Communication is crucial, yet difficult at times. How can today’s technology help?
In this last article of a series of three covering obstacles to team productivity, I cover problems with communication and their impact. In my previous article I focused on ways to overcome knowledge gaps.
Without proper communication at workplaces, we tend to get what we least asked for: mistakes, conflicts, poor relationships. At the end of the day, efficiency, mutual understanding, dynamism and team productivity are all down to good communication. Thus, capability to deal with different cultural backgrounds, experiences and communication styles are all critical to successful teamwork. Those skills need to be fostered, especially at times when a team has new members or is otherwise under transformation and sharing thoughts is more difficult.
Streamlining communication through regular processes
What can be done to overcome the challenges with communication? Streamlining communication makes it easy for everyone to receive, track and retrieve information, and assuring that important messages will reach all team members.
It also makes a lot of sense to establish regular processes for training new team members, so that learning is more efficient and faster and also new workers can be more productive.
Documenting communication properly is also important, so that important messages can be tracked and shared later on.
Standard formats help saving work
And it is good to have standard formats for critical communication material such as instructions, proposals and customer letters to ensure consistency and readability as well as to eliminate errors. Especially in bigger organizations with multiple offices, investments in communication technology provides quick returns through improvements in both communication within and across offices.