The Grind

Team Not Talking? Here Are 4 Ways to Boost Communication.

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If you aren't communicating with your team, your company will suffer. Here is how to get everyone chatting -- and on the same page.

Three months ago, I asked our entire team what was the greatest weakness in our company Alumnify, an alumni- engagement platform. To my surprise, it turned out our communication was the largest problem we needed to solve. So, our management team started testing different solutions to find how we could improve transparency. After much trial and error, two months later our team said communication had turned into our greatest strength.

Related: The Science Behind Why Small Teams Work More Productively

Here are the four main ways you can boost team communication in your organization:

1. Daily executive check-ins

If you want transparency in your entire organization, it needs to start with your management team. The way we made sure our executive team was on the same page was by implementing daily check ins. Make sure your management team is all on a phone call together a least once a day and try to keep it under 15 minutes. During the meeting, go through what everyone will be doing that day, and if they need help with anything. The key is to make sure you are strict in keeping these meetings under 15 minutes. Once you get in the habit of doing this everyday, your exec team will look like a unit when addressing the rest of the company.

Related: 5 Exercises for Bonding a Far-Flung Team

2. Bi-weekly all-team meetings   

If you’re the leader of your company, you need to make sure you are accessible to the rest of your team. It’s easy to just interact with the other people on the executive team but overtime this alienates you from the rest of the company. To solve this, make sure you start implementing bi-weekly all team meetings. In these meetings, update the entire company on any high-level updates. After that, run through an-all company topic, then leave time for an open forum for the entire team to ask each other questions. During the open forum, push new members or interns of the organization to speak up with their opinion or questions. It’s important that you use this time to understand your company from the top down.

3. Weekly executive meetings

Every week, make sure your executive team gets together for an hour meeting to see what everyone has accomplished. Use these meetings to ask what goals each member of your team is trying to hit next week and then review if each person hit last week’s goals. Also, leave time open for everyone to give a detailed company report on certain metrics within their division. Finally, have someone record notes from this meeting and share it with the entire team. The rest of your company will appreciate the fact that they know what goals their leaders will be aiming for next.

4. Team-communication tools     

As hard as it sounds, try to start moving away from emailing your team whenever you need something. Asana is a great solution that replaces email, by allowing you to post tasks for your team well in advance. This helps ensure your team does not forget about the task, and notifies you when your team member completes the job. For team chatting, Slack is definitely the way to go. You can create departments, private groups, and send direct messages to anyone in your company. The important part to remember when using these tools is they’ll only work if you enforce your team to use them. After your team develops a habit in replacing email, you’ll notice a spike in communication within your team.

Related: 3 Ways to Build a Happy Staff That Wants to Win