In any kind of company, ensuring an effective communication among team members plays a crucial role in optimizing business performance. Regardless of the tasks and employees’ position on the corporate ladder, everyone needs team effort and interdepartmental communication.
Until the Covid-19 outbreak, having a conversation with another employee was as easy as walking up to their desk; but, the shift to the remote work model has removed this possibility. Now, most of the discussions need to be scheduled and it can disrupt the natural flow of effective communication.
Since it’s clear now that in-person conversations will not be the main setup for building effective communication in the workplace, it’s of utmost importance that employers and company leaders figure out effective ways to bring team members together.
In this aspect, video conferencing plays a crucial role as it’s the most suitable method of ensuring communication among team members for remote and hybrid workers. Here, we will be discussing a few strategies to foster effective communication for remote and hybrid workers and lay out methods to make your online meetings more effective.
1.Increase the Functionality of Virtual Meetings
Meetings are common occurrences for any kind of workplace. They are occasions for employees to get together and go over their daily tasks and long-term projects. When businesses have shifted to the remote work model, these meetings were replaced with video conferences.
To increase the effectiveness of video conference meetings, managers should make sure that these meetings are regular occasions and members of the team are involved. And being involved should mean more than just attending.
It is highly essential that each employee’s voice is heard and managers should try to make room in the agenda for team members to give updates on their developments and expected progress.
2.Define Clear Goals
Most of the time, employees are not provided with clear instructions as to their function in the company. And in the remote work setting, things can get even more blurry as it becomes more of a challenge to coordinate teams.
So, it carries huge importance to establish a clear environment for employees. If employees are clear about their role and function in the company, it becomes easier to coordinate teams for managers. Also, setting well-defined goals can help employees feel valued.
Creating a sense of belonging and reminding employees that they are being prioritized can help them to feel as a part of a collective. Under remote working conditions, this is something that can easily get lost so it’s up to the managers to ensure involvement of employees.
3.Use Shared Files
Back in the office, it was much easier for teams to work on a mutual task because everyone could review the documents at the same time with their team members. However, in the remote work setting, when everyone’s busy with their personal tasks, following a common track of projects can get difficult.
It’s a common practice that teams send files back and forth via email to make modifications on their work and provide feedback. Yet, it’s a rather cumbersome way of doing things because it greatly decelerates workflow.
To get around this problem, using shared files can get rid of unnecessary email traffic and make it easier to track changes on projects. Shared files allow team members to make real-time modifications on files instantly and everyone can review those at the same time.
4.Take Advantage of Casual Conversations
“Effective communication” can have several meanings and does not necessarily need to be work- related in order to be constructive and enhance productivity. There have been several changes and developments in employee behavior during the pandemic.
When work and home are the same place, it can cause social alienation to some extent. Besides the mental health repercussions, this dynamic can also cause a decrease in the employee’s sense of belonging and damage the overall team morale.
Even though being coworkers does not necessarily mean being friends, it is undeniable that informal chats in the workplace help colleagues bond and face the day with a positive attitude. Thus, giving employees room to express themselves on a personal and social level, by scheduling short virtual coffee breaks can solve this problem pretty effectively.
5.Different Solutions for Different Personalities
Due to the popularity of group video calls, one-to-one encounters have decreased and are rare in a remote work setting. Personalities vary when it comes to engaging in group sessions: Some team members are more eager to talk, share the issues they are facing, and ask for support, whereas others are more reserved.
In these cases, empathy becomes the key element to making sure everyone is given the opportunity to express themselves. This can be done by scheduling a short, periodical one- on-one meeting, making it easier for the more reserved personalities to feel comfortable opening up without the fear of judgment.
6.Avoid the Remote-Control Monitoring
In a traditional oﬃce environment, employees are not constantly monitored, so this shouldn’t change in a remote work model. Managers need to remember that employees are responsible professionals and that micromanagement leads to frustration, which can turn into demotivation, lower employee morale, and lack of productivity.
Managers should primarily focus on whether goals have been achieved rather than on obsessively controlling the actual working time. In the long run, trust will be rewarded with higher productivity levels.
In conclusion, by implementing these simple but effective methods, managers and business leaders can foster a rich communicative environment in their workplace, even under remote settings and optimize their business performance by creating a sense of belonging in employees.
Don’t forget that a company’s success rides on its employees.