Let’s face it.
Behind every successful product out there in the market lies a high-performance team. But, take a pause here.
Ever wondered what goes into building these teams? More importantly, what if you could imbibe the same quality in your team? Well, yes, it is communication skills. If you are reading this post, it is pointless to talk about the benefits to you. So let’s just dive into the meaty part.
How do you ensure your team’s internal communication is on point?
Let’s find out.
4 Ways To Build A Robust Communication With Your Remote Team
Proactive communication lies at the heart of building a high-performance team, especially in a virtual working landscape. While the pandemic has ravaged our day-to-day lives, displaying compassion with your teammates goes a long way. The core point here is to ensure that your team knows that they are not alone in this. You have each other’s back.
Following are a few ways that you utilize to keep the conversations going.
A little planning goes a long way
Having a communication strategy laid down in mind sounds a little on edge for your startup. In the long run, having a well-documented blueprint of what you want your communication to do for you can help you brainstorm ideas to reinforce the goal for your whole team.
Here are a few elements that you can imbibe in your communication blueprint.
Define your communication operations
Standardizing your communication operations is critical for a cohesive conversation between team members.
The goal here is to answer the vital questions. The what, when, and hows of your daily communication routine. Once you lay down the foundation, you can always revisit and reiterate the original version as your situation demands. Also, you must keep the feedback loop open to validate your existing process. You can add basic socializing events to this plan like Friday funs, stand-ups, coffee dates, and much more.
- Mind your tone
In a virtual landscape, your tonality plays a critical role in expressing your body language. With no physical meetings and engagement with your teams, your words have to do more than pass information now. It has to resonate with your personality. If you have to build a productive atmosphere around your teams, your words have to feel respected and heard. Think of the last email you sent. Was it just packed with information? How did it sound? Was it bossy? Rude? Was it warm, compassionate, and respectful? Today, your email needs to focus on both hard and soft words. You have to communicate clear, concise messages that reflect your personality. Grammarly is a super helpful tool in this regard.
Being honest with each other about your work’s progress will not only help your teamwork productively to meet deadlines but ensure no one team member’s backlog influences the quality of your process negatively.
- Avoid the temptation to micromanage
If you’re a manager at any level, managing your team might feel like the most natural thing to do. But believe me, it’s a trap. The worst thing that you can do to your team in this virtual workspace is micromanagement. This will only dampen your team’s productivity while instilling a sense of lack of trust in them. Skip those daily check-ins. Instead, restart with a weekly progress tracking.
- Set up a time schedule
Having a pre-planned timesheet of communications and meetings for a quarter goes a long way to keep all your team members on the same page. Moreover, it gives you room to respond to critical problems in real-time. Short daily meetings are a great way to do this. But don’t forget to keep it quick and fun. You can even name it ‘morning jam’ or come up with other creative names.
Utilize this scheduled time to set your teams’ expectations regarding working hours, check-ins, availability, deadlines, and other important aspects that keep the momentum.
Stay inside the feedback loop
Remote teams come with both their merits and demerits. On the one hand, you have teams working around the clock. On the other hand, there are increased levels of interruptions. Having a productive conversation between two team members from two time zones often faces this.
Tools like EverytimeZone can make sure you have an appropriate time to get this done. It is also vital that you say cognizant of the method of communication you choose each time.
If you’ve a lot of explanation to be done, two things suit this context the most. One, you can opt for a quick phone call or a video chat. Else, if your team member isn’t available to pick the call, go for an email. But, don’t forget to make it easy to understand. Remember, you do not have the luxury of catching them live. Use tools like Timeline infographics to illustrate your points. This will simplify the communication by exponents.
2. Build a culture that supports growth
Keeping the office culture alive is critical to have efficient communications. Don’t just talk work. Encourage your teammates into having the small trivial conversations that are missing in life from work-from-home. Remember, this is critical for team bonding. Here are a few ways to do this.
- Start with a ‘good morning’
You may be surprised to learn how much impact a ‘good morning’ can have on your team’s overall productivity each day. One of the most significant transitions employees face when working remotely is the lack of structure that facilitates human interaction. Your morning greeting reinforces the lost structure. It’s the first opportunity to strike a warm and welcoming conversation. Think of it this way, wishing a ‘good morning’ simulates the atmosphere of a physical office that makes your team feel a little less remote.
Embrace morning meetings
Simulating physical office operations in a virtual atmosphere is impossible. But your goal is to go as close as you can go. But your traditional morning meeting can still be restored in the virtual space. Instead of gathering in a meeting room, gather in a zoom meeting. It will still prepare your team for the whole day. Plus, you get out of the monotonicity of the pandemic situation.
- Build a virtual camaraderie arena
Isn’t your team the most creative self when they have time to socialize? Having a fixed place to talk about non-work-related stuff is normal in a physical office. But what about virtual? Create a virtual water cooler for your team’s internal messaging. You can also create a channel where you can talk about everything that your team is binge-watching.
- A little trivia can stir a crucial impact
It is always good to know a little more about your people. After all, your team members are an integral part of your everyday life. Having a fun event like a happy hour or coffee date can boost team bonding immensely. What’s more? They can be more productive at work. Also, you get an opportunity to reinforce healthy work relations between all your team members. Also, do not forget to celebrate your anniversaries and birthdays in a virtual space.
3. Video meetings are the new normal
If you cannot arrange in-person team meets, video meetings are the next best thing. Infact starting your day at work with a short video jamming session with the whole team can ensure you connect and collaborate efficiently.
All you need to do is notify all your team members about the meeting and create enough room for everyone to attend it. Usually, a 15-30 minutes window of joining time is enough. But, to ensure you can make the most out of it, there are a few video meeting hygiene you need to follow.
Be mindful of video calls
Today, the zoom culture is on the rise. But so is physical and cognitive fatigue. Infact, the global work culture has suddenly become so sedantric that many health problems have been occurring off late.
Planning and structuring our video calls and agenda of the meetings are now top priorities to be met. Keep your calls short, to the point, and take breaks whenever possible.
4. Be open to communication experiments
There is no standardized method of communication that triumphs overall. Going hybrid and experimenting with your channels and techniques is one of the best ways to improve communications over time. But for successful experimentation, there are a few elements that you need to take care of.
- Does your team have any preference?
Your team members have different personalities. It is natural to have different preferences for each one of them. Remember, the best communication tool is not what the market says but what your team says. Whether it is video conferencing like Zoom or instant messaging like Slack, the final verdict comes from them.
- Say yes to new tools
Along with your team’s preferences, it is essential to keep an eye on the new releases of the market. You might suggest some new launches that caught your eyes. But, do take the learning curve of the software under consideration here. How user-friendly is the application? Is the software documentation guide helpful? These are a few critical questions that you should ask while researching new tools.
Your team communications are highly influenced by the mindset that you instill in your workplace. This means alone, having a documented communication system or a few hacks cannot guarantee you sustainability in this matter.
What you need to focus on is people. Find where your team’s motivations and aspirations lie. Show empathy. Never fail to be human. Ensure that your team member’s voices are heard, and they can identify a sense of belongingness in the workplace. Here’s a way to map this. If your teammates can see an extension of themselves in the work landscape, you can assume you’re doing a good job.
Only then will you see your team transform into the ‘dream team.’