In our previous article, we’ve addressed the questions of building a collaborative environment. Yet, there is still one thing that we find essential in managing collaboration issues: communication.
Effective communication is what you need to make sure that your co-workers stay on the same page. The type or size of your business doesn’t make a difference here. You may work in a remote organization, a multi-cultural office or a local startup. In either case, communication is the essence of collaboration. And without collaboration…well, it’s not possible to get work done.
Efficient communication, more precisely written communication, takes further significance in this context. According to an infographic published by Atlassian, companies spend $2100 to $4100 annually on poorly written communications per employee! This is just ridiculous. So why are businesses wasting this amount of money? What kind of challenges are they faced with today?
I. Present challenges in the workplace
1) Inefficient coordination
Coordination is one of the barometers of productivity at work. Working towards a cooperative environment will lead to a more harmonious and productive operation in the end. On the other side, the lack of coordination implies various problems for the workplace. Any obstacles or challenges in this field can complicate processes and delay the completion of projects. As a result, it may endanger your company’s short and long-term goals.
2) Searching for information
According to a McKinsey report, employees waste on average 1.8 hours every day – 9.3 hours per week, searching for information. This is a straight up productivity killer. You’re taking valuable time off your schedule trying to find information related to the task at hand. Instead you should spend that time to get actual work done! In either case, overcoming this problem will present greater perks for your workflow. As a matter of fact, McKinsey’s same report confirms that you can raise your productivity by 20 to 25 percent through improved communication.
3) Unwanted communications
Employees lose valuable productive time at work because of unwanted communications. According to the study conducted by Atlassian, businesses spend on average $1800 annually in productivity due to unnecessary emails. Being exposed to a vast amount of unwanted communications causes disruptions in the workflow of employees. In this case, productivity loss is not something businesses can afford to put at risk.
II. Tips on effective communication
Through clear and precise communication, it is possible to overcome these problems, which will yield long-term improvements for the workplace. So what kind of solutions are we talking about here?
1) Be precise in what you write
Use simple words. Don’t overshadow ideas with unnecessary embellishments. This will require your co-workers to spend extra time to understand the main message you’re trying to deliver. Remember, not everybody in your company has the same vocabulary set as you do. Keep your writing clear and to the point, this way you’ll also avoid any future risks where you might spend time explaining yourself or being misunderstood by your co-workers.
2) Stay clear of unnecessary repetitions
Nobody likes to be told the same thing twice. It causes unnecessary disturbance and it is a waste of time. Use questions when in doubt to remove unnecessary repetitions. Ask your teammates what they’d like to know, or if they’re clear of what you’re expecting from them. If you’re unsure about something, don’t hesitate to ask them! Questions are a great way to receive confirmation, to ensure clear communication and guarantee progress. It also reduces the risk of making errors throughout your project.
3) Streamline your communication
Organizing your communication channels from the get go will yield you better results in productivity for your team and company. Keep all information relevant to a project, accessible, transparent and centered for each team member. Through streamlining your communication, your employees will have access to the necessary knowledge to act on the tasks with the necessary action. Define the necessary tools from the beginning and stick with them.