How to Maintain Good Team Communication
A workplace is a complicated dynamic that requires the concentrated effort of every employee to generate success. One of the most important elements to a successful company is effective team communication. The pace of good communication speeds up when you break the company down into smaller units. A message that is sent throughout the entire company will take a lot longer to be sent than a message from one teammate to another within the same department.
The pace of team communication means that the message can get misinterpreted if there is not an effective communication network in place. As you start to put your workplace teams together, there are things you can do to make sure that your particular team has an effective and accurate flow of communication.
* Know the Hierarchy
If a message is meant for a manager, then the manager should get that message first so it can be properly interpreted. Once the manager has edited or created a message, there needs to be a hierarchy in place for distributing information to the rest of the team. If the departmental secretary is the one that is in charge of distributing communication to the rest of the team, then that hierarchy should never be bypassed. The departmental secretary has a filing system and a way for delivering messages that keeps everything organized. If you bypass that system, then you are going to start losing messages and creating confusion.
* Checks and Balances
A message that sits on a teammate’s desk for weeks could cause a bottleneck of communication that slows up productivity. The person who is responsible for distributing information to the rest of the team should also have a way of making sure that all messages are received and acted on. When you are talking about team communication, it could be something as simple as personally following up with messages that had been sent the day before. It also helps to keep a departmental deadline checklist that will allow everyone on the team to see who has been responding to their messages and who has not.
* Be Consistent
One of the things that cause confusion a team communication network is when communication mediums get jumbled up and used interchangeably. If all of the departmental memos from the manager are sent as hard copy memos, then keep that method consistent. The first memo sent from the manager that is done using email will start to confuse team members and the message may get lost. The easiest way to solve this problem is to use one form of communication for all messages. For example, you can decide that all departmental messages will be sent using company email to avoid any possible confusion.
* Accepting Outside Messages
Messages from other departments that affect the entire team need to be sent to central point and processed to avoid confusion. That central point can be the departmental manager, the departmental secretary or even a senior employee within the department. The person designated to receive those messages will then be responsible for distributing them to the appropriate people and making sure that responses are sent on time.