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Without communication, misunderstandings arise, deadlines are missed and most (if not all) of the group end up demotivated and left with a bad taste in their mouth. And it doesn’t take a genius to surmise that when this happens productivity takes a significant dip, and goals are left unfulfilled.
Once in this vicious cycle, where communication is scarce or even non-existent, failure to intervene and promote more effective communication between colleagues can lead to an irreparable breakdown. Of course, no one wants this to happen. So, to help you improve communication within your team, we’ve put together some handy, actionable tips…
Encourage Feedback & Contributions
When members of a team feel they cannot voice their ideas, concerns, or challenges, progress inevitably grinds to a halt. To avoid this, it’s important to build trust among team members by actively encouraging them to share what they are thinking and feeling regularly. For the team this can be achieved with well-structured team meetings, where an agenda is fleshed out and each member is invited to contribute their thoughts and ideas.
Further to this, as a leader, you should have an ‘open-door’ policy that encourages team members to ask questions or voice concerns at any time. By making yourself accessible, and not punishing those who do, you build trust and remove perceived barriers.
In terms of feedback both given and received, this should be constructive, clear, and detailed with actionable points. No one likes to feel as though they are being personally attacked, and if the feedback is too critical without being constructive it can be deeply demotivating.
Define Goals & Roles
All teams need to know what they are aiming to achieve, why and how they are expected to achieve it before they can work effectively. That means being very clear when it comes to defining expectations, assigning roles and delegating tasks.
Throughout the duration of a project, you should have regular check-ins to ensure everyone is on track. Holding a forum or team meeting to monitor progress periodically serves to make sure everyone is on the same page. Without these kinds of touch points, others may start to think that their colleagues aren’t pulling their weight or doing certain tasks in the right way, which can lead to resentment and demotivation.
Boost Morale & Develop Skills
If you find your team isn’t communicating effectively, it may be time to work on developing their team-building, problem-solving and communication skills. This can be done in a variety of ways through team building activities or team bonding events.
Team building activities can take many forms. It can be as simple as getting the team together to enjoy a meal, or more structured. For example, at KDM Events we offer a whole range of team building activities that are specifically designed to help develop certain skills in a group. These include treasure hunts, escape rooms, and outdoor pursuits.
Framing team building against the backdrop of a fun, relaxed, informal activity can work to help others let down their guard and breakdown any barriers that may have resulted from poor communication in the workplace.
Capitalise On Individual Strengths
In a team, everyone brings their own unique perspective and skillset to the table. As a leader, you should capitalise on the strengths of everyone in the group by delegating tasks based on them. Of course, there will probably always be tasks no one particularly loves doing but you should be balanced and fair in your distribution of roles and listen when someone makes a suggestion that may make things easier.
As well as this, each team member should be praised and rewarded when appropriate. Apparent favouritism can make others feel hard done by and lead to a breakdown in communication and motivation. Instead, build a balanced and fair method of recognising and rewarding excellent work and be consistent in your execution of it.
Half of the battle to improve communication within a team is recognising and addressing it. When left to fester, a breakdown in communication will only worsen and cause people to isolate themselves off from the wider team. Not only is this damaging to morale, it halts productivity and prevents teams from fulfilling their potential.
If you would like to organise team building activities for your team that help to build communication skills, problem-solving and working together, we can help. Simply contact us today to speak to one of our Event Managers, who will help you plan your activity from start to finish.