In business, collaboration helps make an operation more efficient by bringing together employees to work on shared projects rather than solo efforts. This model is beneficial as long as there is great communication among the members, especially in small groups.
The goal is to bring different strengths together to benefit the group, but without open channels and connection to the shared purpose, there will be a lack of clarity and team members working out of sync. Fortunately, there are effective methods for improving small-group communication.
Improving small-group communication is vital for effective teamwork. You should lead by example and be an effective communicator, as it will encourage others to speak up and join the conversation. Use the best strategies to increase communication in your work environment today.
Here is how to improve small group communication in organizations:
Use employee communication software
Not all teams work in the same office space or building. Others may work remotely from home or even in another geographic location. In our digital era, we can still effectively collaborate, regardless of the distance between group members.
Employee communication software connects people to function on shared projects by opening several lines of communication. This software links small groups through hubs that house documents and events, so all projects are streamlined and easy to find. Having a place to find company data and information is key to working together effectively anding in real time, regardless of location.
Paired with mobile apps, communication is enhanced by making information accessible to group members anytime. Other great features of employee communication software include:
- Content sharing
- Intelligent workflows
This is next-level communication for both a large corporation and a small group.
Build team spirit
If you want a group to communicate better, they need to be comfortable with each other. The workplace isn’t exactly an environment to cut loose and show your personality because you are there to do your job. There need to be team-building opportunities so members can get to know each other better and be more comfortable in the work setting.
Put together social events outside work where employees can socialize because this builds camaraderie. Small groups can bond at these events because it is a relaxed atmosphere, away from the strict boundaries of the office. Some ideas for building team spirit are:
- Casual Fridays are just for the team
- Catered group lunch
- Physical outings like yoga, basketball or other activities once a week
- Prizes and awards
Have an open door policy
Working in isolation doesn’t help a team thrive. It is much better to have an open-door policy. While this can mean preventing office doors from being closed, its meaning is much deeper than that. This encourages open communication through dialogue and discussion by removing barriers to questions, complaints, challenges, feedback and suggestions.
When there is an environment where group members feel they can open up, trust is built, and more ideas and innovation are shared. They get a sense of belonging to the group, and the team will become more efficient and productive.
Clarify roles within the group
Sometimes on a project, people get brought in without any defined role and are expected to contribute to the task. This can sometimes lead to miscommunication and stagnate the group’s efforts. It is much better to define roles for each team member, so they know what they are required to do.
Assign specific tasks and discuss expectations for each team member according to their skill set. This will focus them and allow for better communication because they know what to share with the group and must be able to collaborate for the good of the team’s mission.
Use different types of communication
A small group can use several types of communication to increase performance. These are:
This helps get information to group members simultaneously by watching slides or videos. It also gives you time to put together what you want to convey and allows people to absorb it.
Verbal communication can be one-on-one or an address to the whole group, but it is in real-time and usually face-to-face or through video conferencing. Communicating verbally allows people to express their thoughts and interact with one another while working in small groups. It is also a more intimate interaction and a way for group members to perceive one another.
This is the method of interacting and communicating without the spoken word. Over half of our conversations are nonverbal and include body language, vocal tones and facial expressions. They do speak volumes, though, but require people to be able to pick up on these nonverbal cues.
Much of business is communicated through the written word. This includes:
- Inter-office software
How you communicate through writing can either benefit or detriment the group, so make sure you use it effectively.