Use of Visuals
Did you know that visual learners account for more than half of the population? It’s no surprise, therefore, that practically every successful team communication plan includes a significant amount of visual content in its materials.
When giving a presentation to a team, visuals may assist in breaking down difficult topics. Important facts about your company goals may be conveyed via infographics and diagrams in particular. Audiences are objectively more engaged by visuals than by blocks of text.
Make Cross Department Connections
Any successful team communications plan requires cross-departmental coordination. The rationale is simple: any effective communication plan would utilize several communication channels, requiring the assistance of those who manage them.
For example, a marketing team’s communication plan including phone calls will almost certainly need the assistance of sales representatives.
Similarly, with the support of your product partnership team and finance division, a communication strategy based on partnerships with social media influencers will need to be planned and managed. The list continues, but the point is clear: communication effectiveness requires teamwork.
Matthew Schmidt – Diabetes Life Solutions
I feel one important tip to share with other business owners is to make sure your meetings are meaningful and effective. Don’t have a meeting just to have one. Be certain that there’s a specific purpose for getting everyone together, so as to not waste employees’ time, and most importantly your time.
It’s usually a great idea to provide an agenda ahead of time, so staff can be well prepared and have an understanding of exactly what will be discussed. Also please make sure to set a time limit, and do your best not to go over this time frame. By doing so you create a domino effect on the rest of your team’s day and throw everyone off a bit.
Adam Walters – Milks Cult Discord Community🥛
To scale our gaming community we realized using classical website message boards or even the now what it seems as “ancient” Facebook groups and Twitter was not a feasible way to operate our online community.
We decided to use the Discord App because it offered everything we needed. We required 5 things at a minimum. They were;
1) a way to provide customizable roles for moderation
2) a way to voice chat in large 100+ groups
3) a way for everyone to share their screen
4) it must have 3rd-party applications (bots) to help manage our community
5) needs to have a mobile app
Discord easily ratified our 5 requirements and even provides even more benefits. The best part is the app is free for unlimited amounts of users and you only pay to upgrade your server benefits. So in theory, you can run an entire corporation with hundreds of people and not pay a dime… But let’s not tell that big corps that please. haha
James Lee – Monetized Future
How a team communicates and manages tasks on a daily basis is one of the most important aspects of fueling business growth.
Communication with your team really starts with the platform and tools you choose.
There are a variety of different all-in-one online communications tools and task management systems, so choosing the right one is paramount for scaling your business.
As a business owner, you should also explore using tools that are excellent for one particular facet of the job at hand and building the perfect “communication stack”.
Thinking about the most effective way your team should chat, talk, share documents, and brainstorm is something that all business owners should do before building a team.
Taking the time to perform this due diligence early can potentially stop major communication bottlenecks well before they happen, and help fuel organic growth.
Vin Agarwal – Diabetes 365
One important tip I wish to share with people is to invest in the technology your company uses. What I mean by this is to make sure you’re using the best types of software to communicate with your team members. Applications like Slack, Google Drive, and Dropbox are a must in this day in age.
Taking advantage of technology allows you and your team to stay up to date on tasks that are completed, or which ones are the highest priorities. There’s no point in emailing back and forth or wasting time calling and speaking for most projects. Being able to log in to specific workflow applications and see what’s going on is a major time saver.
Amanda Thomas – Konstruct Digital
I have found that these 5 tips have helped our team scale from a small team of 5 to over 20 in a very short period of time.
- The Right Tools – provide your team with the right tools for communication and take down barriers. For many teams that means a combination: of messaging like slack, email, meetings, project management tools, and more. Different messages often require different mediums.
- Encourage Cross-Team Collaboration – ensure team members aren’t getting siloed and have access to provide input and feedback in different areas of influence.
- Practice Active Communication – active communication isn’t just for face-to-face. Encourage and train staff on how to effectively communicate on messaging platforms and within project management tools.
- Lean on Documentation – most “frustrated” communication occurs when people are communicating the same thing over and over. If this is the case, find a way to document the answer and refer people to that. Self-service helps everyone.
- Use Radical Candour – encourage open communication with your team, bottom-up and top-down.
Austin Mullins – Conversion Media
The most powerful communication strategy I’ve implemented is daily “3×3 emails” from all direct reports. Three-by-three emails consist of nine items – the top three things that team members accomplished that day, their top three roadblocks, and their top three questions.
Having these sent each day makes it far easier to keep track of what everyone is doing, and what they need to keep being productive. Plus, it keeps you in daily communication with all your direct reports, and reduces the number of daily interruptions, as the team will learn they can send non-urgent questions in their 3×3 instead of sending you an instant message or separate email.
If you’d like another bonus tip – Another thing I’ve had work really well in some cases is automating 1-on-1 meeting questions into a form. So, for some staff members, we’ll have a google form automatically emailed to them one day before our 1-on-1 meeting with all the standard questions, which they can then answer at their leisure, and a copy of their answers is sent to the team member filling out the form. When you go into the meeting with this in hand, you’re already getting more thoughtful and complete answers as a jumping-off point, and can more likely have a fruitful discussion.
Andrea Barnhill – Socratik, LLC
Scale-up your business by establishing a communication cadence with your team. What feels like “over-communication” will be the appropriate amount of communication.
The most effective way to do this is to set up routine times to talk about work priorities, and status updates, and to make sure everything is running as efficiently as possible. This will result in a streamlined checking process, providing team members with seeking the support they may need for work, which will set up each individual for success and optimal performance.
This communication cadence can trickle down the organization, as each team and supervisor-direct report can adopt the same communication cadence to work productively and provide the bandwidth to scale operations.
Jordan Slover – Neon Ambition
Improving communication within your teams is vital to ensure they can work together effectively and deliver a united front to customers and clients. We operate on a default setting of communications being 100% open. All effective team communication needs to be relevant, complete, and clear but there is space for mistakes and margins of error.
An open communication policy doesn’t mean just telling people to share their thoughts. It means actively doing it yourself and setting clear rules and guidelines about how to share. For in-person teams that means everyone getting involved in meeting while online, it means having company-wide channels for online communications where everyone is encouraged to share.
When working with remote or hybrid employees it is essential you have the rights tools and channels in place and make it easy for employees to use the channels most suited to their schedule. As well as voice and video calls consider instant messaging and collaboration applications that encourage open communication and make it easy to keep your team on task and motivated.
Dan Barrett – Social Vantage
Celebrate Success as a Team
“There is no I in team” is a phrase that is often used in sports, and it’s a great reminder that when we work together as a team, we can achieve great things.
One way to encourage team communication is to celebrate successes as a team. When we celebrate successes, it builds camaraderie and helps to strengthen the team bond.
For instance, at The Social Vantage, we celebrate every time we exceed the client’s monthly target of social media leads. This not only encourages team communication but also helps us to continue exceeding our client’s expectations.
This allows team members to socialize and helps to build team cohesion. We like to send a team-wide email whenever we hit one of our monthly or yearly goals. It also helps to keep everyone in the loop.
Ryan Stewart – The Blueprint Training
Foster a Team Environment that Supports Open Communication
“Teamwork makes the dream work” is a quote that is often used in business, and for a good reason. A team environment that supports open communication is key to effective team communication.
This means that all the team members are comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas, and it also means that everyone is willing to listen to what others have to say. We all have different perspectives and experiences, so it’s important to listen to what others have to say in order to come up with the best ideas.
A well-planned and executed team environment can help your team communicate effectively and achieve great things. This type of environment can be fostered by setting the tone from the top, and by providing team members with the tools they need to communicate effectively.
For instance, we use Slack at The Blueprint Training, which allows team members to easily communicate with one another in real-time.
Charles Scholle – Scholle Law
Avoid Micromanaging Your Team
“Don’t be a helicopter boss” is a phrase that is often used in the business world, and it’s a great reminder that micromanaging your team can be counterproductive. This is especially true in remote teams. When team members are micromanaged, it can make them feel belittled and it can also cause them to feel less engaged.
Instead, we should trust our team members to do their job and only step in when necessary. For instance, at Scholle Law, we give our team members a lot of freedom to work on handling the cases that they are assigned. We only step in when there is a legal problem that requires our expertise. This allows my team to feel empowered and it also helps to build trust between team members.
Kartik Ahuja – GrowthScribe
Building a healthy team isn’t just about firing off emails and attending tons of meetings — it’s about building relationships and encouraging communication between team members.
Here are my top 2 strategies to have effective team communication:
#1 — Open communication
Talk openly and talk often.
Have different channels for communicating to make sure everyone gets the space to share their thoughts, concerns, ideas, and say what they need to say.
Whether it’s through one-on-one meetings, group chats, or text-based communication — keep all windows open for efficient team communication.
#2 — Keep updating What’s New
Have an internal team newsroom where you share all the company details (big and small) with your teammates.
Whether it’s the launch of a new product/service or any changes in the internal system — have a common place where you can compile all the latest company updates, changes, and exciting news.
It is great for team bonding and also keeps everyone up-to-date and on the same page.
About the Author
Shaurya Jain is a digital marketer and blogger, most recently at AttentionAlways. He has several years of experience in the digital marketing space and worked with a number of clients generating leads and traffic.