5 Ways to Effectively Communicate with Your In-House and Virtual Workforce
Building a thriving business and growing your staff excites most business owners. Gathering a group of the best individuals that are reaching goals and taking names - it’s a great feeling! We have a tendency to think that other people communicate just like we do. In fact, the opposite is true - each person acts and communicates differently based on a variety of factors.
Now that you have a growing team made up of in-house and/or virtual professionals, how will you ensure that everyone stays on the same page? Communication is a key factor in making work relationships work for both you and your team.
Email is effective, but it is only one of many communication options in our technology-infused workplace. Today we have access to many tools that keep communication lines open and projects on track. Here are four tips to help bring your small but mighty workforce together and on the same page.
1. Employee Engagement Tools. These tools are wonderful for collaboration and keep the number of emails back and forth to a minimum. Many offer services such as chat, voice, and video messaging, along with video calls and file sharing across the entire team. They can work on both your desktop and mobile devices, and offer competitive pricing options based on business size. Most offer a free trial, so you can test out features before committing to a monthly or annual plan. Check out these tools to determine the best engagement tool for your team: Slack, MS Teams, Cisco Jabber, Google Hangouts, Quip, Workplace by Facebook
2. Project Management Boards. As with employee engagement tools, project management boards can also be quite different from one another. They are used to manage assignments to your team, store necessary project information, timelines, deadlines, directions, standard operating procedures, and other necessary resources. For example, Asana, a popular project management tool, allows users to record project steps from start to finish with triggers that will assign the task to the next person as each stage is completed. Pricing varies and free trials only allow limited features to be utilized. Read reviews and watch YouTube videos to see what tool makes sense for your team. Check out Asana, Trello, Monday, Teamwork, and ClickUp.
3. Weekly Meetings or Huddles. A Monday morning or early afternoon meeting is a great way to kick off a productive week. Keep these meetings short - because Mondays are often full of surprises. The agenda should focus on project updates and critical needs from any team member. While you or another manager runs the agenda and sets the tone of these meetings, encourage the team to ask questions and prepare a brief update on their work. Weekly meetings and huddles are critical for virtual workforces, too. Use your favorite video platform of choice, noting both verbal and non-verbal communication cues from your team. The written word only goes so far, and not everyone can adequately express their thoughts via email or Slack.
4. Positive and Constructive Feedback. It is important to make sure that either one-on-one or as a group, your team is made aware of what they do well and what needs improvement. Everyone wants to contribute to the success of the team. To do so, they must know what works and what doesn’t. Once everyone knows their role, what is expected of them, and how what they do impacts others on the team, they can form a supportive, well-oiled team.
5. Use a Psychometric Test to Understand Your Team. Psychometric tests allow managers to evaluate what motivates your team, how they communicate, and generally interact with others overall. Many of us have taken these tools in the workplace at some point in our career. They include the DISC, Workplace Big 5, Meyers-Briggs, and Hogan Assessment. Let’s Build Talent and Achieve VA use the AcuMax Index, which allows managers to evaluate team members on four “drives”, including communication, idea flow, work style and information processing.
Overall, these tests are especially useful for newly formed teams or growing teams, where members may have different communication styles.
Can you see yourself using any of these tools for your growing team? Are you using other tools across your organization? Let us know in the comments below.
If you are ready to take your team to the next level, reach out to Let’s Build Talent and see if the AcuMax Index makes sense for your hiring needs and assessing your current workforce. Schedule 30-minutes to chat with us. At the very least, see what we are up to on social media via LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook!