Communication is one of the cornerstones of any
good relationship, and that includes the internal relationships within your
team. How they interact and communicate can dictate the success or failure of
projects, and the level of productivity there is in the team as a whole. Good
communication is something that every business needs, but it’s not always easy
to come by—especially if your team is mostly remote.
In this guide, we’ll cover eight ways to
maintain productive internal communications with your remote teams. Working
remotely has given both employees and businesses greater flexibility during the
pandemic, but without good communication, this flexibility quickly crumbles and
becomes chaos. Let’s look at how you can prevent that implosion.
1. Use Conferencing
With conferencing software, you won’t have to
depend on a landline anymore to run your meetings. You’ll be able to host video
meetings, and screen
sharing is a key feature of many
conferencing platforms for easier presentations. You can host a meeting from
anywhere in the world at any time of day, and invite just about anyone to the
call. You’ll get a dial-in number, as well as a link that you can share with
the team. Try hosting video meetings for a more personalized meeting
Conferencing software can help drastically
improve your meetings, and doesn’t cost much.
2. Set Up Recurring
Now that you have the right software, you’ll
want to set up recurring meetings so you can check on everyone’s progress. It’s
ok to have a meeting once per week, but remember that long meetings can be
exhausting. Try to keep in touch via meetings without being overbearing or
hosting too many meetings in a small
timeframe. Sometimes, it’s better to just send an email than to take up
everyone’s time with a meeting.
3. Use Productivity
Productivity apps like Asana and Monday.com help
you manage and track projects and team members. You can assign projects or
certain duties via the app/web application, and from there, everyone is held
accountable for their projects. You’ll be able to see everyone’s current
projects at a glance, instead of sifting through endless emails to find that
one email about the project details.
You’ll also be able to see the due date, when it was assigned, and more. There
are hundreds of productivity apps
out there, so why not give it a try?
4. Set Clear
Working remotely can be challenging enough
without unclear expectations providing extra obstacles. The clearer you are
with your expectations, the better off everyone
on your team will be. That goes for everyone involved in your projects, not
just management. If your designer expects the copywriter to have web copy done
by a certain date, they need to make that known. You, as the manager or
supervisor, need to be diligent about setting a good example with clear
expectations and following up on the team’s expectations.
5. Give Employees Some
While you certainly need to get your hands
dirty from time to time to manage a team properly, that doesn’t mean becoming a
“helicopter” supervisor. You needn’t hover all the time, checking everyone’s
constant progress. This can be incredibly intrusive, and, contrary to what you
may think, it doesn’t actually help things get done quicker or more accurately.
Good communication means respecting boundaries as well. Maybe your designer
can’t work when you’re constantly hovering over them to check progress?
Give your employees some space. This helps
foster trust between team members and the management team. When you let them
handle things on their own, they’re more confident in their position and feel
more respected and trusted.
6. Follow Up On
When you host or attend a meeting, it’s always
a good idea to follow-up. Ask questions about anything you didn’t understand,
or, as the supervisor, provide a synopsis of the topic and encourage attendees
to ask questions. Don’t forget to check on your post-meeting goals as well.
Have you reached them? How close are you? What does the team need to do to
7. Let Everyone Have A
Perhaps the most important aspect of internal
team communication is ensuring that everyone
has a voice. When people don’t feel like they’re being heard, they tend to
get upset. After all, feeling ignored feels like disrespect, and that’s hardly
a good way to foster the trust your team needs to succeed. Everyone should get
a chance to speak at meetings, and if someone isn’t talking, be sure to ask if
they have any questions. Everyone’s voice counts!
8. Keep Meetings Short
A good way to potentially block effective communication within your team is to host very
long, very boring meetings. Let’s be
honest here—meetings aren’t our favorite workplace activities. They’re usually
longer than they have to be, monotone, and hosted for various boring reasons.
The best practice here is to keep meetings short
and sweet. The longer your meetings are, the less effective your communication
will be. After about an hour, people get bored and start to tune out. Try to
keep meetings somewhere between 30-60 minutes tops.