Clear communication is essential when working in remote teams as we are often deprived of non-verbal communication elements. How can you communicate effectively in remote environments?
Although meeting rooms with projectors or other media aids allowed people to express themselves clearly in meetings, remote teams have caused strain on existing bonds and emotional connections between team members. This has also affected productivity.
We have chosen a hybrid model for our team before Covid 19 started and in the beginning, it was hard, but we have learned our lessons and we would love to share our team experiences with you.
Using the right communication tools
With the availability of many collaboration tools, technology has made remote work much easier. Remote structures require that organizations first identify the types of teams they have, and then the tools required for daily or weekly communication.
There are many tools available to help you manage remote teams. It is important to not confuse them with too many tools, as they may have similar features or functionalities.
It is important to clearly communicate the purpose of each tool. For example, It can be stated that Zoom should be used only for video calls with clients and Slack for email messaging and weekly reports.
Developing key performance metrics
This golden rule applies to remote and local work teams. Effective communication strategies that guide teams include clearly defined Key Performance Indicators.
Each team member will know what they are expected to do and how it will be measured if they have a set of KPIs that is objective and measurable.
Communication will be easier and more productive if you clearly define your expectations.
Adopting a continuous feedback model
Encourage team members to give feedback that influences employee engagement. You should also respond quickly to any feedback. This will encourage more openness and help your team feel valued.
Communicate openly and often, and give feedback in two ways. Clarify communication channels and "protocols", so people don't waste their time trying to get the information to other people.
Acknowledging fatigue and showing empathy
Many people are still new to remote work. There will be some learning curves. One way to make these learning curves less painful is to show empathy to all members of your team.
It is important to ask questions, not assume what people feel or whether the same thing works for everyone. It is important to assure them that you will be there to support them during this transition.
It is important to recognize that remote work can cause fatigue. An increase in screen time and decreased physical interaction can lead to anxiety and fatigue. This will allow team leaders to guide communication in meetings by acknowledging it.
It might appear that remote teams might have a greater need to micromanage, set up meetings and get feedback to set up clear goals and expectations.
You should develop a more user-friendly way of getting work updates. Only set up video meetings when necessary. When you are attending these meetings, it is important to pay attention first to human connections.
Leaders who listen can gauge morale by asking simple questions, both in one-on-one meetings and team meetings.
Planning team retreats & providing support
Even though you may be working remotely, team bonding activities must continue to be a priority. Remote workers face loneliness. It can lead to disengagement and lower performance.
Team members can connect to communicate better, share issues, and find solutions before they escalate. Hosting regular online team-building events is a great way to make connections and have fun. Also, it is important to celebrate both individual and collective achievements and milestones such as birthdays.
This will make it more efficient. You can set up a support system that allows your team to access tools and processes. It creates a knowledge base that is applicable and can be referred to when you are in trouble.
You can make it easier for your business to create a single contact within the team to coordinate any assistance needed. This will encourage team members to voice their concerns when they feel overwhelmed by work or in their personal lives.
Better communication for higher performance
More organizations will adopt hybrid or remote working environments and more communication will be done digitally. Technology and remote working tools are not the key to effective communication and avoiding miscommunication.
Understanding the new rules of engagement is the key to building a communication skill set that meets the needs of today's digitally driven world. Remote working can be difficult for any company. Remember that every team and organization is unique.
Remote employees must be supported and managed by a strategy that takes into consideration your company's industry and mission, as well as the needs of each member. If it does not, it is not the right tool for the job.
Book a free consultation and build a dream team with us!