When it comes to a team’s productivity, communication is key. Getting lost between dozens of email threads and having to juggle numerous pieces of scattered information should not be a part of anyone’s daily workflow. This type of situation is a product of poor communication, which often leads to tension, causes stress, and weighs heavily on team morale.
Worst of all, as a team grows, the negative side effects of poor communication and poor organizational structure only get worse. If left unremedied, this will be a huge detriment to your team’s ability to work effectively and will cut ultimately cut into your bottom line.
Fortunately, there are various resources available that specialize in effective team-wide communication. Becoming acquainted with these resources will quickly prove to be one of the most surefire ways to cure any anxiety that it is brought on by ineffective communication.
Tools Fit for the Job
Slack is the ultimate email killer. It handles everything communication related, allowing for private messages, group messages, voice calls, and video calls. With Slack, you can take an organizational approach to communication by easily setting up different rooms by topic, project, or team so that each relevant team member can stay informed. It offers support for quick file sharing, and it serves a complete archive for everything that is ever discussed, allowing for an instant recall of any important information as it is needed.
Slack can also be customized to your needs with the capacity to include a variety of addons, and it integrates with various outside applications, such as Twitter and gitHub, making it the center for all of your notifications. All in all, Slack is an elegant solution to many of the communication problems teams have been running into for years, and it is a must have for any team trying to stave off the anxiety caused by poor communication.
When it comes to managing project deadlines and which team members are working on what, Trello is the perfect solution. Trello is a board where you can keep separate lists for everything in the pipeline, from projects that are still in the idea phase to tasks that are being worked on currently. You can appoint team members to each one, so that everybody is clear as to what they need to be working on and when. Trello also has a variety of helpful additional features such as checklists and the capacity to comment on each assignment.
3. Google Drive – Docs, Sheets, and Slides
With the suite of google services within Google Drive – docs, sheets, and slides – there are very few reasons to be sharing files through traditional email anymore. Whether you want to share large multimedia files or you are collaborating on a presentation, the tools Google has provided are the be all end all for file storage, file sharing, and document collaboration between multiple team members.
Adapting to Your Team
While the technologies outlined are great, you will most certainly have specific communication requirements based on the goals of your team. Perhaps some of these requirements can be fulfilled via the numerous addons available with Slack. But if not, it is necessary to spend time searching for additional tools that are capable of doing the job.
When it comes to your communication needs, keep on searching until you find a solution that is adequate. After all, the importance of effective communication can never be overstated.
When implementing new communication strategies, it is always important to take a step back and assess their effectiveness as it pertains to your team.
If your team members previously relied on email for all of their communications, and then you switched to Slack, you’d likely notice a huge reduction in internal email and a lot more time spent viewing content that is actually relevant and necessary to you. And that is the type of improvement you are looking for when adopting these new technologies. However, not every new communication strategy you implement will work, and what works for another team won’t necessarily work for you.
Try different things, and stick with what makes your team happier and more productive. Ask your team members how they like new communication methods compared to previous ones. Ask them if it allows them to get more work done. The more information you gather about what works and what doesn’t, the easier it will be to ultimately settle on a stack of communication technologies tailored to fit your team.
Taking A Streamlined Approach
Regardless of which tools wind up being best suited for your team, it is absolutely essential that you maintain a streamlined approach to communication.
If you decide to use Trello to keep everyone up to date on the current projects and who is working on them, you need to commit; you can’t have half of your project deadlines on Trello and then be sending emails about the other half of your deadlines via email. This is confusing, and will only make it harder for team members to keep track of. By establishing that Trello as the center for everything related to project updates, your team members will now be certain that this is where they will always be able to go to figure out what they need to be working on.
This same strategy applies to all aspects of your team’s communication. With the transition to new communication channels comes the need for clear expectations on how these channels will be used. In an ideal situation, each team member has a crystal clear idea of how the vast communication technologies they will be using fits into their workflow.
Communication makes the team.
In order to grapple with the various aspects of working with other people to accomplish a task, it is of utmost importance that communication is not a limiting factor. When times were simpler, so were the tools available, but now there are services for every imaginable aspect of team communication. Use the available tools to make communication seamless; your team’s communication will improve, and your productivity will follow suit.