Companies are facing a highly competitive and highly changing environment, and this makes the ability of your staff members to work effectively as a team increasingly important. In this context, a clear and effective communication It is one of the fundamental pillars for the positive work environment and so that organizations can achieve the goals they have set.
It does not matter if the work team is larger or smaller, to maximize its performance it is important that all its members are able to transmit their ideas and listen actively, because this is the basis so that their different skills and abilities can coordinate with each other.
This makes us aware of how important communication and collaboration within the work team is. Therefore, it is not something that can be left to chance, but companies must take measures to enhance it.
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Benefits of improving communication and collaboration
Before analyzing what measures can be taken, it is worth reviewing the advantages that good communication and encouraging collaboration between members of work teams bring to the organization and its employees.
Reduces labor conflict and improves the work environment
Open and transparent communication is the best way to avoid misunderstandings that can end up triggering conflicts. If the members of a work team communicate clearly, there is positive feedback and Everyone knows what they have to do and what is expected of them.
Communication not only avoids conflict, but strengthens interpersonal relationships, making the work environment more harmonious. Which, in turn, stimulates productivity.
If the objectives, assigned tasks, and deadlines are known, it is easier for team members to coordinate with each other and work efficiently. Almost without being aware of it, workers They collaborate in a more fluid way and it is easier for them to move forward together towards the objective they must achieve..
Promotes creativity and innovation
Creative employees capable of “thinking outside the box” is precisely what companies need in an environment as changing as the current one.
If communication flows well and employees collaborate with each other effectively, they will begin to share ideas and They will find effective solutions for problems that perhaps did not exist a few months ago.
In this point diversity is especially important. The more diverse the work teams are, the more different things each employee will be able to contribute, which will make it possible to find innovative and effective approaches to face difficulties.
Helps resolve conflicts
As we said before, communication and collaboration help reduce workplace conflict, but problems are not always avoidable. Should a conflict arise, clear communication and pre-existing camaraderie among team members will be of great help in resolving the dispute.
If the company has done well in promoting communication and collaboration, when a problem arises There will be enough empathy among employees so that they are willing to dialogue and reach a solution that satisfies everyone..
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Keys to improve communication and collaboration in work teams
Establish clear communication channels
If you are looking to enhance communication, it is logical to think that the first thing to do is create channels that speed up and facilitate conversations between all team members.
There are many digital and classic tools that can be used:
- Email. Thanks to it, it is possible to send detailed information, as well as share files. For proper use of this means of communication, it is essential to clearly define the subject and send it to the appropriate recipients.
- Instant messaging. Tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams allow agile and live communication. Instant messaging can be used to discuss specific issues that require an immediate response.
- Meetings. Whether face to face or through Zoom or similar, meetings are essential to review the progress of projects and resolve doubts.
- Collaborative platforms. Online tools like Google Drive or Trello streamline collaboration without the need for direct communication, because they allow you to see who is working on each task and what their progress is. In this way, it is easier to know what to focus on at all times.
- intranet. Internal company portals are the best places to share important information for all team members, such as internal policies or the most relevant data updates. This allows centralization of information which, at the same time, improves the protection of sensitive data.
Encourage active listening
The communication that is essential for good collaboration is divided into two phases: the issuance of the message and the reception. But, in reality, it is not enough to receive or listen to the message, but active listening is required.
To encourage it, team members must be encouraged to be present in important conversations and pay attention to what others say. A good way to achieve this is avoiding distractions such as the use of electronic devices. For example, leaving cell phones out of meetings.
Furthermore, it is important show genuine interest in the ideas and concerns of others. Team members should be encouraged to demonstrate empathy and be open to understanding different opinions.
To practice active listening it is also essential learn to respect the times. Workers must be aware that the speaker cannot be interrupted until he or she has finished conveying his or her message. This helps you better understand what another person wants to communicate, and develops empathy.
You can't always pay attention to 100% to other people, and even if you do, some part of the message may not have been understood. In order to encourage active listening and get the most out of it, companies must make their employees see that it is okay to do anything. clarifying questions. This shows commitment to the sender of the message and avoids misunderstandings.
Set clear expectations and goals
Many of the problems that arise in collaboration have their origin in the fact that the objective being pursued has not been correctly communicated, and the team members don't really know what they have to do.
It is the company's responsibility to communicate objectives clearly and concisely. Setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and that must be achieved within a certain period of time.
Along with the goals, it is necessary to communicate the Overview and purpose of the team. That is, informing about what objective is being pursued and why. This gives the team a context that allows them to understand why certain things are being demanded of them, and helps when it comes to set priorities and organize work.
It is also in this phase of communicating the goals when they must be define the roles and responsibilities of each team member. If the organization does not do this, roles will be defined naturally within the work group, and this is not always the most appropriate. It is the company that knows the skills and strengths of each of your employees and, consequently, it is the one that is able to decide who should do what.
Celebrate achievements and recognize teamwork
To encourage collaboration and good communication, there is nothing better than recognizing that progress is being made in the right direction on these issues. If the team has achieved an achievement, there is no need to hesitate to recognize it.
Implementing a culture of recognition encourages individual workers and work teams to give your best to achieve the goals set.
In the case of great achievements, the recognition should be even greater, and it is not a bad idea to organize a celebration or some type of special event. This reinforces both motivation and camaraderie.
Group recognition does not imply that there is no individual recognition. If any of the team members has stood out above the rest, let them know. This shows that the company cares as much about the performance of the team as it does that of each of the people who make it up.
Along with positive feedback there is also negative feedback. If something has not been done well, or can be improved, it is important to report it. But the Criticism should always be given from a constructive point of view. That the team or the employee does not see it as something bad, but as information that can be useful to continue improving.
Effective communication and solid collaboration are essential for work teams to achieve success in the tasks entrusted to them. Achieving them is in the hands of companies, which must promote the conditions for both to occur, but it also requires a strong commitment from employees.