The secret ingredient of every successful company is solid communication. Both managers and employees need to communicate their needs and expectations. Due to that, it’s up to business owners and team leaders to create an environment where such interaction is possible.
It was an obstacles managers needed to learn how to overcome. Luckily, even from hardships, we can learn valuable lessons.
1. Setting expectations
When employees transitioned to remote work for the first time, most of them didn’t know what to expect. Situations like these increase anxiety, which leads to worse mental health, productivity, and effectiveness. To prevent that from happening to your team too, you need to set clear expectations and guidelines. How can that help?
Without clear and explicit expectations, you can’t demand your teams to communicate clearly. This includes assigning tasks. When you provide clear instructions, each member of the team should know exactly what their task is. On top of that, you need to trust your team to complete their work. Otherwise, the open communication concept is worthless.
2. How to encourage feedback
Covid-19 and remote communication has thought us the importance of feedback. Teams that were given feedback on their work were not only better performing, but also more satisfied! However, in settings such as remote work, having open discussions and one on one time with a leader is almost impossible. How can you fix that?
Besides holding daily meetings with your team, organize regular one on ones. It’s one of the best ways of building effective communication within the teams. Since feedback is a two-way process, you can provide it as well as receive it. Try to consider each piece of information you hear as it may improve your organizational skills.
3. Flexibility and adaptability
One of the biggest challenges in remote communication was rigid individuals who weren’t willing to adapt to new means of information exchange. While interacting with people like that, we’ve learned how to adapt and be flexible in many other ways! What did that teach us about communication?
We mustn’t neglect the fact that each person has their own preferences. Coming to a middle ground was the best way to practice our adaptability. Overcoming problems in a remote setting can be difficult. Therefore it’s up to the team leader to discover what suits each team member the best and how to create an environment that will be tolerable for everyone.
4. Adequate tools are a must-have
Without adequate tools, there is no communication. A virtual workplace requires a wide range of different tools that have pretty much a similar purpose: to make collaboration easier. However, selecting those kinds of tools is a challenge every team must face! How can you choose the right apps for your team?
Check out your team’s activity and pick according to your internal communication examples and strategies. Good quality tools with multiple features make it easier for you to organize your workforce no matter where they are. On top of that, tools provide your employees with a safe space to chat and exchange information. That’s how they will build team spirit and bond.
5. Importance of visual communication
The chances of meeting your remote coworkers or team face to face are slim even if you’re all in the same country! That’s why remote interactions have thought us the importance of video and visual communication. Focus on video calls instead of phone calls whenever possible, as you’ll have a chance to see your interlocutor’s face.
On the other hand, if video interactions aren’t possible, use visual communication. Create visuals with important information instead of long walls of text. You can use infographics and charts for easier communication and sufficient information. It’s a more interactive way of conveying a message which engages employees to read it.
6. The role of the online corporate culture
Most people battled isolation and loneliness when entire companies shifted to remote work. It certainly affected their productivity and willingness to work. Luckily, team leaders frequently checked in on all employees to make them feel valued and that is what true corporate culture is all about. So, how can you create an online office culture?
Happy hours or online team-building activities are an ideal start. You can chat with your employees, play video games or simply brainstorm ideas to spend quality time together. To motivate your teammates, even more, you can create symbolic prizes, such as pet of the month announcements to cheer them up and bring them together!
Even though getting used to remote work was hard, we have learned valuable and unforgettable lessons about communication and employee organization. Whether you decide to come back to physical offices or continue operating remotely, these tips will help you manage your teams and make members feel valued. Don’t forget that happy employees are loyal employees!