Poor Communication May Be Slowing Down Your Team

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Communication is not just a soft skill; it’s the linchpin of effective management. Yet, surveys reveal that employees are frustrated by unclear communication from their bosses. Some of these challenges certainly come from the more siloed communication environment created by remote and hybrid work. When managers are unclear in their communication, it can rob teams of their focus, diluting the overall quality of their output. It’s important for managers to realize that clear, consistent communication isn’t an option; it’s imperative. Here’s how to improve your communication.

  • Set expectations upfront: Align with your team on the optimal use of various communication platforms. Being aligned as a team on which tool to use and when can significantly reduce communication friction.
  • Consider creating a “clarity canvas.” When starting a new project together as a team, create a set of documents that succinctly outline project goals, individual responsibilities, process instructions, and key deadlines. This centralized hub affords seamless access to the same reservoir of information and can serve as a touchstone for everyone, averting confusion and minimizing back-and-forths.
  • Make everythign accessible. Keep meticulous records of decisions made, meeting minutes, and project statuses in a centralized digital location accessible to all. Set standards around where documents are stored and how information is saved. If your organization has access to multiple cloud storage platforms, set rules around what gets uploaded and where.
  • Establish office hours. This is time where you should be readily accessible via chat, phone, or video call to discuss any concerns or questions. Consider it a virtual open door, so that both in-office and remote employees have equal opportunity for face time. There’s no need for a specific agenda during this period, just focus on listening empathetically to your staff and addressing their needs.
  • Do regular debriefs. After important company announcements, it can be valuable to set up debrief meetings with your team. Doing so will help you evaluate how well your people understand and accept the announcements, and will give you the opportunity to clarify and address any questions.

As more and more employees are working remotely or in hybrid work environments, the need for effective communication has become even stronger.


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